Friday, September 11, 2009

Save Money by Planting Vegetable Gardens

LégumesImage via Wikipedia

Save Money by Planting Vegetable Gardens

Instead of setting up a swimming pool or a Zen garden in your backyard, why not plant vegetables instead? Planting vegetable gardens is a great way to spend a quiet time de-stressing while getting in touch with nature. Having a steady supply of vegetables will also lessen food expenses and improve the health of your loved ones.

Money-saving strategy
It’s not easy to ignore the soaring prices of food items these days, including vegetables. Although your backyard may be small and your vegetable garden may not provide all that you need, it will have a dramatic effect in reducing your food bill. Imagine not having to run to the grocery store to buy some of the ingredients for your cooking. Some of the most common vegetables that you need are already right there in your very own backyard. Depending on the kind of vegetables you plant and your methods of preserving them, the economical benefits you get from your vegetable garden may be felt all year round.

You may also think that your kids will likely to eat less each time your serve them vegetables. It is obvious that kids would prefer to eat burgers, hotdogs and others. However, there are several cookbooks available in bookstores that can show you a variety of vegetable meals to prepare that are appetizing even for the kids. When what you serve on the table does not look and taste boring, your kids will surely dig it.

More nutritious meals
With a variety of vegetables practically ready to pick right in your backyard, you will find it more pleasing to cook and serve vegetable dishes to your family. This means that everybody will get to enjoy the numerous health benefits of eating fresh produce, since vegetables are packed with tons of nutrients. Aside from the fact that they are low in fats and calories, and contain no cholesterol, you will also get a steady source of the following:

• Dietary fiber - This is important for normal bowel movement and good for your entire digestive tract. Dietary fiber is also known to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the body, lower the risk of heart diseases, as well as fight off certain forms of cancers. If you are on a diet, you will also feel much fuller faster. Some vegetables rich in dietary fiber are peas, carrots, cabbage and spinach.

• Potassium - This is necessary for keeping blood pressure at a normal level. It is also important in keeping the brain, muscles and other tissues in the body functioning normally. Vegetables that are loaded with potassium include potatoes, squash, tomato, eggplant and celery.

• Vitamins A, B and C – Vitamin A is great for the eyes and skin. Vitamin C is necessary to maintain healthy connective tissues and is known to boost the immune system. Vitamin B is important for extracting the energy in the carbohydrates in several food sources. Carrots, asparagus, broccoli and green pepper are rich in Vitamin A. Broccoli, peas and beans are a great source of vitamin B. Your dose of vitamin C is supplied by red cabbage, kale, parsley and turnip.

Other vitamins and minerals you can get from vegetables include calcium, phosphorous, sodium, magnesium, iron, niacin, folate, zinc and manganese.

Save money and help your kids stay in the pink of health through planting vegetable gardens. Plus you get that sense of pride each time your family enjoys the meal on the table, whose vegetable ingredients you cultivated yourself in your backyard.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, August 31, 2009

Planting Vegetable Gardens for Stress Relief 3

Composite image to illustrate the diversity of...Image via Wikipedia

Surrounded with life

Being surrounded with plants alone is both invigorating and encouraging. Days and days spent indoors and at the workplace prevent us from getting in touch with nature, thus we tend to have limited means to appreciate everything that’s grand and beautiful in life. Picture yourself being surrounded with plants that teem with life and growth, and their edible parts improve the appetite and nourish the body with essential vitamins and minerals.

Having your on little piece of nature can help you get rid of stress. The sight of your vegetable garden alone gets rid of stress by giving you that rewarding feeling, knowing you raised those healthy plants with your own hands. Raking, digging, weeding, pruning and harvesting – all these activities done while planting vegetable gardens provide a constructive outlet for all the tensions that the body amassed during a week of stressful work.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Planting Vegetable Gardens for Stress Relief 2

Relishing the sunlight

Getting enough sunlight while tending your vegetable garden alone will already significantly improve your mood. It’s also a great and productive way to have enough vitamin D, which is necessary for proper absorption of calcium in your body. Try to picture some of the happiest moments of your childhood; it is without a doubt that most of them were spent under the nourishing radiance of the sun.

Hours spent at the office means exposure to unnatural light. Not that it is bad to be exposed to light coming from incandescent bulbs, but the lack of being exposed to natural light of the sun is. For sure those skyscrapers are blocking out the sunlight from directly hitting your skin even as you walk to work in the morning.

Attending to the needs of your vegetable garden in the backyard is a great opportunity to get enough sunlight. However, it is best if you forgo gardening from 11 am to 3 pm as the sun within this time frame is most likely to cause you irreversible skin damage and cancer.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Friday, August 28, 2009

Planting Vegetable Gardens for Stress Relief

Garden in May 09Image by Sbocaj via Flickr

Planting Vegetable Gardens for Stress Relief

More than letting you reduce the sum of money allocated for food, there is another very beneficial effect of planting vegetable gardens that will really give your health a great deal of favor: stress relief.

We all know how stress wreaks havoc to our overall health. Aside from the more obvious fact that stress takes out joy and serenity in our lives, it is also the root of many illnesses known to man. The negative effects of stress in our lives can and will bring several problems such as: heart diseases, depression, migraine, eating disorders and many others. Having your own garden in the backyard is an easy and highly accessible method of stress relief. Since a vegetable garden is fairly easier to look after than one with ornamental plants, you know that working on your garden does not simply create additional stresses.

The weekends are perfect to unwind and make up for stressful hours during a week-long of taxing hours spent at the workplace. Different people have different ways of getting rid of stress. Imagine if you have a vegetable garden in your backyard; just don your gardening attire, step out and you can immediately get in touch with nature and put behind you the stresses of life. Now compare that to a weekend at the beach. Just the long hours of travel, heavy traffic, and the additional expenses for gas and accommodation will only add to your already stressful life.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Preparing the Soil

Loess field in GermanyImage via Wikipedia

Preparing the Soil

A very important aspect of planting vegetable gardens is preparing the soil. It doesn't matter whether you plan to raise vegetables in a small plot of land or in a plant box. Soil preparation is an essential step. Soil can be categorized as sandy or clay-like, with silt being a fine mixture of both sand and clay. Clay particles in sand help retain water longer as well as make the soil absorb water faster. Sandy particles in soil makes the water flow through it easily and lets the air in so that the roots can breathe.

