Which vegetables to plant together?

mumsofthree(5)February 15, 2011

I am in the planning stages of my garden. Last year my aunt recommended planting radishes in between my zucchini, as this would help ward off some kind of bug? I can't remember what she said exactly.

SO, now I'm wondering if there are certain vegetables that do well planted near eachother? OR if she's nuts? LOL!!!

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myfamilysfarm

I plant radishes with almost everything. They germinate quickly and mark the rows (so I don't till where I shouldn't). Radish blooms, you'll need to let some of them go to seed, is supposed to help keep away squash bugs.

Your aunt is not nuts, at least not totally nuts. This is called companion gardening. I always plant my green bean rows(yellow and purple, also) near my potato rows, I alternate them. The bean bug doesn't like potatoes and the potato bug doesn't like beans. It confuses them.

Here's a link I use. It helps me, hopefully you too.
http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html

Mum, you're only 17 hours north of me and 882 miles (can't figure kilos).

Marla

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 12:16PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

I find companion planting really does not work well and there is no science to back this stuff up. I also find in a market garden it is far less time consuming to have one crop per bed to harvest, feed, weed, etc.. (Though we do plant radishes with carrots because the radishes space out the carrots and are finished a good 35 days before the carrots re ready)

I also don't like companion planting because it really can throw off a crop rotation plan when you start planting say brassicas and squash together.

But a good book on the subject is Carrots Love Tomatoes by Riotte

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 6:55AM
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myfamilysfarm

I don't have beds, but old-fashioned wide rows. I've only seen the potato/beans work. I still plant radishes with almost everything, as markers.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 16, 2011 at 8:26AM
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mumsofthree(5)

I think it's all worth a shot:)

Marla, I LOVE the website! Even if none of the companion planting helps it definitely points me in Some kind of direction. Now that I know you live so close maybe you could come help for a few days, LOL!

Last year I had one 20 by 80 vegetable garden on our 5 acres. This year... (I'm kinda freaking out already!)... we will start converting the 2.5 acres of field into produce, perennials, and tree farm.

I plan on doing a few markets this year, but have never tried it before. I don't think I fully understand what I'm getting myself into, LOL.

I'm at stay at home mom of 3 kids, ages 5, 2 and 1... Thankfully my husband works from home as well:)

How long have you been marketing??

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:00PM
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myfamilysfarm

I've been doing the farmers markets since 2000. I started out with about 1/4 acre, and only planted what my family would eat. My brother-in-law suggested vegetable spaghetti squash, because he liked it, so I planted it also.

First year was a real learning experience, sales totaled $1700 in a 6 month market. It started in May, and the only thing I had was some radishes and I bought some strawberry plants and sold them 6 in a hanging basket. I think I might have sold 24-36 plants. The rest of the plants that didn't sell, went into my strawberry bed. That bed lasted 7 years without much care, it survived by me letting the runners take over.
By September, all of my garden was done. I started searching our woods and found a pawpaw grove, and tried to sell them. I was told that I wasn't old enough to know anything about them, but I had done my research. Sold some.

Each year, I learned more and more, and you will too, if you are stubborn enough not to quit. Your kids will learn also. My 5 grandkids are very knowledgeble in regards to plants and veggies, along with sales techniques that work for them. My youngest, age 3, doesn't come to market much, but she is a planter. She has played with the plants since she was crawling. Not that she was helping at that stage, but she has learned to treat the plants like babies, gentle.

By the time the kids were 5, they were the ones cleaning onions (they called it, making the onions 'naked'), they can plant alot of the larger seeds and pick some of the veggies. I don't allow them to have the zucchini knives until they are at least 5 with supervision. By 7, the oldest one can decide which zuke to take or wait til the next market, and cut it himself.

Just start off slow, and don't expect to make lots of money (if any) for a few years. Enjoy yourself.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 17, 2011 at 1:37PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Icicle radishes only possibly prevent the cucumber beetle if they are planted early and let go to seed around the cucurbit family members.
I really love the book Great Garden Companions since it emphasizes how much companion planting has to be done to be effective- like 50-50.
I am teaching classes next month with a lot about companion planting and its shortfalls.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 4:11PM
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myfamilysfarm

I try alot of things without knowing if they work and if they work for me, then great. Sometimes things work for some people in some areas, and sometimes they don't.

