How Does Companion Planting Help My Home Vegetable Garden Grow Better?

Companion planting in your home vegetable garden is based on the relationships between plants and organisms, as well as among various different plants. The attractant crops are the plants that attract beneficial insects that you want in the garden. These factors prey on pest insects and supplement their diet with the nectar and pollen of the attractant crops. On the other hand, repellent crops discourage pests. Marigolds, for example, exude a substance from their roots that repels eelworms (root-sucking nematodes). It is quite common to see home gardeners plant a border of marigolds around their vegetable garden to keep these pests away from precious edibles. Another excellent all-purpose pest repellent is garlic – grown in humus rich soil, garlic gives off sulfur compounds (what makes garlic smell) that will kill aphids and onion flies, just to name a couple of things.

Another important factor in companion planting includes allies (those that help adjacent plants by nourishing them). For example, legumes (peas or beans) fix nitrogen from the air, adding nutrition to the soil. When allies are planted with root vegetables (carrots, turnips, radishes, rutabagas and beets) the allies provide fertilizer to neighboring plants. (Sometimes better than our own neighbors right?) Plants that make good neighbors don’t compete for space, sun, or nutrients. For example, inter-planting corn and lettuce maximizes the use of space in your home vegetable garden; the corn shields the lettuce from the sun’s glare and the plants have no pests in common. Another one, basil can enhance the growth of any plant in close proximity.

All the elements of companion gardening are not complete without some mention of the plant enemies. Plant enemies are plants that may have a negative effect on other plants when grown in close proximity. Sometimes an enemy may be too aggressive, competing for the same sun and soil nutrients of a neighboring plant. A different type of plant may attract or be a host plant for a pest or disease that also affects the other plants you want to grow in your home vegetable garden. Some plants inhibit the growth of specific plants or all plants in general, such as black walnut trees and sunflowers. Another plant that often stunts the growth of other plants is fennel, but fennel attracts beneficial parasitic wasps and can be given space near your garden rather than inside your home vegetable garden.

With these facts in mind, you should be able to plan your home vegetable garden so that it will benefit from allies, attractant crops and repellent crops while avoiding plant enemies. Whether we want to admit it or not, pests come in all shapes and sizes, from microscopic size upwards. These pests can wreak havoc on a vegetable garden if these same pests are not controlled. Diseases, too, come in all sorts of guises – molds and mildews, wilts and blights, curls and burns. Depending on the disease, its manifestation and effects may be merely unsightly or at worst can destroy an entire vegetable garden. Insects – both good and bad-will vary from one garden to the next; each habitat is unique.

If you haven’t tried companion gardening yet, do you plan on seeding your home vegetable garden with companion gardening in mind?

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Choosing The Perfect Soil For Your Home Vegetable Garden

For example, if you have a big lawn, it may be time to utilize part or all of that same lawn. I realize that growing grass just to have it look nice is a serious waste of resources and energy, so you may decide to plant some vegetables in part of that area. Please keep in mind that the vegetable garden should be located as close to the house as possible. Myself, I would prefer this garden to be near to the kitchen door so that I could run out pick a few vegetables and maybe some salad greens. This garden should be somewhere near a source of water and you should keep in mind the sunshine and shade factors.

You may resent this remark, but I will state at this time that if you have a place that just seems to grow weeds, this may be a good place to place your home vegetable garden – you know something grows even if you must pull more weeds.

What about drainage? As far as I know, soil has to breathe and earth that is drowned does not do so because oxygen cannot penetrate between the soil particles. So, if you have a choice, it is best not to have a garden on an extremely wet site.

Slope is another factor to consider when you are considering the success or failure of a vegetable garden. Just a couple of degrees of pitch to the south or west exposes the soil to more direct rays from the sun, allowing the garden to warm up earlier in the year, and lets you start planting sooner. Usually the ideal garden spot should have a three-degree tilt toward the south.

Usually garden sites are likely to be varied. There may be sunny spots, wet spots, hilly spots, and/or shady places, but with a little planning, you can use each area to best advantage by remembering that different crops do well in different environments.

If you have a choice of soils, sandy loam is the best. Also, consider the depth of the soil–will it dry out too soon? You should send a soil sample away to find out exactly what condition your soil is in.

Always remember that all the plants growing in your home vegetable garden seem to require different soils, so some areas may have to be treated with one thing and some areas may have to be treated with another thing.

If you rotate your crops, the soil can actually treat itself, but that is another topic for another tim

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Home Kitchen Garden – Seven Easy Tips to Get You Started Today!

When I started my home kitchen garden, I realized that there is actually an easy way to make my kids love vegetables and fruits. It was like hitting several birds with a stone because there are a lot of benefits that I got from it; my children suddenly became fans of veggies and fruits, we discovered a great bonding time together, we spend less on groceries now and we are sure of the quality of the foods we are eating everyday.