Recently I had a friend who's tomato plant leaves looked like they were shriveling up and he could not figure out why. When I looked at them, it was clear that his plants were suffocating and needed oxygen. His soil needed some sand worked in to allow proper drainage and oxygen.

The best way to go when preparing the soil for your vegetable garden is to make the soil a good balance of clay, silt, and sand. Ideally, it should be 40% silt, 40% sand, and 20% clay. To test it, you can scoop up soil and form it into a ball using your hand. It should not be too hard as to not crumble when you poke at it, but it should also be sticky enough that it retains its shape even if you don't press it too hard with your hands.

Planting vegetable gardens require a lot of patience. You have to find what works for you, and experiment on getting the right type of soil for the right type of vegetables. All the hard work will be worth it, though, once you experience eating something that grew from a garden that you planted yourself.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Planting Styles

"Siphoneae" from Ernst Haeckel's Kun...Image via Wikipedia

Planting Styles

The more traditional way of planting vegetables is laying them out in straight, organized lines. Some people prefer to plant alternating rows of different types of vegetables so that when one type of vegetable is about to be harvested, the rows in between them have vegetables that are not yet in season. The soil structure quickly becomes ruined because gardeners have to walk between rows, though.

A popular way of planting vegetable these days is planting them in beds rather than the traditional rows. The beds have to be small enough in size so that you can reach into it and pull out the weeds that will grow among your plants. Beds can also be raised a bit higher off the ground so that the heat will be kept inside longer during cold weather. It also makes for a good drainage system around the beds.

Another planting style that is popular is potager which combines vegetables with flowers and herbs and are planted in a way that is aesthetically pleasing.

For people who have constrained living spaces (especially those who live in the city), vegetables and herbs can grow in smaller plant boxes and containers. Vegetables will need a lot of sunlight and open spaces. If you want to reap a lot of vegetables, you should invest in bigger real estate.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Building Vegetable Garden Structures

A trellis for plantsImage via Wikipedia

Building Vegetable Garden Structures

Building some decorative arches and some tomato cages not only makes your garden look good but also helps it produce more crops. After all, there is more to planting vegetable gardens than just cultivating a spot of land.

Function Over Form
The most well known form garden structures are those that are built to sustain plants and give them the room to climb, hold up the weight of its fruits and other plants as well.

Building cages and poles lets you have a vertical garden which boosts your produce per square foot since you’ll have more space to plant in the ground.

Vegetables like cucumbers, peas, peppers and eggplants need lots of garden support. Carrying these vegetables above ground not only will produce better crop it also protects it from insects found in the soil. Plus, the fruits will be less likely to rot if planted this way. Building other support structures like stakes and cages will help in making your plants grow stronger and taller.

Choose Your Structure
If you plan to shop for things for your garden online or in a garden store, you’ll notice how many choices there are when it comes to garden structures. Garden structures may vary especially in terms of form and function because they not only are supportive of plants but also make your garden look good. The best kind of garden structure is not only beautiful, but also enhances the health of the vegetables planted there.

Form over Function
There are so many options when it comes to building your vegetable garden especially if you’re purpose is purely aesthetic. You can build ornaments like arches, trellises or archways to beautify your garden. You can even build walls or doorways to surround your garden for a more visual appeal.

For gardens like these, you can decorate them with plants aside from vegetables. You can plant beautiful flowers to cover your trellis but choose flowers that are sun friendly and attract helpful insects.

An example is trumpet flowers, which are not only beautiful but they attract bees for your vegetable garden. Since you also want to attract helpful creatures, you can build a bird bath or a bird house in your garden. If you’re particularly into organic gardening, the birds can certainly help eliminate pests

As long as you keep your garden attractive to birds and other helpful insects, they will spend a lot of time in your garden and repay you by eating away harmful pests.

Supporting Your Plants
Plant supports are essential garden structures which is why it’s necessary to use them in the proper way to maximize results. This does not mean building stakes or cages and leave the plant to grow on its own.

There are other materials like plant ties, jute cords or twines which you can use to tie up your plant to the cages or poles, just don’t tie them too tight.

Another great support when it comes to planting vegetables gardens are stakes. Make sure to drive them properly into the ground and space them a little further from your main plant to avoid hitting its roots.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Monday, August 24, 2009

Advantages of Planting Vegetable Gardens 4

A plantation of Douglas-fir in Washington, U.S.Image via Wikipedia

Help save the environment

Society wants to talk about going "green", well I can't think of a better way than to grow a garden. If commercially grown vegetables receive little demand from consumers, then commercial farmers will find no reason to expand their plantations. So there’s no need to cut down rain forests and devastate habitats of wild animals. Also, if demand is lowered farmers will use less pesticide and other harmful chemicals that pollute our rivers and the rest of the environment. You might feel that you as a concerned citizen cannot contribute that much positive impact on the environment by planting vegetable gardens. But imagine the difference made if everyone planted vegetables in their own yard.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Advantages of Planting Vegetable Gardens 3

Unloading a truck-load of mulchy soil for gard...Image via Wikipedia

A great way to workout

If you got little or no time to go to the gym or health spa to workout, then let gardening provide your daily dose of exercise. Tending your vegetable garden for at least 30 minutes a day is a great way to burn those excess calories and lose weight. You are able to work several major muscle groups in the body, like the legs, arms, back, buttocks and many others. Gardening is also improves your flexibility each time you stretch to reach for weeds or bend to plant a seedling.

By the time your crops are ready for harvest, you will notice a change in your body, especially if you look after your garden on a regular basis. Unlike jogging, playing basketball and others, gardening has less impact on your joints. Gardening is best were vigorous exercises is not applicable, such as for people with high blood pressure, heart diseases, bone joint disorders and many others.



Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, August 21, 2009

Advantages of Planting Vegetable Gardens 2

Mom's Vegetable GardenImage by Chiot's Run via Flickr

Guaranteed no harmful chemicals

Chances are you might not fully know whether the vegetables you buy at the supermarket are free of pesticides. Some vendors claim that their vegetables are free from harmful chemicals. What about if the soil where those crops grew was exposed to pesticides before or they were planted next to crops sprayed with pesticides? Prolonged dietary exposure to pesticides is linked to various adverse reproductive and developmental effects, although there is little data to support this. Your children are at higher risk to the dangers of such chemicals on the vegetables they consume. Their bodies are not yet fully developed to properly metabolize or excrete such substances.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Advantages of Planting Vegetable Gardens 1

LégumesImage via Wikipedia

Advantages of Planting Vegetable Gardens

Is there a patch of land in your backyard that’s been left useless all this time? If you’re still undecided to what to make out of it, maybe it’s high time you consider planting vegetables in it. Read on to learn some of the advantages of planting vegetable gardens.

Yummier veggie treats
Many people attest that vegetables grown in their own backyard tastes much better than those bought at grocery stores. They remark how much flavorful their harvests are, whether used as ingredients in a fresh veggie salad or cooked dishes. Be it because of the extra amount of love and care these home-grown vegetables got or the person taking pride in growing crops in his or her backyard, or that they're vine ripened, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is what you serve on the table is fresh right off your vegetable garden and more scrumptious for every member of the family to enjoy. You are also assured that what you put on the table is fresh and free from harmful chemicals like preservatives.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Wheel Hoe

Raised bed of lettuce, tomatoes, 6 different t...Image via Wikipedia

The Wheel Hoe

With a wheel hoe, the work of preserving the soil mulch becomes very simple. If one has not a wheel hoe, for small areas very rapid work can be done with just a basic hoe.

Here are a few practical suggestions that will reduce this work to a minimum:

  1. Get at this work while the ground is soft; as soon as the soil begins to dry out after a rain is the best time. Under such conditions the weeds will pull out by the roots, without breaking off.
  2. Immediately before weeding, go over the rows with a wheel hoe, cutting shallow, but just as close as possible, leaving a narrow, plainly visible strip which must be hand- weeded. The best tool for this purpose is the double wheel hoe with disc attachment, or hoes for large plants.
  3. See to it that not only the weeds are pulled but that every inch of soil surface is broken up. It is fully as important that the weeds just sprouting be destroyed and that the larger ones be pulled up. One stroke will destroy a hundred weed seedlings in less time than one weed can be pulled out after it gets a good start.
  4. Use one of the small hand ones until you become skilled with it. Not only may more work be done but the fingers will be saved unnecessary wear.

The skillful use of the wheel hoe can be acquired through practice only. Make sure to watch the wheels only: the blades, disc or rakes will take care of themselves.

Now for the serious raised bed gardener who wants to save the back, a small tiller can make short work of all this. It will do everything the wheel hoe can do, but with power. It keeps the weeds down and breaks up the soil allowing for oxygen, nutrients and water to feed the plants. The key is that it needs to be small, not only to fit in between plants, but also for lifting into the raised beds. I’ve lifted full size tillers into raised beds before and it’s not easy or pretty.

When it comes to small tillers, every gardener knows that the Mantis is the best. It weighs only 20 pounds and works like a full size one. It has a money back guarantee and one of the best warranties in the industry. Besides, if I buy something, I always try to make sure it can be used for more than one purpose and the Mantis can be used not only at the beginning and end of the season, but all throughout. Plus, with all the attachments the Mantis can do a whole lot more.

And to sweeten the pot further, right now they’re having a special where I can get you FREE shipping and a BONUS 2 FREE attachments (you save $99). Click the Ad below for details.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

Deep Link - Mantis 2 Cycle Tiller 20% COMMISSION


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Secrets Behind A Successful Compost

Compost StructureImage by Mickki via Flickr

by Wayne Allen

Composting is a way of getting in touch with nature. Stay away from the chemically enhanced fertilizers at the stores. You can make your own fertilizer through a process known as composting. In the process you will probable have the opportunity to get down on your knees and get your hands a dirty, and nothing is dirtier than compost.

Compost is the process where biodegradable materials are turned into a soil like substance. The material is mixed with water, air, nitrogen in the proper proportions. The result is a compost material that will serve as a soil conditioner, mulch, and fertilizers. It will feed your garden soil the microorganism that plants need to grow strong and healthy.

When starting a compost program it is best to find a spot close to your garden, but some where concealed from plain site. When you show people your beautiful garden you do not want the first thing they see to be your compost heap. They are practical but not very pretty.

After you decide on a suitable area you will want to start the pile with green and brown organic materials. Green materials have lots of nitrogen while the brown material contain lots of carbon. These two elements form the basic foundation of a compost pile.

A properly formed compost pile will not give off any odors. When the ratio of green and brown materials are correct the pile will not emit any odors. Compost should have an earthy smell and not that of rotting material. If the latter is present then something may be in the pile that should not be there or the ratio of green and brown material is off.

Adding some finished compost to the mix helps to kick start the composting process. This will help start the microbial activities in a compost program.

Make sure that the pile is moist also. Keeping the compost pile damp will help to quicken the breakdown of the organic materials. Add water to the pile it should be damp like a sponge.

Producing compost is really a pretty simple matter. It just takes a little know how and a fair amount of time.

This guide to composting for beginners is meant to give you the facts you desire to begin composting. If you would like to learn more visit the Kitchen Composter Blog.


Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden Tools

Open secator - Secateur ouvertImage via Wikipedia

Garden Tools

Of the implements for harvesting, beside the spade, prong-hoe and spading- fork, very few are used in the small garden, as most of them need long rows to be economical.

The onion harvester attachment for the double wheel hoe, may be used with advantage in loosening onions, beets, turnips, etc., from the soil or for cutting spinach.

Running the hand- plow close on either side of carrots, parsnips and other deep-growing vegetables will aid in getting them out.

For fruit picking, with tall trees, the wire-fingered fruit-picker, secured to the end of a long handle, will be of great assistance, but with the modern method of using low-headed trees it will not be needed.

Another class of garden implements are those used in pruning but where this is attended to properly from the start, a good sharp knife and a pair of pruning shears will easily handle all the work.

Still another sort of garden device is that used for supporting the plants; such as stakes, trellises, wires, etc. Altogether too little attention usually is given these, as with proper care in storing over winter they will not only last for years, but add greatly to the convenience of cultivation and to the neat appearance of the garden.

