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June, 2009

  1. Photos From the Vegetable Garden

    June 17, 2009 by Jocelyn

    The strawberry plant was already in my garden plot from last year. Lucky me! The second photo is a picture of my cabbage, cucumber, and beans. And lastly are my tiny tomato and pepper plants.


    As you can see, vegetable gardening is slow going in Norther Minnesota. I’ll post more pictures within a few weeks and hopefully the plants will all be much bigger!
    Strawberry Plant

    Cabbage and Beans

    Tomatoes and Peppers

  2. Companion Planting in the Vegetable Garden

    June 6, 2009 by Jocelyn

    Last year my garden neighbor had a beautiful garden with flowers, herbs and veggies all mixed together.  It got me thinking, and this year I’m doing some research on companion planting.

    As it turns out, certain vegetables will do better or worse depending on what plants are growing around it.  It makes sense when you think about it.  Certain plants take more of different nutrients, or even attract or repel pests.

    For instance, basil is a great companion for tomatoes and peppers, as they help improve growth and flavor.  Basil is also known to repel flies and mosquitoes (not particularly beneficial for the plants, but nice for us!)  Another combination that I’m going to try is planting dill and radishes near my cucumbers. Radishes are supposed to repel cucumber beetles, and dill supposedly helps attract “beneficial predators.”  I’m hoping this will work because last year my cukes didn’t fare too well against the pests.

    Here are the charts I used from Tinker’s Gardens:

    Vegetable Companion Planting Chart

    Plant Good Companions Bad Companions
    Basil Pepper, Tomato, Marigold
    Bush Beans Beets, Cabbage, Carrots,
    Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Corn,
    Cucumbers, Eggplant, Leek, Lettuce, Parsnip,
    Pea, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Strawberry,
    Savory, Sunflower, Tansy, Marigold
    Basil, Fennel, Kohlrabi, Onion
    Pole Beans Carrots, Cauliflower,
    Chard, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant, Lettuce,
    Marigold, Pea, Potato, Radish, Rosemary, Savory,
    Strawberry, Tansy
    Basil, Beets, Cabbage, Fennel,
    Kohlrabi, Onion, Radish, Sunflower
    Beets Bush Beans, Cabbage family,
    Lettuce, Lima Bean, Onion, Radish, Sage
    Mustard, Pole Bean
    Cabbage Family Bush Beans, Beets, Carrot,
    Celery, Cucumber, Dill, Lettuce, Mint,
    Nasturtium, Onions, Rosemary, Sage, Spinach,
    Thyme, All Strong Herbs, Marigold, Nasturtium
    Pole Bean, Strawberry, Tomato
    Carrots Beans, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage,
    Chives, Lettuce, Leek, Onion, Peas, Radish,
    Rosemary, Sage, Tomato
    Celery, Dill, Parsnip
    Celery Almost everything except
    —> —> —> —>
    Carrot, Parsley, Parsnip
    Corn All Beans, Beets, Cabbage,
    Cantaloupe, Cucumber, Melons, Parsley, Peas,
    Early Potatoes, Pumpkin, Squash
    Cucumbers Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Cabbage
    family, Corn, Dill, Eggplant, Lettuce, Marigold,
    Nasturtium,  Onions, Peas, Radish, Tomato,
    Savory, Sunflower, No Strong Herbs
    Eggplant Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Peas,
    Peppers, Potato, Spinach
    Lettuce Everything, but especially
    Carrots, Garlic, Onion and Radish
    — none —
    Melon Corn, Nasturtium, Radish Potato
    Onion Beets, Cabbage family, Carrots,
    Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce, Parsnip, Pepper,
    Spinach, Squash, Strawberries, Tomato, Turnip,
    Asparagus, Beans, Peas, Sage
    Parsley Tomato — none —
    Peas Bush Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots,
    Celery, Chicory, Corn Cucumber, Eggplant,
    Parsley, Early Potato, Radish, Spinach,
    Strawberry, Sweet pepper, Turnips
    Onion, Late Potato
    Potato Bush bean, Cabbage family,
    Carrot, Corn, Horseradish, Marigold, Onion,
    Parsnip, Peas
    Cucumber, Kohlrabi, Parsnip,
    Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Squash family, Sunflower,
    Turnip, Fennel,
    Radish Beet, Bush Beans, Pole Beans,
    Carrots, Cucumber, Lettuce, Melons, Nasturtium,
    Parsnip, Peas, Spinach, Squash family
    Spinach Celeriac, Celery, Corn, Eggplant,
    Squash Corn, Onion, Radish
    Strawberry Bush Beans, Lettuce, Nasturtium,
    Onion, Radish, Spinach
    Cabbage, Potato
    Tomato Asparagus, Basil, Bean, Cabbage
    family, Carrots, Celery, Chive, Cucumber,
    Garlic, Head lettuce, Marigold, Mint,
    Nasturtium, Onion, Parsley, Pepper, Marigold
    Pole beans, Corn Dill, Fennel,

