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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How about companion planting? (The three sisters - corn, beans and pumpkins)

Again ... some people will say it works (I'm one of them :)) and other say it's a crock. I like to plant Marigolds and herbs, here and there and all around.

List of companion plants - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

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I used 2 of the three for the first time in '09. I planted lima beans next to the corn to use the stalks as a pole. I waited till the corn was about 2' tall which unfortunately was too late in the season for the beans to mature. Oh well, lesson learned. :rolleyes:
 

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Explain companion planting.:confused:
 

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From what I've read the Native Americans used this idea extensively.
Plant your corn and let it get about 12"-18" tall. Next plant the beans so they can use the corn stalks as a trellis as well as replace the nitrogen in the soil that the corn depletes. Plant pumpkin in the corn rows about the same time you do the beans. Pumpkins are low growing plants with large leaves. The shade created by the pumpkin plants discourage weed growth and help retain soil moisture.
 

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Also plants can benefit from growing others with them. I don’t remember the whole list but for example: peas fix nitrogen in the soil so any nitrogen loving plant would benefit from having peas grown with them or them planted as a succession crop after peas were grown in a spot. (just saw where UncleJoe already mentioned this!) I use a few and remember the book on it, Carrots love Tomatoes. I grow carrots around tomato plants. Spinach gets planted in the bean rows after they are about a foot tall. They help to shade the spinach from the late spring/summer sun and the spinach helps keep the weeds down.

For natural pest control, marigolds repel lots of vegetable eating pests, nasturtiums do also. These flowers mixed in with the vegetables also help to attract bees and beneficial insects (insects that eat bad insects).

Keep an eye out for good insects too in your travels! If you can catch a praying mantis try and make it a good home in your garden, they eat tons of bugs and are fun to watch. Garden snakes or green snakes make good pest control pets. Inverted flower pots with a ‘door’ knocked out of them make a great home for toads. I make rock caves for my toads and cover them with a few inches of soil to help keep them cool, it can get brutally hot in the summers here.

I consider all of this companion gardening. Everything helping the others out!
 

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For natural pest control, marigolds repel lots of vegetable eating pests, nasturtiums do also. These flowers mixed in with the vegetables also help to attract bees and beneficial insects (insects that eat bad insects).
I have marigolds all through the garden. They don't seem to deter the potato bugs though.

If you can catch a praying mantis try and make it a good home in your garden, they eat tons of bugs and are fun to watch. !
I do this every time I find one. They're fascinating to watch!

This year I'm going to make a small access hole in the fence for the chickens to get in the garden once the plants are established. Chickens just LOVE bugs. If they start doing too much damage I'll close it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I deter the potato bugs with onions. Just plant a few on each side of the potato hill. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks never heard of that one, will give her a try this year.
I found it in an old garden book. (I love old books:D) To start out I only plant the onions on one side of the row, then after I hill the potatoes I
add a few more on the other side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
:bump:

Marigolds & herbs planted in and around the garden to help with pest.
 

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Thanks for the bump - didn't see this before. :)

Working on companion planting here. Over winter I checked out Carrots Love Tomatoes from the library and made a chart for the plants that we grow. The chart gets added to and refined whenever I find more info (there's a lot on the internet, also in the book Gardening at a Glance, which was recommended by Kejmack here on this forum). It's funny compiling the info because sometimes the sources conflict with each other.

We've got sunflowers around our corn (for Japanese beetles), and borage with potatoes (for hornworms) and hyssop under the grapes (although I can't remember why anymore :eek: ), and basil with the tomatoes (for flavor). We're keeping the beans away from the sunflowers, and other plants away from each other. It gets tricky keeping the plants that play nice with each other near each other, while at the same time keeping 'non-friends' away from each other. Oh, and lavender interspersed everywhere for general bug control (and because it smells so great! :D)

Definitely have a lot to learn here, this is our second garden and first year with companion planting. We're also trying to keep a notebook of noticing nature/weather things, like when different plants start blooming, when certain birds return, etc. - that way we hope to see patterns so we know when to time activities based on nature (i.e. when the forsythia starts to bloom it's time to (fill in the blank - that's the part we haven't figured out yet, lol).
 

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I tried the 3 sisters.
Nothing would grow under my corn as there wasn't enough sun.
Tried the same thing with sunflowers instead of corn. Again nothing would grow in the limited sunlight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I tried the 3 sisters.
Nothing would grow under my corn as there wasn't enough sun.
Tried the same thing with sunflowers instead of corn. Again nothing would grow in the limited sunlight.
If I can ask ... how did you plant it ... Did you do ol style traditional garden rows or mounds?
 

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I posted in the thread about natural pesticides regarding the three sisters. I love companion gardening and the three sisters do really well. I too like Andi want to know how you are planting your three sisters. I do large mounds of dirt putting the corn on the top of the mound then cukes or beans or peas around them then along the base squashes.
Oh..as i posted in the pesticide thread i learned that racoons which we have alot of them here that eat the corn, they hate cukes especially the prickly vine so i mostly plant cukes with my corn. Actually I alternate like.. one mound has cukes, next mound beans, next mound cukes and so forth. seems to work as my neighbors have trouble with ***** but so far I don't! lol sweet
 

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If I can ask ... how did you plant it ... Did you do ol style traditional garden rows or mounds?
I planted in rows in a raised bed.
That probably caused my problems as the corn and sunflowers grew so thick and fast.
The field corn and sunflowers are well over 8' tall and even the popcorn is about 6' tall.

I plant in raised beds and aquaponics only. Don't like the weeding and slow growth from plants in the ground.
 
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