Finally, for the home garden a standard power tiller is usually only used once or twice a year, so it’s not practical to purchase and maintain one, you should just rent. I have seen a group of families co-op one, but I’ve also seen where they all rent one and then split the rental fee. The only exception to this rule is the Mantis tiller, because of its small size it can be used year-round for such things as soil cultivation, etc… Therefore, for the gardener who wants a little help or power, because its lightweight and can be used year-round for weekly garden work, if you can afford it, it makes sense as a purchase.

As a final word to the intending purchaser of garden tools, I would say: first thoroughly investigate the different sorts available, and when buying, do not forget that a good tool or a well-made machine will give you satisfactory use long after the price is forgotten, while a poor one is a constant source of discomfort. Get good tools, and take good care of them.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

Mantis Tiller - with Free shipping


"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Organic Gardening - Cultivation

Organic Gardening - Cultivation
 
Before taking up the garden vegetables individually, I shall outline the general practice of cultivation, which applies to all.
 
The purposes of cultivation are three to get rid of weeds, and to stimulate growth by (1) letting air into the soil and freeing unavailable plant food, and (2) by conserving moisture.
 
As to weeds, the gardener of any experience need not be told the importance of keeping his crops clean. He has learned from bitter and costly experience the price of letting them get anything resembling a start.
 
He/she knows that one or two days' growth, after they are well up, followed perhaps by a day or so of rain, may easily double or triple the work of cleaning a patch of onions or carrots, and that where weeds have attained any size they cannot be taken out of sowed crops without doing a great deal of injury.
 
He/she also realizes, or should, that every day's growth means just so much available plant food stolen from under the very roots of his legitimate crops.
 
Instead of letting the weeds get away with any plant food, he should be furnishing more, for clean and frequent cultivation will not only break the soil up mechanically, but let in air, moisture and heat all essential in effecting those chemical changes necessary to convert non- available into available plant food.
 
Long before the science, the soil cultivators had learned by observation the necessity of keeping the soil nicely loosened about their growing crops. Plants need to breathe. Their roots need air. .
 
Important as the question of air is, that of water ranks beside it. You may not see at first what the matter of frequent cultivation has to do with water. But let us stop a moment and look into it. Take a strip of blotting paper, dip one end in water, and watch the moisture run up hill, soak up through the blotter.
 
The scientists have labeled that "capillary attraction" the water crawls up little invisible tubes formed by the texture of the blotter. Now take a similar piece, cut it across, hold the two cut edges firmly together, and try it again. The moisture refuses to cross the line: the connection has been severed.
 
In the same way the water stored in the soil after a rain begins at once to escape again into the atmosphere. That on the surface evaporates first, and that which has soaked in begins to soak in through the soil to the surface. It is leaving your garden, through the millions of soil tubes, just as surely as if you had a two-inch pipe and a gasoline engine, pumping it into the gutter night and day!
 
Save your garden by stopping the waste. It is the easiest thing in the world to do cut the pipe in two. By frequent cultivation of the surface soil not more than one or two inches deep for most small vegetables the soil tubes are kept broken, and a mulch of dust is maintained.
 
Try to get over every part of your garden, especially where it is not shaded, once in every ten days or two weeks. Does that seem like too much work? You can push your wheel hoe through, and thus keep the dust mulch as a constant protection, as fast as you can walk.
 
If you wait for the weeds, you will nearly have to crawl through, doing more or less harm by disturbing your growing plants, losing all the plant food (and they will take the cream) which they have consumed, and actually putting in more hours of infinitely more disagreeable work.
 
I hope you’re convinced by the facts given, to get a wheel hoe. The simplest sorts will not only save you an infinite amount of time and work, but do the work better, very much better than it can be done by hand.
 
You can grow good vegetables, especially if your garden is a very small one, without one of these labor-savers, but I can assure you that you will never regret the small investment necessary to procure it.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Monday, July 13, 2009

Organic Gardening Devices to Fight Plant Pests

Organic Gardening Devices to Fight Plant Pests

Here's a couple organic gardening devices and implements used for fighting plant pests.

The first and most useful is the covered frame. It consists usually of a wooden box, some eighteen inches to two feet square and about eight high, covered with glass, protecting cloth, mosquito netting or mosquito wire. You can also just create row covers or even just drape see through cloth over the beds.

This method also has the additional advantage of retaining heat and protecting from cold, making it possible by their use to plant earlier than is otherwise safe. They are used extensively in getting an extra early and safe start with cucumbers, melons and the other vine vegetables.

Simpler devices for protecting newly-set plants, such as tomatoes or cabbage, from the cut-worm, are stiff, tin, cardboard or tar paper collars, which are made several inches high and large enough to be put around the stem and penetrate an inch or so into the soil.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

No Backyard? Try Planting A Vegetable Garden Indoors!

No Backyard? Try Planting A Vegetable Garden Indoors!

Nothing beats the fresh wholesome taste of vegetables freshly picked from your own garden. Planting vegetable gardens can be a challenge if you don’t have a backyard, but you can still grow vegetables indoors. Just follow a few simple guidelines.

Choose Appropriate Vegetables
Different plants have different requirements and with indoor gardens the major restrictions tend to be available space and available light. If you want to grow fruit bearing plants, these will require large amounts of sunlight. Salad greens like lettuce, miniature cabbages, swiss chard, and spinach require less light and do quite well indoors.

The size of your pots will also determine your choice of plant, choose containers big enough for the plants full growth. Small root crops such as radishes and onions are great choices, and there are even small root carrots available. Herbs are a popular choice because they are compact and do not need much space. Miniature varieties of tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant can also thrive inside when given the proper care.

Find the Perfect Spot for Growing
As mentioned earlier, lighting is an important consideration for an indoor vegetable garden. A bright south-facing window is your best bet, but any spot that gets a minimum of 5 hours of continuous light can be used. In addition to natural light, you can set up supplemental artificial lighting if you are really serious about growing healthy plants.

Traffic flow is also another important factor to think about. Vegetables in general bruise easily so you want to choose fairly quiet spots so minimize accidental human contact. If you have small children or pets at home, you may want to locate your garden well out of their reach. It is also important to think about proximity to your gardening tools and easy clean-up if things get messy.

Optimize the Microclimate
Plants grow best in high humidity and moderate temperatures. Indoor gardens usually suffer from low humidity and this needs to be addressed. Container grown plants tend to dry out faster and will require more frequent watering.

