Monday, April 26, 2010

Reaping more for what you Sow!
In our garden, I have had no success in planting corn. I do not think that it is the area, since my neighbors successfully had planted corn before they rebuilt their home.  We did a pH test to check to see if our soil is sweet or sour for growing.  Thankfully, we have been blessed with a neutral soil, pH = 7.3.  So we are thinking that soil just needs more nutrients.

Well, with all this RESTING!  I have been watching a lot of gardening shows, especially the Victory Garden.  One thing I do love is all of the focus on Organic gardening, by using natural processes to grow successfully.  I like the idea of organic garden, because I am not all that thrilled about spending money to make my garden grow.  In my previous garden, I had industrial compost brought in, unfortunately, it was filled with broken glass.

In my “research”, I learned about pairing or “companion” plants together to help each other.  For example, corn and green beans are really good together, because green beans like to store nitrogen in the soil and corn really want that nitrogen.  I am not going to get into all the science in this, but I did find this awesome chart.

Table 1. COMPANION PLANTING CHART FOR HOME & MARKET GARDENING (compiled from traditional literature on companion planting)
Asparagus Tomato, Parsley, Basil  
Beans Most Vegetables & Herbs  
Beans, Bush Irish Potato, Cucumber, Corn, Strawberry, Celery, Summer Savory Onion
Beans, Pole Corn, Summer Savory, Radish Onion, Beets, Kohlrabi, Sunflower
Cabbage Family Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Beets, Onion Family, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard Dill, Strawberries, Pole Beans, Tomato
Carrots English Pea, Lettuce, Rosemary, Onion Family, Sage, Tomato Dill
Celery Onion & Cabbage Families, Tomato, Bush Beans, Nasturtium  
Corn Irish Potato, Beans, English Pea, Pumpkin, Cucumber, Squash Tomato
Cucumber Beans, Corn, English Pea, Sunflowers, Radish Irish Potato, Aromatic Herbs
Eggplant Beans, Marigold  
Lettuce Carrot, Radish, Strawberry, Cucumber  
Onion Family Beets, Carrot, Lettuce, Cabbage Family, Summer Savory Beans, English Peas
Parsley Tomato, Asparagus  
Pea, English Carrots, Radish, Turnip, Cucumber, Corn, Beans Onion Family, Gladiolus, Irish Potato
Potato, Irish Beans, Corn, Cabbage Family, Marigolds, Horseradish Pumpkin, Squash, Tomato, Cucumber, Sunflower
Pumpkins Corn, Marigold Irish Potato
Radish English Pea, Nasturtium, Lettuce, Cucumber Hyssop
Spinach Strawberry, Faba Bean  
Squash Nasturtium, Corn, Marigold Irish Potato
Tomato Onion Family, Nasturtium, Marigold, Asparagus, Carrot, Parsley, Cucumber Irish Potato, Fennel, Cabbage Family
Turnip English Pea Irish Potato

So I planted 2 rows of a mix of corn and green beans and one with spaghetti squash.  Now I used bush green beans and not pole green beans.  This is mostly from my days of FFA, when my favorite high school teacher, Mr. Lynn, would plant the bush green beans with the corn.  SO the bush will grow like a bush and the poles will grow up a pole.  So simple, it is often over looked.  Now this is also something you can try in a large pot, if you are not about to till up your yard. 


I also found some great resources for pest control. My carrots got invaded by ants that made it very painful at times to harvest and clean.  I did not want to put the ant killer on it, because all I could think of was that I would poison my family when we ate the carrots.  I just found this website:

Here is a table on some of my common problems.

Ants Borax mixed with peanut butter or something sweet, such as honey. the ants eat it and take it back to their nest to share with other ants, hopefully poisoning all in the nest.
  Boiling water can then be poured on as many ants as you can reach (as long as it's safe and away from plants). Boiling water can of course be poured down an ant nest to kill the queen — if you are lucky enough to find an easy to reach nest, but usually they are very deep and constructed to stop rain and flooded water going in.
Aphids Pour boiling water over crushed rhubarb leaves then leave to soak for several days. Strain, add a good squirt of detergent and dilute enough so that it looks like weak tea and spray over pest infested plants. Repeat every 10 days or so. Rhubarb leaves are semi-poisonous to us, and a tea brewed from rhubarb leaves poisons smaller critters, such as aphids, mites, white fly, caterpillars etc
Snails Beer in a shallow pan in the garden to trap snails and slugs overnight. Vinegar in a shallow pan will do the same thing.  
  Put a band of fine sand about 1cm (1/4") high around the garden edge or base of plants Snails dislike sand, which they do not like to cross.


garden pest control mixtures consists of and how they work:

  • Smell: Garlic, tobacco, rhubarb, fish and other strong smelling substances that are used to repel pests.
  • Gases and odor molecules: Many plants give off natural odors or have volatile oils which some bugs find unpleasant. Often these odors or oils are a warning to bugs that the plant contains its own built in insecticide. Concoctions made from these plants will deter pests.
  • Heat or fumes: Chilies, kerosene, methylated spirits, salt etc, will burn, harm or kill pests.
  • Oil: Mineral oil, vegetable oils and proprietary oils, such as those made with cottonseed oil, will suffocate soft-bodied pests.
  • Soap: Natural vegetable based soaps or detergents are added to sprays in small amounts to make them stick to plants. Many insects dislike and are harmed by soap also.




Any faithful ladybugs you have are true beneficial insects and devour aphids, scale, mealybugs and other small soft-bodied insects. They soon clean up the aphids on a plant... if fact you can carefully move ladybugs around your garden if you wish. As long as they are well fed, they will stay true to you.

Parasite Wasps
These are tiny wasps quite unlike big yellow-striped bullies that sting. Parasitic wasps are divided into many species and the adults feed on nectar and pollen, therefore planting flowers near your vegetables encourages these little winged creatures.

The family of Chalcid wasps include Trichogramma which kill the eggs of the moth species Lepidoptera, such as codling moth and others which turn into ravenous caterpillar pests.

The bug information on the good and the bad ones, all came from  For extended information, please visit them.

So I am excited to see things grow.  Here is my favorite evening view.


This is an evening picture, so it is a bit blurry.  I am excited to have my summer squash in bloom.


happy sowing!


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