Friday, May 1, 2009

Organic Vegetable Gardening - Plant Families

Organic Vegetable Gardening - Plant Families

Raised bed gardening allows for condensed planting or planting in close proximity. This is beneficial in that it allows for more production from a smaller space, it conserves water and chokes out weeds. The issue is that one needs to make sure the plants that are planted together don't hinder each others growth. I'll talk about specific plants in my next post, but for a general rule follow Plant Families.

Most relationships of plants within a plant family are generally either positive or at least neutral, one exception to this rule is in the tomato family. Tomato family plants include tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, and egg plants. While tomatoes and potatoes grow well next to peppers and egg plants, tomatoes and potatoes do not grow well next to each other.

With that said, here are some of the main plant families for vegetable gardening:

Plant Family-------Vegetable/Herb

Beet-----------------Spinach, swiss chard

Buckwheat----------Red orach, rhubarb

Cabbage------------Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, horse radish, kohlrabi, mustard, pak choi, radish, rutabaga, turnip

Carrot--------------Celery, cilantro, coriander, dill, fennel, parsley, parsnip

Cucumber----------Gourd, melon, summer squash, winter squash

Grass---------------Corn

Mallow-------------Okra

Mint----------------Basil, marjoram, oregano, sage

Morning Glory------Sweet potato

Onion---------------Asparagus, chive, garlic, leek, scallion

Pea-----------------Bean, peanut

Sunflower----------Artichoke, endive, Jerusalem artichoke, lettuce, radicchio, tarragon

Tomato-------------Egg plant, peppers, potato (remember exception), tomatillo

This list is by no means all inclusive, but gives you a general idea, to get you started with your planting. For more information on plant families or a specific plant not listed hear, do a little research at your local library or on the Internet.

Happy gardening,

--Greg

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