However, it is important not to let the plants get waterlogged as this may cause root rot. Make sure that there is good drainage by raising pots with a pan of gravel underneath. Evaporation from these dishes also improves humidity so they serve a dual purpose.

Another great way optimize your microclimate is to group plants together. You can mix your vegetables with more decorative houseplants to create groupings that are not only beautiful but also functional. Temperature is actually easier to control inside the house, as it is easy to provide more shade by simply drawing the curtains. Just make sure plants are protected from drafts.

Get Good Potting Soil
Potting soil for indoor gardens should drain well and contain the nutrients required to support growth and development. You can purchase premixed potting soil that already incorporates the proper amount of fertilizer. If you prefer to go organic, you can get organic potting mixes from your local garden shop. Add nutrients with caution, as fertilizer buildup is quite common in containers.

Planting vegetable gardens indoors can be incredibly rewarding, so do not be afraid to give it a try.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

"Please notify me of any New Posts"

Enter your email address:


Delivered by FeedBurner

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Organic Pest Control

Organic Pest Control With Critters

As human illness may often be prevented by healthful conditions, so pests may be kept away by strict garden cleanliness. Heaps of waste are lodging places for the breeding of insects. I do not think a compost pile will do harm, but unkempt, uncared-for spots seem to invite trouble.

Now for the main goal of this post, to point out the critters that you want in the garden, the ones that eat the pest, along with some ideas on how to invite them to watch over your garden.

Earth worms: The constant stirring up of the soil by earthworms is an aid in keeping the soil open to air and water. Soil that lacks drainage and air is more prone to insects and disease.

Fowls of the Air: Many of our common birds feed upon insects. The sparrows, robins, chickadees, meadow larks and orioles are all examples of birds who help in this way.

Insects: Some insects feed on other and more harmful insects. Ladybugs do this good deed and if you don't have them you usually can buy a bag of them at the local garden center. The ichneumon-fly helps too. NOTE: You can buy Ladybugs by Clicking Here.

Toads: Toads are wonders in the number of insects they can consume at one meal. The toad deserves very kind treatment from all of us.

Each gardener should try to make her or his garden into a place attractive to birds and toads. A good birdhouse, grain sprinkled about in early spring, a water-place, are all invitations for birds to stay a while in your garden.

If you wish toads to stay, fix things up for them too. During a hot summer day a toad likes to rest in the shade. By night he is ready to go forth to eat.

How can one "fix up" for toads? Well, one thing to do is to prepare a retreat, quiet, dark and damp. A few stones of good size underneath the shade of a shrub with perhaps a carpeting of damp leaves, would appear very fine to a toad.

Will cover more tips later.


Happy gardening,
--Greg

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Soil

The Soil

The chances are that you will not find a spot of ideal garden soil ready for use anywhere upon your place. But all except the very worst of soils can be brought up to a very high degree of productiveness especially such small areas as home vegetable gardens require.
 
Large tracts of soil that are almost pure sand, and others so heavy and mucky that for centuries they lay uncultivated, have frequently been brought, in the course of only a few years, to where they yield annually tremendous crops on a commercial basis.

So do not be discouraged about your soil. Proper treatment of it is much more important, and a garden patch of average run-down, or "never-brought-up" soil will produce much more for the energetic and careful gardener than the richest spot will grow under average methods of cultivation.
 
The ideal garden soil is a "rich, sandy loam." And the fact cannot be overemphasized that such soils usually are made, not found. Let us analyze that description a bit, for right here we come to the first of the four all-important factors of gardening food. The others are cultivation, moisture and temperature.

"Rich" in the gardener's vocabulary means full of plant food; more than that and this is a point of vital importance it means full of plant food ready to be used at once, all prepared and spread out on the garden table, or rather in it, where growing things can at once make use of it; or what we term, in one word, "available" plant food.

Practically no soils in long- inhabited communities remain naturally rich enough to produce big crops. They are made rich, or kept rich, in two ways; first, by cultivation, which helps to change the raw plant food stored in the soil into available forms; and second, by manuring or adding plant food to the soil from outside sources.
 
"Sandy" in the sense here used, means a soil containing enough particles of sand so that water will pass through it without leaving it pasty and sticky a few days after a rain; "light" enough, as it is called, so that a handful, under ordinary conditions, will crumble and fall apart readily after being pressed in the hand. It is not necessary that the soil be sandy in appearance, but it should be friable.
 
"Loam: a rich, friable soil," says Webster. That hardly covers it, but it does describe it. It is soil in which the sand and clay are in proper proportions, so that neither greatly predominate, and usually dark in color, from cultivation and enrichment. Such a soil, even to the untrained eye, just naturally looks as if it would grow things.

It is remarkable how quickly the whole physical appearance of a piece of well cultivated ground will change.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

Thursday, May 21, 2009

More on Garden Location

Garden Location

In deciding upon the site for the home vegetable garden it is well to dispose once and for all of the old idea that the garden "patch" must be an ugly spot in the home surroundings. If thoughtfully planned, carefully planted and thoroughly cared for, it may be made a beautiful and harmonious feature of the general scheme, lending a touch of comfortable homeliness that no shrubs, borders, or beds can ever produce.

With this fact in mind we will not feel restricted to any part of the premises merely because it is out of sight behind the barn or garage. In the average moderate-sized place there will not be much choice as to land. It will be necessary to take what is to be had and then do the very best that can be done with it. But there will probably be a good deal of choice as to, first, exposure, and second, convenience.

Other things being equal, select a spot near at hand, easy of access. It may seem that a difference of only a few hundred yards will mean nothing, but if one is depending largely upon spare moments for working in and for watching the garden and in the growing of many vegetables the latter is almost as important as the former this matter of convenient access will be of much greater importance than is likely to be at first recognized. Not until you have had to make a dozen time-wasting trips for forgotten seeds or tools, or gotten your feet soaking wet by going out through the dew-drenched grass, will you realize fully what this may mean.

Exposure
But the thing of first importance to consider in picking out the spot that is to yield you happiness and delicious vegetables all summer, or even for many years, is the exposure. Pick out the "earliest" spot you can find a plot sloping a little to the south or east, that seems to catch sunshine early and hold it late, and that seems to be out of the direct path of the chilling north and northeast winds.

