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Why not onions and peas?

Posted by seedmama 7 OK (My Page) on
Fri, Feb 3, 12 at 15:22

I've just read that members of the onion family should not be companion planted with either peas or beans. Can someone tell me the reasoning behind this? I have Seedpapa a huge patch of the kitchen garden last fall to plant all the garlic his heart desired. This included the space at the feet of my premium pea trellis. As it is soon time to plant peas, I am thinking Doh! Am I hosed? Just how bad is it?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I have been planting my onions at the foot of the pea trellis for several years, so obviously I didn't know this. The peas do great, but maybe this is why my onions don't head up well. So I am interested in the the answer to this too.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Mulberryknob,
While I have your attention, can you tell me where you recently talked about your big asparagus patch. I did a search, and came up with old threads, but nothing recent. I want to go re-read before I post an asparagus question for you.

Thanks,
Seedmama


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I read same at the companion-planting (linked below), saying "if you plant onion next to peas you will find that neither grows very well". I don't know why?

Peas grow well with Beans, Radish, Carrot, Corn, Cucumber, Lettuce, most pungent herbs. Keep away from Garlic, Onion, Fennel...

Here is a link that might be useful: Companion Planting


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I understand onions are heavy feeders and peas are not, would that have anything to do with it? I have been holding back on the feeding and my onions are a little small.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I've seen many discussions on this issue and there are several on both sides of the fence on this issue. I will post a link to a thread on another GW site where this was discussed. There are several good opinions. I pay attention to anything Digdirt says as he is a very knowledgeable gardener. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Onions/Peas


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I looked in a couple of my books and although it was mentioned in one there was no conclusive evidence. I am not a big believer in companion planting except for it's ability to save garden space.

If a reason really exists for not planting onions and peas together, I would think that it would be for fear of disturbing the shallow roots of the peas while removing early spring onions, but that is a guess.

The biggest advantage to the entire theory may be that it sells books. LOL


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Seedmama, I looked back over recent threads, but don't remember where we went off topic onto asparagus. Ask your question anyway, and I'll answer if I know.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Seedmama, would the thread on how much space for a garden, on Jan 15 and 16, I think from Canokie be the one you are thinking of??


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Wow Larry! That's impressive. Yes, that's the one. Thank you very much. They say gingko and fish oil improve memory. I'm thinking it must be onions and fish emulation. Thanks for taking the time. Now I'm off to formulate my question.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I believe in some forms of companion planting, but am not sold on the idea of vegetable-based companion gardening. I tried it for several years after we moved here and my garden grew just fine. Then, I stopped using it in the vegetable garden (in terms of veggies only, I still use herb and flower companion plantings) and the veggies grew fine. I see no difference in how the veggies grown and perform when I use the companion planting 'rules' versus when I do not use them.

I use a lot of herbs and flowers in my veggie beds as companion plants, and my garden performs better with them than without them, but I think most of the credit goes to the flowers and herbs attracting beneficial insects that prey upon pest insects. And, sometimes, the flowers and herbs seem to have a really positive effect that I cannot explain. For example, I started planting borage around my tomato plants many years ago because I read that the borage repels tomato hornworms. Who can say if the borage does that? What I do know is that, even in years when I've planted as many as 400 tomato plants, I rarely see a single tomato hornworm at all. Is that because of the borage? Who knows. All I know is that planting borage with tomatoes works for me.

With any companion planting, I think you just have to try companion planting and see if you think it does or does not make a difference as practiced by you in your soil and climate.

With the peas and onions, I can sort of understand the rationale, especially if you are attempting to grow softball-sized onions. The two veggies have very different nutritional needs, with the onions being much heavier feeders who benefit from higher nitrogen levels in the soil. Onions will benefit from a side-dressing of a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during the growing season, but a nitrogen-rich fertilizer will make the peas produce more foliage and fewer peas. So, that would be the argument against planting them together. If you are growing the onions as green onions, you wouldn't necessarily need to do that side-dressing, so then you wouldn't have extra nitrogen affecting the nearby pea plants. I don't like to plant anything too close to bulbing onions because they produce smaller bulbs if they have competing plants nearby. If you don't mind having somewhat smaller bulbs, plant whatever you want with your onions and just be happy with what you get. I do it both ways---with one bed dedicated just to onions, and then with additional rows of onions planted here and there in a single row along the edge of a raised bed that contains something else.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Larry and Dawn,

I think your suspicions about different nutritional needs may be on point. So if you happen to meet Seedpapa at the Spring Fling this year, please don't tell him I scrimped on the garlic ferts so I could have a good pea crop.

