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Ecological Companion Planting Guide, based on actual science  RSS feed

 
Sheldon Nicholson
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Hi everyone,
I have created an infographic-style guide: "Ecological Companion Planting for Temperate Climates".

http://sheldonfrith.com/2015/09/08/infographic-a-guide-to-ecological-companion-planting-in-temperate-climates/

This is a concept I have developed myself out of Elaine Ingham's research combined with my knowledge of ecology and evolutionary principles.
The "Plants For A Future" database was tremendously helpful as I was trying to determine the natural ecosystems of many plants.

I was sick and tired of reading companion planting suggestions which failed to provide any scientific basis. Even when some semblance of scientific evidence is provided it is invariably so severely reductionist as to be entirely useless when applied in a complex garden ecosystem. The more holistic principles provided by ecology and evolution are more able to provide actual benefit when managing complex ecosystems, in my experience.

Please check it out. I hope it can be of use to you. And if you have any improvements, or suggestions please let me know!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Location: Grand Valley of Colorado's Western Slope
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Sheldon, Thanks for a fabulous reference. I took Ingham's Life in the Soil class on line last winter. I was frustrated because I did not know where to find the information you have provided in your guide.

I am curious how you included in comfrey in early grassland. I thought it was a forest opening or forest edge plant though it grows quite well in the "early grassland" that is my developing soil.

Is there a database anywhere that lists plants by their fungi to bacteria ratio preferences?

Everyone needs this, unless they already know it. I certainly don't, and just tend to group things by moisture needs and light intensity needs... and try to have the ground space completely occupied before the soil warms in the spring, and all the disturbed soil plants with stickers burs and spines germinate.

Thanks again.

Thekla
 
Sheldon Nicholson
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Thekla,

No there is no database that classifies plants based on their bacteria/fungi ratio preferences. Mine is, as far as I know, the only good information on this topic.
I compiled the list by simply doing lots of internet research (along with personal observation with some of the plants) on each individual plant and trying to get a reasonably good idea about what sort of ecosystem the plant originates from. Wikipedia, Google Image Searches, and PFAF were my primary sources. I have quite a lot of plants in the list, some of them are bound to be wrong. Perhaps that is what happened with the comfrey. I cannot remember where I got my comfrey information, I compiled this list several months ago. Let me know if you can find any good data on the original ecosystem of comfrey. I will change my data if you find anything that is wrong.

Thanks
 
Rose Pinder
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Very interesting graphic, just making my way through it. Any chance you could put up a PDF version?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Rose,
He's got contact info on his graphic, and will email you a spread sheet. I don't know if that's the same as a PDF. He emailed it to me and it looks very helpful.
Thekla
 
Rose Pinder
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Thanks Thekla, I was looking for a way to view the graphic offline.
 
Sheldon Nicholson
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Hi, Rose. Unfortunately I used Piktochart to create the info-graphic, and to export it into a PDF I have to pay for the PRO version of Piktochart.

You can email me, at Sheldon Frith @ Hotmail . com (no spaces), and I'll send you the spreadsheet version.
 
Rose Pinder
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thanks Sheldon.
 
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