Sunday, May 13, 2012

Companion Planting

Several years ago I purchased a book called "Carrots Love Tomatoes" that discussed companion planting.  I have been practising companion planting since then and I can honestly say that carrots really do love being planted near tomatoes.With the guide to companion planting ever handy I proceeded to plant my late spring and early summer crops last Sunday.

The one good weekend we got to build the beds was followed by several cool and wet weekends, and week days. You never plant your garden in the rain, especially not a cold rain. So when last Saturday dawned clear and bright I was hopeful of getting into the garden. When the day continued to get warmer I proceeded to the nursery to purchase tomato and herb plants.

Sunday was even more beautiful so we filled the garden beds with 2 parts soil to 1 part compost and black earth mix. Once the soil was mixed as evenly as we could we levelled the soil and planted the tomatoes, 4 plants to each bed. We ended up with 2 Big Beef variety, 2 Early Girl variety, 2 Early Boy variety, and 2 Roma variety. I had hoped that my attempt at growing Roma tomatoes from seed would be more successful, so I was very relieved to find Roma tomato plants at the nursery.

Out came my trusty companion planting guide and my bag of left over seeds from previous years gardens. I knew tomatoes and carrots were a good mix but I didn't want carrots again this year. Luckily I did have some onion seeds and some nasturtium seeds. Unfortunately not enough to plant the two beds. In the end I ended up with a row of onions and chives, a row of nasturtiums, and two rows of carrots.

This is the first time planting onions and chives with tomatoes so it will be interesting to see how well they companion together. It will be nice if the onions discourage bugs, like tomato moths, from laying eggs and eating my tomatoes. I know that is what carrots due, they discourage flying insects from laying eggs on the tomato plants. In turn the tomato leaves discourage carrot flies.

I also planted some kohlrabi and cauliflower plants. The seeds are supposed to be planted early in spring but only if the soil is not to wet. Since we had a wet last few weeks I am hoping the plants will do better, and not rot in the ground like the seeds did. The book said these plants were best planted with onions, so the kohlrabi went in with my shallots and multiplier onions, planted earlier this spring.

The cauliflower went into the bed with a couple of hills of squash, and more onion sets. If all the onions I planted this year come up I will be swimming in onions this fall. Luckily we eat a lot of onions, especially baby onions, in our daily meals. Any that make it to fall will be allowed to dry on the outside and stored for next winters use.

1 comment:

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