Combination Gardening

Published on 27 February 2024 at 19:13

                                                                                                        My experiment
      With spring right around the corner for the Inland Northwest it is time to put the final touches on the plans of what to grow this year in the vegetable garden. Also to look any new/used pots or barrels for fruit bushes, canes, plants.
This year we have expanded the number of raised beds or sizes of the existing raised beds. To maximize the space that we have available I will be doing companion and square foot gardening together. My thought on doing this is space saving and helping each other out with keeping pests away, swapping of nutrients in the soil, attract beneficial insects for pollination and keeping pest insects away.

      Let me explain what square foot gardening means to me. To me it means having more produce in a small spot. By this I mean with square foot gardening I can grow 16 carrots to 1 square foot of garden space. With this spacing the carrots will grow nice big around. Now with the carrots growing underground I have open space above ground. So I will plant something in between where the carrots will be growing. But now I will be planting something that is a good companion to carrots. By planting this way I will be able to provide more fresh vegetables and fruits for my household and any family family members that are in need
of fresh fruits and vegetables.


      I will also be able to double or triple the of what I how much I can grow in a small area. As the plants in each square foot is done producing I will be able to replant with another crop as long as there is plenty of growing season left.

      Now with companion planting there are benefits to this type of planting. The first would be with the right type of plants together they can keep each others pests off of each other. The second is they can also feed each other nutrients that would normally be a waste product for one or the other. The best way to explain this is with what the Native Americans did with what they called the 3 sister planting. Three sister planting is using a corn, pole bean, and a cucumber in the same hill. With this planting the corn is providing a structure for the pole beans to grow up on. The cucumbers provide shade for the corns roots. In the soil the they are all feeding each other especially with corn being a heavy feeder on soil nutrients.

      Another style of companion planting is to plant certain flowers and herbs among the fruits and vegetables. There is one caution with herbs among fruits and vegetables. That caution is that sometimes a strong herb in smell or scent can transfer to the companion it is to be protecting. Another caution would be certain herbs like mint as an example is a very vigorous grower. It spreads by roots and by seed. It is best to keep mint in a pot, unless you want to have it take over an area that you have just for it or mixed with other herbs in an herb garden that has other herbs that are perennial.

      With using flowers for companion planting they can also help keep pests away but at the same time they can attract pollinators to your garden.

      As a kid we always had some type of flower on the border of the garden. They were mostly marigolds and cosmos flowers. Some flowers are also edible if you get the right varieties. Please research which ones and what parts are edible on your own I am not an professional or an herbalist in any way.

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