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Companion Planting

 

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Companion Planting
The processes whereby the plant kingdom works with you to create the garden.


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HERBS
Certain herbs and plants have a growth and positive effect on each other---another good reason for planting herbs in the garden.

Some herbs repel and confuse pests--others attract predators, which help naturally to keep the pest population under control--for e.g. wilde dagga, [leonotus leonurus], Katstertjie [bulbine fructesens] and honeysuckle [lonicera periclymenum] attract small birds, which feed on larvae, and lavender repels moths.

Another way of enhancing plant growth in the garden is to plant physically complementary plants together--e.g. corn and peas--the corn supports the peas and the peas fix nitrogen in the soil.

FERTILISING

Use organic fertilizer or compost, it enhances the soil whereas chemical fertilizer has a negative effect on the soil.

Some vegetables when left to go to seed repel weeds and their root system aerates the soil e.g.-radish, mustard and cabbage.



little flower in the bush
Click here to look at the companion planting charts

CROP ROTATION
Planting the same crops in the same
area for years can increase the likelihood of disease.
Overcome this by continual crop rotation and permanent beds of
herbs.
The medical uses of the herb are not only for the benefit of man but for the plant kingdom too.

jumping herb

lavender meditation spiral

Beauty baffles Pests

MINI ECOSYSTEMS
Have a small area, which grows wild; not disturbed by the imposed yearly changes you do in the garden.
A stabilized mini ecosystem can harbor predators which help keep pests under control. Plant some rocks in the garden, which harbor predators and conserve water.
Watch your house pets-for instance the cat can destroy butterflies and birds, which normally prey on garden pests.
In getting the plants to help you garden it is usef


Click here to look at the companion planting charts

MULCHING
Holds water and create humus. Herbs like comfrey lose their leaves in winter and make wonderful mulching material.

Other nitrogenous mulching materials are Lucerne, Port Jackson leaves, peas, beans and sweet peas.

Untreated Wood shavings and bark conserve water and minimize weeding.

The following have been gleaned from folklore and from personal experience.
I have found that planting a profusion of aromatic herbs both as borders and interspersed between the plants, I have had good insect free crops.

What grows well one season may be pested out the next due to weather, altered reproductive cycles, polution and other reasons.

SNAILS AND SLUGS

I find that when I plant a mini hedge of katstertjie [ bulbine fructesens] or wild garlic [tulbaghia violacia], snails tend to gravitate to that area and come out in the evening to congregate. The leaves are longish and spiky and quite fat and the snails seem to like that bushy space they make .the plants grow thickly and the cool is snail land.

This is not ideal but it keeps the snails from going into the tender areas of the garden. Snails are notoriously fond of beer. Put out some beer in a tin at soil level, they usually drink thereof and getting drunk --fall in and drown---not exactly the Buddhist way.

I believe oak mulch helps to keep them away, never tried it myself though...

Salt has an immediate effect on snails but you have to hit your target---try not to spill much salt in the growing area.

Keep in touch at herbs@herbsorganic.co.za

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