Friday, January 27, 2012

Companion Planting with Sweet Peppers

Sweet peppers have a few companion plants that will help them in the growing season.

Basil: this plant helps sweet peppers by repelling flies and mosquitoes and also by promoting growth and flavor of the peppers.

Parsley: attracts the beneficial parasitic wasps and hover-flies that help the sweet pepper stay healthy.

Okra: this plant shades the peppers from being burned by the sun and also helps to keep wind off the fragile stems.

Avoid planting sweet peppers near fennel, kohlrabi, and apricot trees.

When harvesting, it is best to cut peppers off using pruning shears, rather than breaking the stem.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Cucumber Companion Planting

Thinking about your 2012 summer garden? Are you planning on planting some cucumbers? If so you should keep the best companions for cucumbers in mind.

These cucumber companion plants consist of:
Radishes, Peas, Beets, Corn, Beans, Carrots, Dill, and Sunflowers.

However, you should not plant your cucumbers near potatoes or sage as they tend to grow poorly when planted next to these plants.

When growing cucumbers, you might want to consider using a trellis with them as most cucumber plants are vines and the trellis gives them the space they need to climb.

Most people like to pickle their cucumbers for storage, there are many pickling mixes on the market to help you do this if that is how you wish to store your cucumbers.

What are your cucumber growing recommendations?

First time garden? Read: Starting a Garden.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Companion Plants for Tomatoes

It is still a little early to actually do any gardening, but winter is a great time to reflect on how you want your garden to look, and what you want your garden to grow. Companion planting is a great way to allow plants to do their best while benefiting one another during the growing season.

Since tomatoes are a very popular plant in gardens, we will start our companion planting series by discussing different plants that complement tomatoes.

These plants help the tomato in a myriad of different ways. Each has its unique benefit to the tomato.

Basil attracts butterflies and repels other pests.

Oregano repels aphids.

Carrots attract insects beneficial to the garden particularly the tomato. (See more Carrot Companions)

Onions/Chives repel pests.

Many of the companion plants help by repelling pests, however, if you still have pest problems in your garden you can use sprays (chemical or organic) in a garden sprayer to help keep your plants pest free.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

January Gardening Tasks

A few things that you can be doing in January to prep yourself for the gardening season:
  • If you need to purchase any seeds, plants, replacement tools, etc. go ahead and start placing your orders.
  • If your garden design wasn't quite right last year, rework your design to something that is more suitable for your needs.
  • If you kept a garden journal review it, and start a new journal now being sure to record the plants and seeds that were ordered.
  • Check any stored bulbs or vegetables that you may have.
  • Take a class on gardening.
  • Sharpen, clean, and test your gardening tools.

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