Thanks all!


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Seedmama,

My lips are sealed. SeedPapa won't get it out of me.

The solution would be to fertilize the garlic right at the point where the pea harvest is starting to decline---when you reach the point where you're thinking "OK, another week or two and these pea plants are out of here". At that point, giving the garlic some extra nitrogen won't hurt the pea plants at all.


Dawn


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Thanks Dawn. I may try that. When will we be harvesting the garlic?

Thanks, too, for the sealed lips. It's Carol I'm worried about. She a trouble maker, you know, from the word go. LOL. Maybe I'll just bring SeedMeMaw. I got my bag of tricks from her.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Most likely you'll be harvesting the garlic in June. I think that's about when the harvest happens here. To tell you the truth, the entire months of April, May and June are a blur in my mind because at that time of the year we are harvesting cool-season crops and planting warm-season crops and succession planting more warm-season crops and I get to where I hardly know what year it is, much less what month it is.

Bring on the SeedMeMaw! Everybody knows that Nobody Messes With MeMaw.

As for Carol, no, she won't make any trouble because she's a MeMaw too. MeMaws don't make trouble. They prevent trouble, they stop trouble when they see it, and the fear of making MeMaw mad prevents a lot of trouble from ever occurring. MeMaws make the world a nicer place.

There, I hope I got you out of trouble for saying Carol will make trouble.


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Trouble

You know I started to say won't I be harvesting the garlic in June as the peas are dying off? But I too have a blurred memory of how April, May and June work, especially April. I just didn't want to say so!

Oh no, you forget about Carol. Remember how she tried to set Jay up with that wicked woman who was waving us in to p-mac's first Spring Fling? Trouble I tell ya, trouble.


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Trouble.....who me? Hmm, you should have known me before I mellowed out. LOL I even resisted that "ditz" thread Paula just posted.

I saw garlic for sale today. That seems like such a strange time and it was tempting since I don't have any growing, but I thought I was several months too late so I resisted.

If I bring mushrooms to seedpapa he will believe anything I tell him.

And...........Jay deserved it!


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Seedmama, As forgetful as I am becoming, I just go ahead and admit it. You can get out of a lot of trouble by just blaming everything on forgetfulness.

Wait! Did I miss a 'ditz' thread?

Well, how ditzy of me to do that.

That wicked woman might have been just Jay's cup of tea. The nice gentlemen always want to tame a wicked woman, you know.

Carol, I would have bought the garlic and planted it. You can plant garlic almost any time (though likely not in May or June) and still get a good harvest in about June. (I am pretty sure my garlic finishes up not too long after the peas, but before the onions most years.)

Jay, What did you do to "deserve it"?


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I probably should have bought it. We don't have an Atwood's here, but I seem to be on the road a lot lately so maybe I will be near one.

Since I am not a record keeper I forget from year to year when to plant and when I harvest, but I normally have peas for the month of May. Sometimes earlier, and some times they may last a week or so into June, but May is the month I expect them.

I always remember garlic because of what Jay said and it always makes me laugh. Someone asked him in a thread what was the latest date they could plant garlic and his answer was, "The latest date you can plant garlic this year is December 31".


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Dawn,
I'm not sure. It seems trouble and accusations seem to find me. I can't think of anything I've done or even threatened to do to Carol that would of caused her to say that. I will have to admit I might deserve some of the things said around work but compared to work I'm an angel on this forum. LOL.

Dana how did you plant you garlic and how close is it to the peas. If Seed Papa planted two rows I would fertilize heavy right between the rows. I basically don't fertilize much anymore. My readings seem to stay high. I do add sulfur and iron. The 2 things my soil tends to need. I have just put a band of manure directly below the garlic and covered with a few inches of soil like Martin does and never fertilized again and they garlic did fine. I usually plant 2 rows and if I do fertilize a second time I will apply a band down the middle. Jay


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Every time I see the title of this thread, all I can picture in my mind is a bowl of green peas with little pearl onions. I liked eating those when I was a kid, and I still like them today.

Jay, You've always been an angel here. I have to wonder if Carol is picking on you. I can't control her, even though she is my sister. , so you'll just have to put up with all the abuse.

Carol, I always think of that statement of Jay's as well. It was an instant classic the minute we read it, wasn't it?