I don't teach, I just do. I don't feel that I know enouh, even with 50+ years of experience.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 6:40PM
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mumsofthree(5)

What are your thoughts on NOT planting certain things together?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 8:06PM
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myfamilysfarm

According to the companion gardening info, there are certain 'foes' but I can't tell you if it's true or not. I usually just go with the info, and think 'why take the chance?'. Same with planting according to the moon, and so far this year, it's work. I planted and transplanted according to the moon, and have had good luck with everything. Usually it's just a matter of a few days.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 20, 2011 at 8:12PM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Legumes and alliums are classic feuds but I have never seen truth in this presumption. I put a legume cover crop in after alliums are pulled and it does great. I assume that theory started because people felt the legumes would give the alliums too much nitrogen. I still don't plant scallions in with my peas just in case but I think it is all hogwash.

I have found beets and kohlrabi don't like interplanting with anything.

I think logistics of watering, picking and so on much more important than the idea that some plants don't get along.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2011 at 7:53PM
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boulderbelt(5/6)

Little Minnie is so right about the logistics. If you do a 50/50 companion plant to market crop in your market garden you will not have much to sell and it will take you MUCH longer to harvest. Snd when you are looking at harvesting for 5+ hours you do not want anything that will prolong that chore.

I used to do a lot of companion planting my first 2 years and quit because it was becoming a logistical nightmare-harvest was taking too long, it was messing up our crop rotation and frankly it wasn't working all that well so we went with other pest control techniques such as row covers which work much better and make the job of farming easier.

I think companion planting is great for home gardeners who do not have to do the sell what you sow thing but do know that a market garden is not just a super big home garden. they are different on many levels and this companion planting thing is one.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 5:27AM
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myfamilysfarm

Minnie, companion gardening isn't talking about planting after each other, but with each other.

Boulderbelt, I just plant a long row of one 'friend' next to another one in long wide rows. Since I have several acres to work with, I can have the 'super large gardens' for my market garden.

Personally, I don't like to use pesticides and I've found that some of the companion gardening does work for me and my gardens.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:37AM
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little_minnie(zone 4a)

Boulder (are you Lucy?) you are right about companions and larger operations. Much better to worry about keeping FRC on than think woody herbs will prevent cabbage moths. A 50/50 thing that could work for everyone is the bush bean and potato trick.
Marla I know what companion planting is; I was refering to the idea that alliums and legumes do not get along. Generally companion planting encompasses, almost mostly, herbs and flowers to attract or confuse insects. When you plant a crop every other row that is intercropping. I do a lot of planting of flowers and herbs that draw beneficial insects.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 8:27PM
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cowpie51

I have found that keeping a large population of various birds keeps the insects at bay.I have Robins,Cardinals and Jays and Blackbirds and some Swallows ,they all nest in various places,but seem to love flying around the garden and I have rarely lost produce to them as they tend to keep the insects at bay all-though the robins love the worms. But I still have lots of worms.
Trees are essential around your property such as Pines and cedars, especially around the buildings and the west borders.

Also , a couple or two wild cats keep the rodents out which love to bite into produce and also keep the woodchu8cks away and 1 or 2 dogs help to keep the Deer at bay.
The teenie bit of poop they create doesn,t alarm me.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2011 at 10:58PM
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buffyfultz

I�ve started reading this book on companion gardening very recently and to me does make a lot of sense. http://www.amazon.com/Great-Garden-Companions-Companion-Planting-Chemical-Free/dp/0875968473/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1298279001&sr=1-1
My mom used to plant a lot of radishes with everything too, and now I think I understand why she did it.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 6:43AM
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myfamilysfarm

Mark, we also have LOTS of birds, especially the Purple Martins, they love when we start to cultivate, they fly around the tractor just to get the birds. They also enjoy us mowing and forcing the bugs into the air.

Minnie, I've evidently used the companion gardening more than I thought, until I got into this venture. It's just the way my grandfather planted things, He was born in 1897.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:28AM
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mumsofthree(5)

Thanks so much for all the thoughts and ideas everyone! :)

I will definitely try a few things. But now knowing its more of a 50/50 issue I agree it could become a pain in the butt.

We have an obscene amount of birds. Some morning its kinda creepy. There will be THOUSANDS of black birds just sitting in our backyard. Like something you'd see in a horror movie. Not sure I like them.

ANOTHER question altogether, what other ideas do any of you have about keeping bad bugs away? I should probably be posting this is the organic forums... but you've all just been so helpful so far:)

Last year we lost A LOT of produce (come the middle of August), to mould. I have read using a baking soda/ water mixture as a preventative, (as well as good air circulation, and NOT watering in the evenings!)... would help? Has anyone tried this as a preventative?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 6:28PM
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myfamilysfarm

Definitely not watering in the evenings, it doesn't give the sun time enough to dry the leaves, plus if your area is like mine I get heavy dew almost every day even in the heat of summer.