My friend who has her own home kitchen garden was the one who introduced me to this. She gave me the following tips that helped me start my own.

1. Make sure that the location receives good amount of sunlight and that the soil is fertile.

2. There must be a water supply nearby for the plants’ need and that the water from the hose can reach the farthest plant.

3. Arrange the plot so that the crops are lined up from the smallest to the tallest to avoid blocking the sunlight.

4. Add fertilizers on the soil to make it healthier, it would be best to use organic fertilizers or those found in a compost pit to ensure the plants’ safety.

5. Choose the plants that are in season so that you will not wonder why your crops did not grow.

6. Harvest the fruits or vegetables regularly, the more you do this, the more that the plants become active in the production.

7. Try out other crops or if the space allows just add crop varieties each year to maximize your home kitchen garden.

I am very glad that I listened to her because I am presently enjoying the yield of my home kitchen garden. It is really amazing that with such a small effort, I can get a lot of benefits not just for myself but for my whole family as well. I am really grateful that I started my own. It’s been great to have fresh veggies right outside my door and it has been a fun bonding experience for all of us.

Melissa McKyler is a work at home mom and has been organic gardening for several years. She loves having fresh safely grown veggies to feed her family and enjoys sharing her knowledge about how to do that with others. For more information about how to grow your own successful home kitchen garden [] be sure to visit []

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Start Your Own Home Herb Garden

If you are a person who is wanting to start your own home herb garden and has no clue where to begin then you should read on. It is really quite simple and much easier compared to starting a huge vegetable garden. Herb gardens are very easy to start, but they are also as easy to maintain.

The thing that you first need to decide when you are starting out with a home herb garden is the types of herbs that you want to grow. In the beginning you should try to include only those herbs that you intend on using on a regular basis. When you are done deciding the herbs that you wish to grow, you will have to conduct intensive research on them.

Each herb has a different method for growing. Each herb flourishes in different conditions. Each of them has a different procedure to be employed while harvesting. Thus, you should study them well in order to get a decent picture of how each one is. This also helps you realize how easy or how hard it is to grow each of these herbs. After researching, you may even choose to remove a few herbs from your list as they will be quite hard to grow and maintain.

The next thing for you to figure out is where you are going to grow your home herb garden. These gardens do not require much space. This helps give you flexibility in choosing the location to grow the herbs. You can choose to grow herbs in your yard or inside containers indoors, or even hanging from pots outside. As the research would have taught you, every herb requires a different condition for it to flourish. It is true that most of the herbs need a lot of sunlight, but there are a few that grow the best in shadier spots. Also, some herbs may prefer dry areas and some herbs moist. Therefore, you should choose the location to grow your herbs based on the conditions under which they flourish.

Now that you have finally prepared yourself for growing herbs you need to go and get your supplies. You will need seeds or plants. This depends on the herbs that you have chosen to grow. You will also need soil in which to grow the herbs. If you have decided to grow your herbs inside your house then you will also need to buy some containers in which to keep the herbs and soil.

Now that you have everything that you need, you have to learn the correct way in which you should be planting each herb. Every herb has different moisture and soil requirements. Another thing that you should research is how much water each herb in your garden requires.

After you have succeeded in completing all these three steps you will be well on your way to having your own home herb garden. Just ensure that you keep on caring for your herbs and watering them whenever necessary and as long as you are patient you will see the fruits of your hard work growing right in your kitchen.

Carolyn Grant is a herb gardening expert. For great information on Herb Gardening [], visit []

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Home Herb Garden, Easier Than You Thought

Many people love the idea of having their own home herb garden. Now more than ever many of us are interested in eating only organic foods and saving money.

Growing your own herbs can accomplish both goals. You will know that the herbs haven’t been treated with harmful chemicals and pesticides and you won’t have to buy expensive store bought herbs.

If you wanted to you could even grow medicinal herbs. These herbs can help with many medical issues. You can use herbs to help with problems from mild to severe. You can create cures for mild rashes, and sore muscles, herbal remedies to help lower your blood pressure, and even herbs to use for a relaxing herbal tea.

No matter where you live you can have an herb garden. While there are some beautiful formal gardens, you don’t need to devote your whole yard to your garden, unless you want to.

Even if you live in a small apartment you can have an herb garden. You can easily grow herbs in pots right on your windowsill.

If your apartment doesn’t get much light, you can still grow herbs. You will need to get ‘grow’ lights to provide additional light, but it’s an inexpensive yet effective option.

Going green and growing your own herbs right from your own home herb garden are two things that go hand in hand. Growing herbs is simple, inexpensive, and fun.

The herbs you grow can provide additional flavor to your recipes, relaxing freshly brewed tea, help with aches and pains, or just add beauty to your yard or house.

Whatever your motivation for growing herbs, you really couldn’t have picked a better hobby

Tina Barrett is an expert on herb gardens. For more great tips on a home herb garden [] visit:


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