Dawn


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Dawn and Carol,
I can't take credit for that comment. Martin who many might know as Paquebot on the garden forums. Him and Gone Fishin are who I inspired me to build cold and hot frames and whose advise I followed. I did some merging of their ideas although they were very close to start with. I will attach a link to a site about cold frames. Being that it has been discussed on here lately. Martin has some comments. He explains why I use a cold frame. Also why you should hinge your door/window on the bottom side and open at the top. If you do both of these along with using a screen, shade cloth, ect then you shouldn't need a vent opener. I have one frame I have never dug down inside and it has clear glass on top and I can maintain the temp on it but it requires shade cloth. I open it slightly more than the others. I plan on building another this year. Remember the less clear glass/covering you have the easier it will be to maintain temps and also to retain heat after the sun goes down.

I purchased a burn permit Friday for today and tomorrow. Heading out to burn for 2-3 hours. Will be smelling like smoke when I'm finished. I won't get near all of them burned but hopefully will get them thinned out some. I use the rim for a bottomless tank. I can roll it around to different locations. I always have one hose turned on and ready and two if possible. There is no wind now so should get some good burning done. Jay

Here is a link that might be useful: Cold frames


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Martin's comment

I posted in a hurry above and it doesn't make a lot of sense. Martin is a very knowledgeable gardener. He is an expert on garlic. And anytime anyone ask him the how late you can plant garlic he always replies "December 31st is the last day you can plant this year." And Jan 1st is the first day you can plant in a given year. Some say softneck types do better than hardnecks if planted in late winter or early spring but I have planted as late as the first week of Feb and had nice bulbs. Jay


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

I am a big believer in Companion Planting, but the reasoning behind the companion "suggestions" is very complex. There may be multiple reasons. The better you know your plants, The better you will understand the reasoning behind the "old time" recommendations for what to plant together and where.

Onions attract root maggots and they could attract the adult flies that might attack the pea plants or blooms. They might also attract other insects that DO infect the roots or plants of the peas, and vice versa.

Onions are indeed heavy feeders, but peas are a Legume, so that shouldn't be a problem for either, unless the onion has a natural inhibitor that blocks the pea plant from making the nitrogen-fixing nodules it needs on its roots. *

Onions need a lot of sunlight. Shade created by the pea plants "might" make a difference, but I don't think it should unless the onions are planted on the shaded side and the peas vines are very tall and very thick.

I have planted onions in rows on the west side of my peas, about 2 feet away with no adverse affects on either. The spacing might make a difference.

Companion Planting deals with the likes and dislikes of neighboring plants. It deals with competition for food amounts, moisture content in the soil, adequate light or shade, and insect problems, as well as root spacing.
* In the case of herbs (and both of these are herbs), it can also deal with the herb's natural oils that may or may cause growth problems or even kill another type of herb.

If you don't have problems in your garden with your plants, great! But if you see a difference in productivity, growth, insect infestations, and etc., it's worth a try.

~Annie


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RE: Companion Planting - whys and why nots

I am a big believer in Companion Planting, but the reasoning behind the companion "suggestions" is very complex. There may be multiple reasons. The better you know your plants, The better you will understand the reasoning behind the "old time" recommendations for what to plant together and where.

Onions attract root maggots and they could attract the adult flies that might attack the pea plants or blooms. They might also attract other insects that DO infect the roots or plants of the peas, and vice versa.

Onions are indeed heavy feeders, but peas are a Legume, so that shouldn't be a problem for either, unless the onion has a natural inhibitor that blocks the pea plant from making the nitrogen-fixing nodules it needs on its roots. *

Onions need a lot of sunlight. Shade created by the pea plants "might" make a difference, but I don't think it should unless the onions are planted on the shaded side and the peas vines are very tall and very thick.

I have planted onions in rows on the west side of my peas, about 2 feet away with no adverse affects on either. The spacing might make a difference.

Companion Planting deals with the likes and dislikes of neighboring plants. It deals with competition for food amounts, moisture content in the soil, adequate light or shade, and insect problems, as well as root spacing.
* In the case of herbs (and both of these are herbs), it can also deal with the herb's natural oils that may or may cause growth problems or even kill another type of herb.

If you don't have problems in your garden with your plants, great! But if you see a difference in productivity, growth, insect infestations, and etc., it's worth a try.

~Annie


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RE: Why not onions and peas?

Sorry for the hiccup repeat. Sometimes this darn site says your message was rejected, so you post it again, and then you see that the first one wasn't actually rejected at all!
Irritating.


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