by Ashley Knight
Summer gardening is right around the corner. Now is a great time of year to start your garden planning! Picking seeds and drawing a layout of where you want to plant your little sprouts and seeds is a great way to get ready. So get out your gardening books, seed catalogs and pencil and paper and start planning! This article will provide you everything you need to get started.
When planning your garden a great way to get started is by companion planting. Companion planting is when you have plants that benefit each other in some way. For instance planting basil around you tomato plants can make your tomatoes taste better, planting beans and peas near your spinach provides shade for you spinach. Planting radishes around your squashes can deter pests, such as the cucumber beetle from getting to your harvest. One fun way to do companion planting is by using the three sister’s technique. The three sister’s technique is when you plant corn, green beans and squash together. Here’s how it works;
Corn: whatever type of corn you prefer not only gets you a yummy treat but also provides a natural trellis for your beans.
Green Beans: Wait until corn is a couple of inches tall and then plant your beans, making sure you are planting pole beans and not bush beans.
Squash: Wait until beans sprout then plant any type of squash you want. The squash shades the soil and will help keep the moisture for the corn and beans.
Just as plants can aide each other in growth, pest control and taste they can also hinder each other. For instance, planting peas near your garlic will inhibit growth for one another. Solonaceous plants such as tomatoes, eggplants or bell peppers shouldn’t be planted near Brassica plants like broccoli or cauliflower this will also inhibit growth. It is also important to make sure you are rotating your crop each year. By planting the same vegetables in the same spot year after year insects will learn where the goods are. Pests will lay their eggs where their food is, by switching your garden around you will keep those little pesties guessing! We don’t want to make it easy for them by being predictable. Different plants also require different amounts of nutrients and moving crops around each year will help keep nutrient balance in your garden. For example, beans and peas put nitrogen into the soil where as other plants (especially corn which is a heavy nitrogen feeder, giving the three sister’s another advantage) take nitrogen out of the soil. So, moving those babies around is important.
These are just a few ways to plan your upcoming garden. There are so many more fun ways to plant and help your garden be the best it can be to provide you with a great harvest. So open those garden books and seed catalogues and dig in!
Meet Ashley Knight
Ashley fell in love with healthy living and nutrition while struggling with infertility for 3 ½ years. With research and diet adjustments she finally got pregnant. Ashley has left her former career path and is fully committed to living a more sustainable life and hopes to inspire others. Read more about Ashley and her family’s adventures at http://knightsofthegreentable.com/