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amyinowasso

2024 February week 1

Earthquakes and rain and pleasant temps, oh my!
I'll start.
We got just less than half an inch yesterday. Really would like more to build the water table up.
The collards and kale look worse than they did when first uncovered.
I think all my seeds have been ordered. Most have been received.
Have a good week.

Comments (92)

  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    I just spent an hour and a half searching gwhouxx for the post about companion planting. Sadly nothing showed up. It only goes back to 2013. I started with gw in 2011.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    22 days ago

    Kim, how many seeds do you put in a milk jug?


    I did a little clean up today. I have never really worked much with my bunching, and Egyptian onions because Madge did not like to fool with them, they have just been a junk area in the garden. Madge is still having trouble walking, so I have been doing most of the cooking, and I have been using the onions out of the garden. I butchered 34 yesterday, the plants have been lying in the center bedroom for about a month and replanted the stumps today. I also pulled , separated, and replanted more today. I am trying to get the area cleaned up and weeded.


    This is 2 of the sets I planted 3 months ago, one set had branched out into two plants, the other into four. I did not replant the stumps of these because I already have too many bunching onions. I want to learn about how many I really need to keep me in onions all year long.


    I think if pull these and cut them up and place them in the freezer, Madge will use them in cooking, I do and I cant tell that it is a great deal more work, as long as I keep a supply of chopped onions ready.


    I think these onions have done well, some of the ends of the leaves were burnt from the cold weather, but I think that is expected. My biggest complaint so far is that they are too mild, but as the weather warms up, the onions may warm up also.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked slowpoke_gardener
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  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    Larry I put anywhere from 20-100. The teeny tiny seed like mint I use lots because they are hard to germinate. My tomatoes I did about 20 they separate easily. I planted lots of herbs and flowers. I will put one herb or flower in each container with the veg when I plant out. I got some garlic from my friend in Quitaque last week and just got them planted today. I need to call her and find out what kind it is.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    Larry I meant to say those are great looking onions.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    Moni found a thread that is very close to what I was looking for. Dawns companion planting. She emailed out to me. I am doing talk on companion planting at natural grocers and need to see what I might have forgotten.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • HU-422368488
    22 days ago
    last modified: 22 days ago

    Please post it here when you get it.

    I'm interested in all things Dawn.

    Another addition to the " Book of Dawn".

    I'm really serious about an E-book of sorts listing out all of Dawns long drawn threads

    and have them organized under different topics.

    And then have it all for easy access 'somewhere" for anybody to access.

    I think that would be the best in memory thing of her we could give her

    .And would help all of us in our endeavors.

    Rick

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked HU-422368488
  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    That’s so true Rick. I use Google docs and it is easily shareable and accessible from any device.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    Okiedawn OK Zone 7

    15 years ago
    last modified: 8 years ago

    I think my answer in the link Jill posted probably covers it Bill, but
    in case I didn't answer as thoroughly as usual (LOL) in that thread,
    because I was trying to cover so many plants, I'll cover those three
    veggies again.

    SQUASH: My favorite with squash is nasturtium, but it works best if
    you plant the nasturtiums first (I start mine in paper cups and plant
    them cup and all) because they grow more slowly and the squash can
    shade them out if you plant them at the same time. Radishes,
    especially the long icicle type but MOST especially rat-tail radishes
    help repel squash pests, but you don't harvest the radishes....you
    leave the plants in the ground and let them flower. This year I am
    planting some flowering nicotine (nicotiana) near my squash plants to
    see if that helps repel squash bugs. (Since tobacco products,
    including the infamous "Black Death" nicotine insecticide sold in the
    mid-1900s are reputed to be very toxic pesticides (and no longer on
    the market) , I thought I'd see if nicotine repels squash bugs. I
    never used Black Death but I knew people when I was a kid who swore by
    it.)

    CUCUMBERS: Radish seeds sown in the hills of cucumbers (2 or 3
    radishes per hill) protect cukes from cucumber beetles.

    TOMATOES: Garlic (plant one clove between every two plants) helps
    protect tomato plants from red spider mites. (So does a spray of
    garlic-pepper tea.) I also like to plant nasturtiums, borage, short
    zinnias, carrots, chives, basil, parsely and marigolds near and with
    my tomatoes. All of these plants attract beneficial insects that go
    after the pests that bother tomatoes.

    The borage helps repel tomato worms, by the way, but borage is an
    old-fashioned herb that "nobody" plants any more and I can't find seed
    anywhere. Having used all I had left from a previous year, I'll have
    to order it online for this year.

    There are several plants that I plant all around the garden to attract
    beneficial insects and repel bad insects.
    These include catnip and catmint (repels flea beetles), datura (repels
    Japanese beetles), garlic (repels many pests, especially spider
    mites), marigolds (repels Mexican bean beetles (interplanting bush
    beans and onions works the same way to repel the beetles), and
    nasturtiums (repels many pests from many veggies, including cucumber
    beetles, aphids and squash bugs).

