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.
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
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.