square foot gardening and companion planting
I'm putting in a vegetable garden and have been reading a lot of different blogs here and there about companion planting and square foot gardening.
I was wondering how much difference have you noticed companion planting makes? I've been trying the best I can so far, with the info I've found, but am worried I will accidentally put two plants together that are not "friends."
I like the concept of square foot gardening, but I just don't really have the plant selection to group plants by square foot every square foot. I've been trying to do 2x2 beds next to companion plants. Will that work? Is it worth it?
And one last question, has anyone had any luck getting pole beans to grow up cornstalks?
Here's a really useful article on companion planting:
The bottom line is that you don't need to worry whether two plants are 'friends'. It's more a matter of whether one plant will overwhelm another one if planted too close. Tomatoes, squash, pole beans, cukes, and melons can easily sprawl all over and smother nearby plants. Also make sure that tall plants aren't shading short plants (unless you want them too, like using tomatoes to shade your lettuce).
Mixing flowers and herbs in with your vegetables is a great way to attract beneficial insects too. Just make sure that they'll be happy with regular watering (some herbs, like rosemary and sage, prefer drier conditions; others, like basil and tarragon, like regular water).
Karen makes a good point about sprawling. I planted borage around a single eggplant and the borage smothered the eggplant. I like to use some of the square foot principles. Better spacing of seeds means less thinning later. I also like the idea of not walking on beds. The ground stays in nice condition. I plan to try planting marigolds next to squash and cucumber plants to try to prevent so much squash bug damage this year.
Depends on what you plan to plant. I always place basil and/or peppers with my tomatoes and always have marigolds close by all my beds to keep most bugs at bay.
Usually if you plant greens with greens, herbs with herbs, and give tomatoes enough room to spread roots you are good. :D
It's only when you plant beans near fruit (strawberries and tomatoes) that there is problems since all the nitrogen the beans are kicking off promote the other plants to make leaves and not flower.
"I've been trying the best I can so far, with the info I've found, but am worried I will accidentally put two plants together that are not "friends.""
Don't worry too much... if you plant something that doesn't do well you can always pull it out and plant something else there. Go ahead and research, but don't be afraid to try things.