Be Nice to Me & I Will Be Nice To You

Plant your seeds four in a row;
one for the pheasant and one for the crow,
one to rot and one to grow.

Planting Seeds

Seeds Planted

Ok.  So according to this old wives tale, I need to plant four seeds and hopefully one will actually grow.  If they all manage to survive I guess I can pull up the weakest ones, or put them in a pot and give them to friends of neighbours!

Our weather is very variable in Sussex at the moment.  I noted last week that we had some warm weather.  Unfortunately this week has mostly been cold with very heavy rain (even hail) and high winds.  Just the worse possible weather you can imagine.  Not very conducive  to getting out into the vegetable garden.  Today had dawned a little brighter and I actually hung the washing outside.  Tempting fate I know!

I couldn’t dilly-dally any longer and I have finally planted my seeds.  I put some in little seedling pots with some seedling soil I purchased from our local garden centre.  I mixed in a little bit of compost from the compost bin.  Not too sure if that is a good idea but I wanted to get them off to the best start possible.  As my title this week states – be nice to your seedlings and they will be nice to you!

The others I have sewn directly into the ground.  I was very generous with the seeds (even more so than our rhyme above recommends) as I wrote in my post here, most of the seeds are given to me and are a season or so old.  Not sure how many will germinate.

In pots I have planted courgette, cucumber, tomatoes, ‘Burgess Buttercup Winter Squash’, ‘Cherokee Trail of Tears’ – a climbing french bean, ‘Minidor’ a yellow dearf french bean, ‘Cupidon’ dwarf filet type french bean, ‘Serpette Guilloteau’ climbing pea.  As well as ‘Telephone’ tall climbing pea.   All the named varieties are given by a neighbour and are from The Real Seed Catalogue company.  Looking forward to seeing how they perform.

In the ground I have planted parsley, lettuce, radish, carrot, beetroot and Mibuna greens.  I have layed out the vegetable patch to my planting plan which I posted here.

I know it seems like an awful lot, but I have not planted loads of pots as I don’t want to overcrowd the plants of overwhelm myself!

**Make sure you leave a comment and let me know how you are getting on in your vegetable garden.**

Simone.

© Simone L Woods 2012

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Companion Planting In The Vegetable Garden

Companion Planting with Herbs

Companion Planting with Herbs

I have done some research in the last week regarding the old wives tale quote in last week’s post;

Always grow some herbs outside the herb garden.

Having no idea why, I did some reading and discovered the reason:  many herbs attract beneficial insects or repel harmful insects to the vegetable garden.

Additionally, some plants get along well together whilst other plants don’t.  So to encourage the best growth etc, it is advisable to plant crops that like each other, near each other.

This I find wonderfully exciting.  It opens up the idea that the vegetable garden can be an ornamental as well as functional place.  For example, the planting of rosemary, pot marigolds, thyme or oregano around certain vegetables, not only benefits their growth, but will look absolutely lovely as well.  Bonus!

After reading through tables and tables and many different lists of the different herbs that plant well with vegetables, I put together the following list.  This is based on what I will have in my vegetable garden, (more on my 2012 planting scheme next week) what I would be able to use in the kitchen, and what I think will look nice.

My Herbal Companion Planting List for 2012

  • Pot Marigolds.  These seem to benefit many vegetables by naturally secreting an insect repellant.  They also produce a root secretion that destroys root-eating nematodes and attract Hoverflies whose larvae feed on Aphids.  Definitely my number 1 companion plant.
  • Sage.  Grow with carrots or plants in the cabbage family to deter pests. Both have strong scents that drive away each other’s pests.
  • Parsley.  Attracts bees and protects beans and carrots.
  • Mint.  The strong smell confuse pests of carrots, tomatoes, alliums and brassicas, and deter flea beetles. But it is recommended you grow it in a pot, or it could smother your crop.
  • And finally, Yarrow – encourages growth in plants and stores phosphorous, calcium and silica, which can benefit homemade compost when plants are added to the heap. It attracts many beneficial insects such as hoverflies and ladybirds.

So it is off to the garden centre to buy some herb seeds or seedlings.  Also, I already have rosemary and thyme in my borders.  I will try taking some cuttings and seeing if I can get them to ‘take’ as the experts say.  I will let you know how I get on!

Link to some great books on companion planting.

Simone.

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