If a building, or even an old fence, protects it from this direction, your garden will be helped along wonderfully, for an early start is a great big factor toward success. If it is not already protected, a board fence, or a hedge of some low-growing shrubs or young evergreens, will add very greatly to its usefulness. The importance of having such a protection or shelter is altogether underestimated by the amateur.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

Garden Pests

Garden Pests

If we could garden without any interference from the pests which attack plants, then indeed gardening would be a simple matter. But all the time we must watch out for these little foes little in size, but tremendous in the havoc they make.

There are two general classes of insects known by the way they do their work. One kind gnaws at the plant really taking pieces of it into its system. This kind of insect has a mouth fitted to do this work. Grasshoppers and caterpillars are of this sort. The other kind sucks the juices from a plant. This, in some ways, is the worst sort. Plant lice belong here, as do mosquitoes, which prey on us. All the scale insects fasten themselves on plants, and suck out the life of the plants.

Sometimes we are much troubled with underground insects at work. You have seen a garden covered with ant hills.

This question is constantly being asked, 'How can I tell what insect is doing the destructive work?' Well, you can tell partly by the work done, and partly by seeing the insect itself. This latter thing is not always so easy to accomplish. I had cutworms one season and never saw one. I saw only the work done. If stalks of tender plants are cut clean off be pretty sure the cutworm is abroad.

What does he look like? Well, that is a hard question because his family is a large one. Should you see sometime a grayish striped caterpillar, you may know it is a cutworm. But because of its habit of resting in the ground during the day and working by night, it is difficult to catch sight of one. The cutworm is around early in the season ready to cut the flower stalks. When the peas come on a bit later, he is ready for them. A very good way to block him off is to put paper collars, or tin ones, about the plants. These collars should be about an inch away from the plant.

Of course, plant lice are more common. Those we see are often green in colour. But they may be red, yellow or brown. Lice are easy enough to find since they are always clinging to their host. As sucking insects they have to cling close to a plant for food, and one is pretty sure to find them. But the biting insects do their work, and then go hide. That makes them much more difficult to deal with.

Rose slugs do great damage to the rose bushes. They eat out the body of the leaves, so that just the veining is left. They are soft-bodied, green above and yellow below.

A beetle, the striped beetle, attacks young melons and squash leaves. It eats the leaf by riddling out holes in it. This beetle, as its name implies, is striped. The back is black with yellow stripes running lengthwise.

Then there are the slugs, which are garden pests. The slug will devour almost any garden plant, whether it be a flower or a vegetable. They lay lots of eggs in old rubbish heaps. Do you see the good of cleaning up rubbish? The slugs do more harm in the garden than almost any other single insect pest.

You can discover them in the following way. There is a trick for bringing them to the surface of the ground in the day time. You see they rest during the day below ground. So just water the soil in which the slugs are supposed to be. How are you to know where they are? They are quite likely to hide near the plants they are feeding on. So water the ground with some nice clean lime water. This will disturb them, and up they'll poke to see what the matter is.

Beside these most common of pests, pests which attack many kinds of plants, there are special pests for special plants. Discouraging, is it not?

Beans have pests of their own; so have potatoes and cabbages. In fact, the vegetable garden has many inhabitants. In the flower garden lice are very bothersome, the cutworm and the slug have a good time there, too, and ants often get very numerous as the season advances. But for real discouraging insect troubles the vegetable garden takes the prize.

If we were going into fruit to any extent, perhaps the vegetable garden would have to resign in favour of the fruit garden.

A common pest in the vegetable garden is the tomato worm. This is a large yellowish or greenish striped worm. Its work is to eat into the young fruit.

A great, light green caterpillar is found on celery. This caterpillar may be told by the black bands, one on each ring or segment of its body.

The squash bug may be told by its brown body, which is long and slender, and by the disagreeable odour from it when killed. The potato bug is another fellow to look out for. It is a beetle with yellow and black stripes down its crusty back.

The little green cabbage worm is a perfect nuisance. It is a small caterpillar and smaller than the tomato worm.



These are perhaps the most common of garden pests by name. Will cover more later.



Happy gardening,

--Greg

Choosing SEEDS

Choosing SEEDS

Any reliable seed house can be depended upon for good seeds; but even so, there is a great risk in seeds. A seed may to all appearances be all right and yet not have within it vitality enough, or power, to produce a hardy plant.

If you save seed from your own plants you are able to choose carefully. What blossoms shall you decide upon? Now it is not the blossom only which you must consider, but the entire plant. Why? Because a weak, straggly plant may produce one fine blossom. But just as likely as not the seeds will produce plants like the parent plant.

So in seed selection the entire plant is to be considered. Is it sturdy, strong, well shaped and symmetrical; does it have a goodly number of fine blossoms? These are questions to ask in seed selection.

If you should happen to have the opportunity to visit a seedsman's garden, you will see here and there a blossom with a string tied around it. These are blossoms chosen for seed. If you look at the whole plant with care you will be able to see the points which the gardener held in mind when he did his work of selection.

In seed selection size is another point to hold in mind. Now we know no way of telling anything about the plants from which this special collection of seeds came. So we must give our entire thought to the seeds themselves. It is quite evident that there is some choice; some are much larger than the others; some far plumper, too. By all means choose the largest and fullest seed. The reason is this: When you break open a bean and this is very evident, too, in the peanut you see what appears to be a little plant. So it is. Under just the right conditions for development this 'little chap' grows into the bean plant you know so well.

This little plant must depend for its early growth on the nourishment stored up in the two halves of the bean seed. For this purpose the food is stored. Beans are not full of food and goodness for you and me to eat, but for the little baby bean plant to feed upon. And so if we choose a large seed, we have chosen a greater amount of food for the plantlet. This little plantlet feeds upon this stored food until its roots are prepared to do their work. So if the seed is small and thin, the first food supply insufficient, there is a possibility of losing the little plant.

You may care to know the name of this pantry of food. It is called a cotyledon if there is but one portion, cotyledons if two. Thus we are aided in the classification of plants. A few plants that bear cones like the pines have several cotyledons. But most plants have either one or two cotyledons.
From large seeds come the strongest plantlets. That is the reason why it is better and safer to choose the large seed.