    I find that having many flowering plants and herbs scattered around
    the veggies garden attracts many beneficial insects to the garden in
    general, and often repels bad insects. Some of these plants are at the
    ends of rows, others are planted as a "border" in a raised bed of
    veggies, and others are in a cottage style flower and herb bed that
    surrounds my veggie garden on all four sides. Some of these are
    perennial or are re-seeding annuals and others I have to plant every
    year. Here's a list of favorites: chamomile, basil, oregano, catnip,
    ecatmint, garlic, chives, cilantro, tansy, parsley, cilantro,
    feverfew, tansy, lemon balms, mints (can be invasive, so plant with
    care), sage, salvia, lemon balm, nasturtiums, marigolds, yarrow and
    verbena bonariensis (tall verbena--it's tiny flowers attract many
    beneficials). The more plants you grow with tiny flowers, like sweet
    alyssum or dill, the more beneficial insects you attract.

    By the way, even though I use a LOT (about 100) of nasturtiums every
    year, they are cool season flowers, so I plant them inside in paper
    cups in Feb., set them out in March and they generally do well until
    about July. In a hotter than average summer, they burn out in July and
    I yank them out. In an average or cooler than average summer, they may
    make it through the summer although they sometimes stop blooming from
    late July to late August. Starting them from seed this late in the
    season is iffy....the heat might get them. If you want to start some
    from seed, pre-soaking the seed helps initate germination quickly, and
    they are fast growers and they prefer poor soil.

    I hope this info helps complement the info in the link that Jill
    posted. (Thanks, Jill!)

    Happy Growing,

    Dawn

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • HU-422368488
    22 days ago

    Let's do it!

    Rick


    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked HU-422368488
  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    I was thinking I have an old external hard drive that probably has lots of saved threads. I will look for it this weekend

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • Rebecca (7a)
    22 days ago

    I’m seeing borage seeds everywhere. I did a few plants a couple years ago, and they were huge thugs. Glad i planted them away from the main garden. If they’re that beneficial, I may have to do a few more, strategically placed. They got huge.


    Jen, that all sucks, including the dog business. Dogs love you two and you’re good with them.


    I’m going to buy seed potatoes and onions this weekend. Got my order of seed fingerling potatoes from Renees Garden. My cousin is working at Atwood’s in Sand Springs, so I may stop and see her.


    I can only work outside on weekends because of work, and the best weather is during the week. Of course. I still have beds to finish filling. And some of last years plant debris to clean up.


    I bought a snowball bush, because my earliest garden memory is of playing under the big white flowers in my great grandmothers garden when I was a toddler. The climate has changed so much since then, though. I was going to give it afternoon shade, like a hydrangea. Anyone know about them?

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Rebecca (7a)
  • Kim Reiss
    22 days ago

    Rick when I was searching all the pages 160+ I got to the end the last page available and it said “5801 items shown” which to me meant posts. So everything we do a new post an old one is getting bumped. I am going to start going to the oldest posts and pulling into. It’s hard because I have to do it on my phone :/

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • HU-422368488
    22 days ago

    Don't sweat it Kim.

    Might be more than we can handle anyway.


    Rick


    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked HU-422368488
  • hazelinok
    22 days ago

    Thanks for the thread, Kim. That was so long ago.


    Rebecca, I see borage seed around too. I bought mine from Botanical Interests. I grew it last year, but it didn't thrive. I'm pretty sure it doesn't enjoy hot weather. I'm hoping it reseeds because it did make flowers. It's sorta like chamomile, calendula and even the nasturtium (that Dawn loved). They just do not care for very hot weather. One of the first seed I started indoors was nasturtium....and actually not because of Dawn. There is a YouTuber--Calikim--that I watched many years ago and she always had lots of nasturtium. It is really hot in SoCal, so I'm surprised it does well for her. Maybe it's a different type of heat OR maybe she was growing it in the cooler months.

    Anyway, I should revisit the nasturtium.

    I don't know anything about the Snowball, other than they're really pretty.



    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked hazelinok
  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    Ok, I'm convinced I need to try Parris Island Cos. I had a negative reaction to it, maybe because my husband went to marine corps boot camp on Parris Island. Hard to picture lettuce growing there.

    When I grow nasturtium they get aphids.

    As far back as the companion planting thread was, it was really another "era". When I got really interested in gardening around 2014, I had to search for things I wanted to try, like Roselle and some of the companion plants and odd ball veggies. Before COVID I was finding all those things on main stream seed sites. I find that AC (after COVID) some of my go to seed sites have fewer varieties!?

    I search for Dawn threads with Google. +Okiedawn+Oklahoma+'subject I'm looking for' site: Houzz

    Dr Carolyn Male (I THINK she was a medical doctor) was active in that tomato group. She wrote the book 100 heirloom tomatoes to grow in your garden (something like that). VERY knowledgeable about tomatoes and Dawn quoted her sometimes. She wrote the article about blossom end rot I always link when the subject comes up (because Dawn linked it).

