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companion plant suggestions?

 
                          
Posts: 6
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I'm still a novice gardener, a week later... heh. Can you suggest some plants to plant together in my sheet mulch beds.

I read that I live in zone 8b and in my area it is a good time to plant:

Radishes, spinach, Asian greens, mache, fava beans, cover crops

I have no idea about flowers and shrubs.

Gaia's garden talks about planting nitrogen fixers, but not too much or you cause an imbalance. I read about plants that fix high amounts of nitrogen and plants that fix low amounts. This leaves me with no clue at all.

The book also talks about planting plants together that benefit from the insects that they attract, but I haven't found what plants these are to combine that can be planted now.

Can you suggest plants that fix the right amount of nitrogen and have insects that benefit each other?

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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i fear that your post is just a bit too general. My fist suggestion would be to make a list of the crops that you will use..that you love and could save money by growing at home, whether they be fruits, vegetables, herbs, crafts, or whatever.

Then do some research and find out if those plants grow in your area..zone..etc..and find out a little about how to grow them..

Then go back through Gaia's garden and read a little bit about how to figure out what things should go with what..one thing Toby recommends is to look how a relative of the plant grows in nature and then find relatives of those plants that grow with them to put with yours.

Also you can find guilds that will go with the type of plantlife you want to plant.

say you love apples, then find out what apple guild items are and decide what ones of them would work for you in your area..

plant a forest garden around your fruit trees, with a few nitrogen fixers, and accumulators.

here i'm planting insectory plants below my fruit trees, such as umbil type plants and yarrow, as well as herbs, I also am planting beans, peas and lupines under my fruit trees for nitrogen and comfrey and rhuybarb for accumulators and chop and drop mulch..but always think how you can incorporate food plants that you'll be able to reduce your food budget with...in the outskirts around your food forest garden where the harvest won't damage your tree roots.

if you can be a little more specific we should be able to hlep you better
 
Drew Carlson
Posts: 31
Location: Zone 5a Southern Wisconsin
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Found this on the intronet. Might help ya out a little.
Filename: Companion Planting Chart.pdf
Description:
File size: 350 Kbytes
[Download Companion Planting Chart.pdf] Download Attachment
 
Al Loria
Posts: 395
Location: New York
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With our Apple trees we planted Foxglove, Nasturtium, Yarrow, Bee Balm and some chives to keep the Deer away.
 
                          
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Thank you for the chart.

I haven't finished reading that book, and can't formulate a good question yet. I feel like I need to rush because someone told me I need to rush to plant potatoes, for them to sprout in spring (I'm in California in the US). Also, I started the sheet mulched beds because I've been putting off starting a garden and thought I'd encourage myself by having to look at the beds each day. Seeing the beds makes me feel like I need to rush though.

In the mean time, do you think that if I plant potatoes and shallots, that deer will leave them alone? I haven't really started looking into what to do about deer.

Most of what I want to plant is food, but of course I want to create plant guilds and encourage a balance between plants insects and animals etc.

I wish I could easily find for each plant, what insects and animals are associated with it  and when to plant it, if it can be planted where I live (According to some chart (Sunset western garden) I'm actually in zone 14 not zone 8b.

Most of what I've read about companion planting does not explain why I should plant those plants next to each other, and often I find the plants are supposed to be planted at different times. Gaia's garden only gives a few examples, as far as I have seen skipping ahead.

Food I've been wanting to plant are: daikon, coriander, soy beans, spinach, potatoes, kales, lettuces, blue berries, parsley, thai holy basil (bai gaprow), cabbages and more. Deer would love them.

So, I'll read more, but advice is still appreciated.
 
Dave Miller
Posts: 408
Location: Zone 8b: SW Washington
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dcarl335 wrote:
Found this on the intronet. Might help ya out a little.
This is a very useful chart.  Does anyone know if there are companion/guild plant databases on the web?  Something like this chart but with many more plants? 

i.e. you type in a plant and your location, and it returns a prioritized list of companion plants and what they add to the guild, possibly with references.

Also allow people to add their own observations from things they have tried.
 