There is often another trouble in seeds that we buy. The trouble is impurity. Seeds are sometimes mixed with other seeds so like them in appearance that it is impossible to detect the fraud. Pretty poor business, is it not? The seeds may be unclean. Bits of foreign matter in with large seed are very easy to discover. One can merely pick the seed over and make it clean. By clean is meant freedom from foreign matter. But if small seed are unclean, it is very difficult, well nigh impossible, to make them clean.

The third thing to look out for in seed is viability. We know from our testings that seeds which look to the eye to be all right may not develop at all. There are reasons. Seeds may have been picked before they were ripe or mature; they may have been frozen; and they may be too old. Seeds retain their viability or germ developing power, a given number of years and are then useless. There is a viability limit in years which differs for different seeds, anywhere on average from 3-5 years.

From the test of seeds we find out the germination percentage of seeds. Now if this percentage is low, don't waste time planting such seed unless it be small seed. Immediately you question that statement. Why does the size of the seed make a difference? The reasonis, when small seed is planted it is usually sown in bulk. Most amateurs sprinkle the seed in very thickly. So a great quantity of seed is planted. And enough seed germinates and comes up from such close planting. So quantity makes up for quality.

But take the case of large seed, like corn for example. Corn is planted just so far apart and a few seeds in a place. With such a method of planting the percent of germination is most important indeed.

Small seeds that germinate at fifty percent may be used but this is too low a percent for the large seed. Suppose we test beans. The percentage is seventy. If low-vitality seeds were planted, we could not be absolutely certain of the seventy percent coming up. But if the seeds are lettuce go ahead with the planting.

Well, choose your seeds wisely, but get planting, the season is upon us.

Happy gardening,
--Greg

Friday, May 8, 2009

Raised Bed Garden Mounds

Raised Bed Garden Mounds

Raised beds are one of the best ways to garden for the home gardener. They allow you to do concentrated gardening, square foot gardening, companion planting, mulching, etc... They're easy to build and relatively cheap. But if you're looking for the cheapest and easiest way to do raised beds and you have the room for it, then raised bed mounds are the way to go.

Raised bed garden mounds have all the same benefits of framed beds, but with now cost for materials. You simply create raised beds without the box. Now because there's no frame, it's suggested that you keep them no wider than 3ft across, but as for length, there is no limit.

Here's how to build, first roto-till the ground.



Then I usually set up some stakes with a string line to keep the beds straight or in this photo we just used the fence as a marker. Once marked, just shovel the dirt to center.



Try to form a bed about 3ft wide with a 2ft path between beds. Then just level the top off, the sloping sides are good because they give more surface area to warm the soil (which helps in colder climates) and the experts say that they mimic the natural environment in drainage.



For the walking paths you can lay down old newspapers and cover with straw as seen here. this helps keep the weeds down in the paths and also helps with water retention. Other things you can use are wood chips, I've seen people use old rugs or tarps, pine needles, I even know of person who uses old conveyor belts that they use at gravel pits (he gets them for free when they wear out).


Here's a few raised garden bed mounds all done and laid out.



Another thing you can do is lay down a breathable black plastic over the mound and just cut holes in it where you plant. Now weeds and water retention is great.



Here's some raised garden bed mounds early in the season with all kinds of growth.



Here's what they look like in late in the season with all kinds of veggies.



Time to go put in a few more plants in.


Happy gardening,


--Greg

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Raised Bed Vegetable Planting Schedule

Raised Bed Vegetable Planting Schedule

My last post talked about plant friends and foes, which plants like to be neighbors and even thrive around each other, and which ones don‘t.
 
Now let’s talk about when to plant. Here’s a general list of what months to plant certain plants in, although the last frost date for your specific area is more exact. You can usually fined this date out by contacting your local county extension office or talking to other local gardeners. The key is to get your plants or seeds in the ground as soon as possible without damaging them, so you can get the longest possible harvest.

Here's the Key for the list below:
  • S = means sow the seed into the ground

  • H = means harvest time

  • SI = means sow the seed indoors for later transplant into the ground

  • HG = means harvest the greens

  • i.e. SHH = means sow and harvest, harvest
So here's a list of plants with the months they should be planted:

MONTH=MAR.--APR.--MAY--JUN.--JUL.--AUG.--SEPT.--OCT.

