Gardening Tips

I pulled out my trusty Carrots Love Tomatoes by Louise Riotte today to discover what plants are good companions for beans.  Well, turns out that our little picklebush cucumbers are going to be the best bet for companion planting there.  As usual, once I start reading this book, I just can’t stop!   It’s so well written and there’s always something I need to know in there.

As I’m brimming over with information from the book, I thought I would share a few tidbits with you as well.  They are, in no order whatsoever…

  • interplant cucumbers and beans as they are mutually beneficial.  summer savory is also a good companion plant for the beans as it increases production and flavor!  keep onions and all onion family members away from beans!
  • if you have trouble with nematodes on your cucumbers, spray them with a sugar spray.  Ms. Riotte recommends a mixture of 1/2 cup sugar to cups water, stirred well and allowed to cool.  mix with one gallon of water and spray plants.  for some reason, this application is supposed to dry out the nematodes!  BONUS: even if  nematodes are not present, the sugar water will attract bees and other pollinators and you’ll have a bumper crop of cucumbers.  WIN!
  • bee balm helps improve the flavor of tomatoes, as does basil
  • garlic is great for apples, roses and strawberries
  • keep fennel away from pretty  much everything in your garden.
  • elderberry aids fermentation of compost.  (for more composting ideas, be sure to check out Chris McLaughlin’s wonderful book The Idiot’s Guide to Composting)

I really could go on and on and on but there is so much information!

If you’re interested in learning more about companion planting, take a look at a post I made several years ago on the subject:

13 Companion Planting Guides

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