Leila Rich
steward
Posts: 3999
Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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I plant what I want to eat, taking season, climate, water requirements, spread and height into account. Bingo, I've got a companionable garden! I'm not being smart, I reckon you can over-think this stuff, and what really matters is for you to plant things! The only combination I generally avoid is alliums and legumes, but IME, nothing will stop favas.
Flowering plants the insects and I like to have around: anything from the umbelliferae family (carrots, coriander and chervil are great), favas (plant some, do the bumblebees, the compost and your dinner a favour!), brassicas, clover, phacelia and calendula.
Note that most are food plants that I've allowed to flower, which also means I can save seed (watch out with brassicas though, most will cross like crazy).
Just plant things, observe closely, and enjoy learning from your failures as well as your successes!
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8859
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I plant all my beds as polycultures, trying to include plants that vary in habit and needs. So, leaf crops, root crops,alliums, legumes, herbs, and flowers, all growing together in each bed.  Then I don't need to worry so much about getting fancy with guilds.  If some plants don't like each other as much, that's ok because there's others growing next to plants they like.

 
Brice Moss
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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a real simple companion planting to get started with is the three sisters method ala native Americans
you plant corn beans and squash together to get both a well balanced diet and cooperative benefits between the plants
a quick Google search should turn up instructions for several types of three sisters plantings
 
Paula Edwards
Posts: 411
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Companion planting depends where you live. some companions might deter a pest we don't have at all here!
I would rather watch out for antagonists and then look for variety.
 
rose macaskie
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  I found that my  peach tree with irises under it is doing better than the one without them The irises aren't the only factor though, that the bin i keep compost in is near the one that does better maybe the determining factor as it leaches a bit i thinkhowever i  have started pulling up the irises and breaking up their rhizoms and replanting them all round the fruit trees. 
  As i have said before i have a cherry and a maple right next to a patch of bamboo and pampas grass tha ti planted by a mistake and the  did not need help in its first year so these grass type plants seem to do more harm than good. 
      Irises are incredible they survive the dry season without water and they grow and reproduce like crazy they grow wild in the woods and so you get flowers and you get green leaves all the way through the summer with them.

    I have thought that i should plant lots more riosemary  i have one bush of it.as it flowers all winter, for the bees. rosemary is good in the kitchen if you pick off a big twig of rosemary and put it under the chicken you are roasting it is very good, you can put a sprig or two inside the chicken as well. Basil is good with chicken too the italians use such a lot of broad leaved basil you could say they use it as a vegetable. It is good in with sauteed courgetes they come out deliciouse if you put lots of basil in with them  as well as in and under and all over chickens. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
Posts: 2134
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iI  have just read that bees love lemon balm, it seem they just like the smell of the leaves they rub the leaves on the hives of bees to keep the bees happy. That is why lemon balm is mentioned a s a companion plant plant to apple trees, it attracts bees to fertilize your plants. agri rose macaskie.
 
rose macaskie
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    From what i have read the umbelliferas are good becasue they give planty of pollen to your useful insects ther is a thing like a small wasp that eats black fly tha tneeds a bite of pollen before it can get to work on black fly.
  deep rooted plants are good because the losen up the soil at some dpth and they bring up j¡nutrients fro the depth of the soil they take up nitrients and then when the plant dies the nutrients thy have taken up get left on top of the soil.
The rain washes nutrients down into the soil so you need something that will fish it back up to the surface again.

    Perfumed plants like rosemary, the herbs, maybe incence bareing trees, like the junipers th ejuniperus thurifer osf the mediteranean mountains, scare of the wrong insects or just disguise the precence of plants the insects might find appetising, your vegetables and so keep insects away.
    Other plants secrete substances from their roots which keep damaging insects away. Calendula for instance.

  There is an exotic bulb that is sold as scaring off moles and also euphorbias are meant to scare off rodents. Rodents can be useful, they eat insects for example and condition the soil and feed foxes and other things birds of prey if we are to be ultruistic.

    You never know what plant might not thelp others so just buy the ones you like pretty ones for what Geoff Llawton calls nice beauty.

    All the fabeaceas and luguminouse plant nearl and the califorian ceanothus and others fix nitrogen making you soil less barren and more full of nutrients.
Trees and bushes sinker or tap roots supply the more superficial roots with water in the summer when the soil gets hot and they start to have negative pression to lose water to the soil instead of taing it up so they keep the soil damp. agri rose macaskie
   
 
   
 
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