Last year, around here, was very wet and alot of mould problems surfaced.

I'm very lucky, the bad bugs that we have the most of are the Japanese Bettles, but I did find that they like 'smart weed'(that's what my dad called it). If I let some of smart weed grow and bloom, the beetles would stay away from my gardens. I let the weeds grow away from the garden, obviously.

I'm finding the longer I grow without pesticides, the more beneficial bugs and fewer bad bugs I have.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:17PM
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cowpie51

Dew is caused by hot days and cooler nights-I think. It,s to bad the nuisance bugs are not drowned by the dew. The birds do not see the bugs that are in our veggie plants. If you have the time, walk down your rows after the dew has dried around noon to shake off some of the bugs, maybe the birds will get them then. I hope I did not sound stupid? Fellow grower, Mark

    Bookmark   February 23, 2011 at 7:38PM
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myfamilysfarm

I get dew almost everyday, and our birds eyes must be very good. Or maybe it's the idea of our grandkids, dog, and 4 cats running around that disturbs the bugs. Whatever it is it's working.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 9:06AM
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mumsofthree(5)

Mark you don't sound stupid, LOL. It's always nice to find someone speaking my kind of language ;)

The bugs weren't a problem last year. The poor tomatoes caught some kind of disease. I still have no idea what it was. The plants, (all 21 of them), looked very healthy and were covered in green tomatoes. The moment each of them started to ripen, a large brown spot would form on the tomato. We even pulled a bunch with no signs, while still green, and left them to ripen off the plant. They TOO formed the spot once red. VERY sad it was to rip out and burn all the plants:(

We lost the zucchini, cucumbers, and the one pumpkin we had for the kids.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:39AM
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cowpie51

MUMS3 ,sounds a lot like late blight maybe?if so rotate this year far away from old spot and if late blight conditions threaten ,protect with a non-systemic fungicide, maybe chlorothalinol,manco-zeb or a copper based.
i know that we hate to use these fungicides but Late blight can hurt your whole tomato-potato crop and your frends tomatos also. mark. good luck this year!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 12:22PM
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myfamilysfarm

Yes, most of the country got late-blight, this was according to a researcher at Cornell University that spoke to the So. Illinois Conference that I attended earlier this month.

Maybe I learned more than I thought I had.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 2:57PM
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cowpie51

To whom it may concern,I believe that "Legend" tomato has some resistance to late Blight. Maybe check into this . Mark.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 3:33PM
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myfamilysfarm

During the conference, the researchers were saying that there was some disease that was transmitted by buying plants grown out of your area, such as buying the plants that some of the big box stores carry (some of them buy from a cooperative in AL), therefore bringing diseases into a different area. Myself, I'll either grow mine or bring from local growers.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 3:58PM
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mumsofthree(5)

I looked up some pictures of late blight, and YES! That's exactly what was going on! I bought my starter plants from a woman selling around the corner from us at the end of her driveway.

After reading a bit more about it I'm happy my potatoes weren't affected as well. I had a few rows of peppers in between the two that didn't seem bothered by any mold or blight.

This year I mean war! LOL!

Thanks again for ALL your help :)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 5:33PM
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myfamilysfarm

Some seeds will carry diseases also. This year, put your tomatoes, peppers, potatoes or eggplants elsewhere, as far as you can away. Keep them staked, if possible (for ventilation). Plant them with plenty of room between the plants, also for ventilation. Never water unless the sun can dry the plant before evening, try watering the ground under the plant instead of the leaves. And pray for the best.

This is my advice, even tho I don't follow all of it. I don't get my tomatoes staked (never enough time). I usually plant several times during the season, so that if one group goes bad, I have another. Year before last, we had some blight problem in an area near a woods (not enough ventilation), but those plants were the only ones that did produce. I planted them very late, after I gave up all other planting and my kids couldn't let me throw away about 500 plants.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 6:01PM
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mumsofthree(5)

Do you start new seeds throughout the season? Or are they all from your original batch?

We are actually grassing last years vegetable garden this spring and starting from scratch about 200 ft away into our 2.5 acre field. I hope this is far enough away. I can't wait! :) But I will definitely do a few different gardens of a few of the veggies in case some run into "issues." This year is more of a practice run I suppose.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2011 at 10:35PM
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myfamilysfarm

No, I usually start 2-3 times early, mainly just in case 1 batch would fail. I just hold the plants in pots for as long as possible, sometimes just uppotting enough for the plants not to be terribly rootbound(to the point of producing fruit). Usually only planting 1-2 times.

Marla

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 6:17AM
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