    Herb Companion Chart

    Herb Companions Bad Companions
    Pests Repelled
    Basil Tomatoes Rue Flies, Mosquitoes
    Borage Tomatoes, Squash, Strawberries Tomato Worm
    Caraway Loosens soil. Dill
    Catnip Eggplant Flea Beetle, Ants
    Chamomile Cabbage, Onion
    Coriander Aphids
    Chervil Radish
    Chives Carrots
    Dead Nettle Potatoes Potato Bug
    Dill Cabbage Caraway Carrots
    Fennel Most plants dislike
    Feverfew Roses attracts aphids away other plants
    Flax Carrots, Potatoes Potato Bug
    Garlic Roses, Raspberries Japanese Beetle, Aphids
    Horseradish Potatoes Potato Bug
    Henbit Insect Repellent
    Hyssop Cabbage, Grapes Radishes Cabbage Moth
    Lavender Southernwood, rosemary, wormwood
    Moths –
    Marigolds Plant everywhere in garden Mexican Bean Beetles, Nematodes,
    Mint Cabbage, Tomatoes Cabbage Moth, aphids, flea beetles
    Nasturtium Radishes, Cabbage, Cucurbits, fruit
    Aphids, Squash Bugs, Striped Pumpkin
    Pennyroyal Roses Flies, Mosquitoes, Fleas, others
    Petunia Beans
    Pot Marigold Tomatoes Tomato Worm, Asparagus Beetles,
    Pyrethrums Dried flower, repels insects
    Rosemary Cabbage, Beans Carrots, Sage Cabbage Moth, Bean Beetle, Carrot Fly
    Rue Roses and Raspberries Sweet Basil Japanese Beetles
    Sage Rosemary, Cabbage, Carrots Cucumbers Cabbage Moth, Carrot Fly, Flea
    Beetle, Slugs
    Southernwood Cabbages Cabbage Moth
    Sow Thistle Tomatoes, Onion, CornPlant sparsely


    Summer Savory Beans Bean Beetles
    Tansy Fruit Trees, Roses, Raspberries Flying Insects, Japanese Beetles,
    Striped Cucumber Beetles, Squash Bugs, Ants, Flies
    Thyme Cabbage Cabbage Worm
    Wormwood Plant as a border to repel animals
    Yarrow Plant near aromatic herbs, enhance
    essential oils.

    *Data courtesy of  The Texas Agricultural Extension Service.

    After a bit of puzzling, here is the chart I devised for my garden.  (click to see the larger version)


    This is my rough draft, and I may end up changing things a bit as I go.  I just put my tomatoes and peppers in the ground on Wednesday, and have also planted some onion sets, lettuce, basil, and bean seeds.  Hopefully our cold weather won’t persist for too long so my plants will finally have good growing conditions!

  3. My First Landscaping Design

    June 3, 2009 by Jocelyn

    I just got done moving into a new house, and wanted to show you what I had done to the gardens in my last house. The landlord was fine with paying for all of my gardening supplies, which is understandable since I was increasing the curb appeal of his home.


    Here is a before (more like middle) photo of the back yard garden. There actually wasn’t even a garden there at all when we moved in. I had our landlord come over and cut the branches of that pine tree up to about 4 feet so I could put in a nice shade garden.  I framed it and added a bunch of dirt and perennials.  I used hostas and a bleeding heart, both of which are shade lovers.


    And here is the after photo of the backyard garden.  Every plant came back this spring, even though I neglected to cover them last fall.  I pulled all the weeds out, added weed liner, and some brown organic mulch.  Viola!  I think they look pretty nice!  It’s just too bad that I won’t be able to live there when they are at their peak.  I guess I’ll just have to be a creeper and drive by to look at them.

    It’s so nice that even the simplest outdoor landscaping projects like these can make such a big difference in the look and feel of your yard.  Putting these gardens in was surprisingly easy, but I think that they really added a lot to the house.

    Now that it’s finally warming up here, I’m on to finishing my containers and my vegetable garden!  I’ll keep everyone updated!