2014 Garden: The Plan

I cannot wait to get started with this year’s garden, to get my hands in the soil, to get Joe and Jake more involved.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on companion planting and what I’ve found so far is pretty cool and makes a lot of sense.

Here’s the deal. Different plants repel pests and attract beneficials. For example, borage repels those dreaded tomato hornworms and cabbage worms but attracts beneficial bees and wasps. Nasturtiums trap aphids and combat whiteflies, squash bugs, and cucumber beetles. The list goes on and on for a variety of plants.

So, instead of planting all of the tomatoes in one spot, all of the peppers in one spot, all of the cabbage in one spot, etc, I’m going to plant circles of organized chaos throughout our property.

Mini support groups to help the tomatoes and peppers get through the growing season without too much damage.

A circle of friends to aid all of the brassicas (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc) in fighting off cabbage loopers, aphids and other garden pests.

Friendly neighbors to stand up against the bullies that come to pester the beans.

The kitchen garden will be a big beautiful community with neighbors and friends helping eachother. There will be small tribes throughout the property working together to combat pests and plagues. Vegetables, herbs and flowers will stand together to…before I get too carried away, here’s the plan.

The Tomato Support Group
Tomatoes – Black Prince, Roma, Mr. Stripey
Peppers – Bells, Ancho, Jalapeno, Banana, Chipotle, Cayenne

The Brassica Support Group
Brussel Sprouts

The Bean Support Group

The Squash Support Group
Radishes – I’m not a big radish fan, but they are an excellent trap crop and can be planted just about everywhere.

The potatoes will be off on their own. They need quite a bit of space and don’t really get along with much of anything aside from horseradish.

Borage will go pretty much everywhere as it attracts predatory insects that feed on many pests. I’ve never seen or had borage but I read that it is used for medicinal purposes and as a salad green. Plus, it’s gorgeous.

Lavender will also go pretty much throughout the whole property. It makes a great companion to lettuces, brassicas, onions, tomatoes and squashes.

We are also planning to add more shrubs to our fedge: blueberries, blackberries, more autumn olive and whatever else we come across. More fruit trees and some nut trees will be added to the back of the property, and we will plant more hops and grapes and give the kiwi another try.

We’ve learned a bit about our property now. We’ve learned a bit about ourselves too…what works, what doesn’t, what we want out of our garden and what we don’t want. It only gets better from here.

7 responses to “2014 Garden: The Plan

  1. Melissa, we are also doing something similar this year. Wondering if you buy seeds & start them yourself or if you but plants and from where??

    • Kristy-Last year we bought a bunch of seeds from High Mowing Organic and started them. Most of them took off, but the tomatoes and peppers were a big fail so we bought starts…a little late…for those. This year, I’m going to start some that worked out and also get starts from a local company called Kelly Seed. I’m sure we will pick some up at sales at Menards or Big R too. For the trees and shrubs we used Raintree Nursery but will probably also get some from Menards, Big R or a local nursery this year. Hope that helps! I’d love to hear about your garden plans. Maybe we can trade tips!

      • Kristy Hebert

        Awesome info! Thanks!! We are trying to get an indoor aquaculture system going. And grow lights. We have a 1000 gallon fish tank which we would use the waste for the plants. It is a work in progress! I definitely want to try to do as much from seed this year as possible! But will probably also have to end up getting some start as well! It is going to be a fun year!

      • Ray and I are so interested in aquaculture! I can’t wait to hear how it goes. We are talking about getting our worm bins up and running again this year too.

  2. Pingback: 2014 Kitchen Garden: A Rather Primitive Sketch | a pinch of homestead

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