Garden Advice: Companion Planting

carrots-tomatoes-401Do carrots really love tomatoes? Do beans and onions hate one another? The internet (and my bookshelf) is full of anecdotal advice about which crops we should plant together, and which ones we should not.

There’s a well-known book that’s been around for ages called Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening, by Louise Riotte. It offers page after page of “facts” about companion planting. That sounds really helpful, and I was ready to try it all, but unfortunately, when I dug in online, I discovered that there is very little science behind the advice.

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Having a Row to Hoe

veggie-rows-dianapicchietti-monument-22july05-lah-025rEarth Day is this weekend, and what could be a more appropriate celebration than starting a vegetable garden. And for those of us in the Pikes Peak area, it’s finally time to get some dirt under our fingernails.

If this is your first year growing veggies, the first order of business is finding a promising spot for the garden. I talked about this in a previous post. Next, you need to decide how big to make the garden. This involves not only your desired yield, but also how you lay out the garden. Will you have traditional rows, wide rows (pictured here), beds (raised or otherwise) or a combination of these? Today I’m going to talk about rows… next Thursday I’ll cover beds.

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