Asparagus-***--HHH---HHH--HHH---***----***-----***-----SSS

Bush Bean-***---***----SSS---SSS----SHH---HHH----HHH---HHH

Pole Bean-***----***---SSS----SSS----SHH---HHH----HHH---HHH

Beet--------***--SSS----SSS----SSS----HHH---HHH----HHH---HHH

Broccoli----SI---SIS----SSS----SHH---HHH---HHS----HHS----HHH

Brussels Sprout-***---SSS-----SS------***----***-------***----HHH

Cabbage----SI---SSS----SSS----***----HHH---HHS----HHH----HHH

Cantaloupe-*---***-----SI-----SSS----***----HHH----HHH----***

Carrot-----***---SSS---SSS---SHH----SHH----SHH----SHH----SHH

Cauliflower-SI--SIS---SSS----SSS----HHH----HHH----HHH---***

Celery-------SI----SI----SI----***----HHH----HHH----HHH---HHH

Corn-------***----***---SSS---SSS----***-----HHH----HHH----***

Cucumber-***----SI---SIS----SSS----HHH----HHH---HHH----***

Eggplant---***----SI---SSS---***-----HHH----HHH---HHH----***

Greens-----***---SSS---SSS---SHH---SHH-----SHH---HHH---HHH

Kale------HHH---HHH--SSS---SSS----HHH----HHH---HHH---***

Kohlrabi--***----***---SSS----SSS----SHH----HHH---HHH---HHH

Leek------SSS----SHH--HHH---***-----***----HHH----HHH---HHH

Lettuce----SI----SISS--SHH---SHH----SHH---SHH----SHH----HHH

Melons----***-----SI---SIS----SSS-----***----HHH---HHH-----***

Onion----SHG---SHG---***---HHH----HHH---HHH---HHH-----SSS

Parsle-----SI-----SI----SHH---HHH----HHH---HHH---SHH----HHH

Parsnip--HH----SSS----SSS----***------***-----***---HHH----HHH

Pea-------SSS----SSS---SSS----HHH----HHH---HHH---***-----***

Pepper---***------SI---SSS-----SSS----HHH---HHH---HHH----***

Potato----***----SSS---SSS-----SSS-----***----HHH---HHH----***

Pumpkin--***----SI---SSS-----***-----***-----***------***----HHH

Radish-----SS---SSS---SHH---SHH----SHH-----SHH----SHH---***

Spinach----SI---SIS---SHH---SHH----SHH-----SHH----SHH---HHH

Squash----***----SI----SIS----SSS-----HHH----HHH----HHH---HHH

Tomato---***----SI---SSS----SSS-----HHH----HHH-----HHH---HHH

This list not all inclusive, but does cover some of the most popular vegetable plants. I personally like to have a printed out copy of this list when I plan out my garden each year. This way I can make sure I‘m getting the plants in the ground a soon as possible to get the longest growing season possible. Also, I can make sure I‘m replanting crops for the next harvest to create "succession planting" (as one comes out another goes in) for the highest yields.

Happy gardening,

--Greg

Monday, May 4, 2009

Organic Vegetable Gardening - Friends and Foes

Organic Vegetable Gardening - Friends and Foes

My last post talked about plant families, which is a great way to start your planting, but once you understand basic families, there are families that like to be neighbors and even thrive around each other. Learning which plants are friends and which plants are foes is the way to take your garden planting to the next level.

The other benefit is that in organic gardening you want to produce a natural environment where your plants thrive and are strongest against insects and disease, putting them with other plants that help their growth is one way to achieve this.

So here is a list of the Friends and Foes:

Plants-----------Friends--------------Foes

Asparagus
FRIEND---basil, nasturtium, parsley, tomato
FOE------garlic, onion

Bush Bean
FRIEND---beet, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chard, corn cucumber, eggplant, leek, marigold, parsnip, pea, potato, radish, rosemary, strawberry, sunflower
FOE-----Basil, fennel, kohlrabi, onion family

Pole Bean
FRIEND---carrot, cauliflower, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, marigold, pea, potato, rosemary, strawberry
FOE-----basil, beet, cabbage, fennel, kohlrabi, onion family, radish, sunflower

Beet
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, corn, leek, lettuce, lima bean, onion, radish
FOE-------mustard, pole bean

Broccoli
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, chard, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, oregano, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, tomato
FOE-------pole bean, lima bean, snap bean, strawberry

Brussels Sprout
FRIEND ---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion family, pea potato, radish, spinach, tomato
FOE--------kohlrabi, pole bean, strawberry

Cabbage
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce mint, nasturtium, onion family, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, thyme, tomato
FOE-------pole bean, strawberry

Cantaloupe
FRIEND---corn
FOE-------potato

Carrot
FRIEND---bean, brussels sprout, cabbage, chive, leaf lettuce, leek, onion, pea, pepper, red radish, rosemary, sage, tomato
FOE-------celery, dill, parsnip

Cauliflower
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celery, cucumber, dill, kale, lettuce, mint, nasturtium, onion family, potato, rosemary, sage, spinach, tomato
FOE-------pole bean, strawberry

Celery
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, leek, parsley, pea, tomato
FOE-------carrot, parsnip

Corn
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumber, morning glory, parsley, pea, potato, pumpkin, squash
FOE-------tomato

Cucumber
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, corn, dill, eggplant, lettuce, nasturtium, pea, radish, sunflower, tomato
FOE-------potato, sage

Eggpalnt
FRIEND---bush bean, pea, pepper, potato
FOE-------none

Kale
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, cabbage, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato, spinach, tomato
FOE-------pole bean

Kohlrabi
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, celery, cucumber, lettuce, nasturtium, onion, potato, tomato
FOE-------pole bean

Leek
FRIEND---beet, bush bean, carrot, celeriac, celery, onion, parsley, tomato
FOE-------bean, pea

Lettuce
FRIEND---everything
FOE-------none

Lima Bean
FRIEND---beet, radish
FOE-------none

Onion
FRIEND---beet, cabbage family, carrot, kohlrabi, leek lettuce, parsnip, pepper, strawberry, spinach, tomato, turnip
FOE-------asparagus, bean, pea, sage

Parsley
FRIEND---asparagus, corn, tomato
FOE-------none

Parsnip
FRIEND---bush bean, garlic, onion, pea, pepper, potato, radish
FOE-------caraway, carrot, celery

Pea
FRIEND---bean, carrot, celery, chicory, corn, cucumber, eggplant, parsley, potato, radish, spinach, strawberry, sweet pepper, turnip
FOE-------gladiolus, onion family

Pepper
FRIEND---carrot, eggplant, onion, parsnip, pea, tomato
FOE-------fennel, kohlrabi

Potato
FRIEND---bush bean, cabbage family, corn, eggplant, horseradish, marigold, parsnip, pea
FOE-------cucumber, pumpkin, raspberry, rutabaga, squash family, sunflower, tomato, turnip

Pumpkin
FRIEND---corn, eggplant, nasturtium, radish
FOE-------potato

Radish
FRIEND---bean, beet, cabbage family, carrot, corn, cucumber, leaf lettuce, melon, nasturtium, parsnip, pea, spinach, squash family, sweet potato, tomato
FOE-------hyssop

Rutabaga
FRIEND---nasturtium, onion family, pea
FOE-------potato

Spinach
FRIEND---cabbage family, celery, legumes, lettuce, onion, pea, radish, strawberry
FOE-------potato

Squash
FRIEND---celeriac, celery, corn, dill, melon, nasturtium, onion, radish
FOE-------potato

Strawberry
FRIEND---bean, lettuce, onion, pea, spinach
FOE-------cabbage family

Tomato
FRIEND---asparagus, basil, bush bean, cabbage family, carrot, celery, chive, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, marigold, mint, nasturtium, onion, parsley, pepper, marigold
FOE-------pole bean, dill, fennel, potato

Turnip
FRIEND---onion family, pea
FOE-------potato

This is by no means every plant, but it covers some of the most popular vegetable garden plants. I personally like to have a printed out copy of this list when I plan out my garden each year. That way I can make sure I am creating the optimal growing environment.

Happy gardening,
--Greg