    If you want to go down a rabbit hole on tomatoes, I'm an admin for the Facebook group Heirloom Tomato Addicts Anonymous. There used to be some breeders in the group. There are a couple of small heirloom seed sellers. One is in the Ukraine I think. The group is international. You won't get Oklahoma info unless I post, but, that group inspired me. Then I found this group.

    TTFN

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    Kim, this wasn't saved with dates. I saved it in 2019.


    INTERCROPPING: This involves planting 2 or more different edible crops together in the same space. You would do it for various reasons. Intercropping allows you to make better use of your space, can make it harder for some pests to find their favorite plants to eat, can help some plants by shading them from sun or by making it easier for them to germinate or whatever. Here's some examples:

    RADISHES + CARROTS: Radishes have relatively big seeds that germinate quickly and the seedlings pop right up out of the ground in just a few days. Carrots, on the other hand, have tiny seeds that are slower to germinate. If your soil has dried out and crusted over as soil tends to do, sometimes the little tiny carrot sprouts cannot break through the soil surface so that they essentially try and fail, and the tiny seedlings die before they see the light of day. As you look at that bare spot of ground where carrots should be growing, you cannot know that they tried to sprout but couldn't break through the soil, so all you know is that your carrot seed didn't germinate. The issues with soil crusting over is more common in dry years than wet ones, but it can happen at any time.

    You can interplant your carrot seed and radish seed together, just putting a radish seed in the ground every inch or two in the row or block planting of carrot seeds. The radishes will pop up first and loosen the soil, which helps make it easier for the carrots to sprout. Because spring radishes mature in just a few weeks (in as little as about 3 weeks), you carefully pull out the radishes, leaving more space for the carrots. As the carrots enlarge and grow, they'll fill in the space left behind by the removal of the radishes. This is an old traditional planting scheme that's been used for generations, and you've just gotten 2 crops out of space that otherwise would have given you only one.

    RADISHES + CARROTS + LETTUCE: I often add lettuceto the radishes and carrots planting. The part of the radishes and carrots we eat are below ground, leaving lots of useful space above ground. The part of the lettuce we eat that grows above ground can expand that space. Obviously you don't want to plant too much lettuce too close to radishes or carrots because you don't want to shade them out, but the three can be successfully grown in unison.

    LETTUCE + ANY TALLER PLANT: Lettuce is pretty much neutral. It will benefit from being grown in partial shade provided by any taller plant because heat will make lettuce bolt. Keeping it partially shaded keep it cooler Lettuce doesn't really hurt anything, and it makes a lovely ground cover that will shade the ground under taller plants. By shading the ground, it cools the soil, reduces the evaportation of water from the soil and inhibts weeds from sprouting. I am not saying the weeds won't sprout, but with lettuce plants cutting off the sunshine to the ground, the weed seeds maybe won't get as much sun and heat as they need to sprout, or they'll struggle to compete with the lettuce. If you weed early and often while the lettuce is small, it won't be weedy and you'll have a lot less weeding to do after the plants gain some size.

    SPINACH + BIBB LETTUCE: Planting spinach and bibb lettuce together is another traditional planting scheme. I don't know why, and I don't know if scientists even yet can explain it, but bibb lettuce grows better when interplanted with spinach.

    We know that with some companion plants, exudates from the root of one plant can pass into the root zone or the actual root of the other plant, perhaps benefitting the plant in some way by making it grow better or repel insects or whatever, but I don't know if anyone knows why bibb lettuce grows better when it is interplanted with spinach in close proximity. I think the most commonly used ratio is one spinach plant for every four lettuce plants.

    POTATOES + BUSH BEANS: The theory behind planting these two together is that the potatoes protect the beans from Mexican bean beetles and the beans protect the potatoes from Colorado Potato Beetles. I think it works, but I don't think it is easy to achieve this. I have problems with the potato plants outgrowing the bush beans and shading them out if I plant the potatoes too close to the bush beans. And, by the way, pole beans don't confer the same protection on the potatoes as the bush beans do. The first time I did this, I tried to alternate, planting one square foot of potatoes, then the next square foot of beans. All I got was bean plants that were too shaded by the taller potato plants to produce well, but I didn't see any potato bugs or bean beetles. The next year, I planted the potatoes in the north half of the bed and the beans in the southern half. It was a long rectagular bed that ran east-west. That worked out better. In between the two I planted a row of petunias, because traditionally it is believed that potatoes grow better when grown with petunias. All of that seemed to work out really well. As a further Colorado Potato Beetle deterrent, I planted 4 horseradish roots into 2 gallon pots and sunk them into the ground so they looked like they were growing in the ground. I had one at each corner of the bed. Horseradish is said to repel Colorado Potato Beetles. However it is very invasive, which is why it was in pots. You also can add several dead nettle plants and flax plants to your potato bed as both are to repel CPBs, and to improve their growth and flavor. The flax and dead nettle also likely attract beneficial insects. You can tuck a few marigold seedlings into this bed with everything else because marigolds are said to repel Mexican bean beetles. Obviously you should have the marigolds closer to the beans than to the potatoes. Rosemary also is said to repel Mexican bean beetles so you can put one of these plants into the groundin this bed. Watch your plants as they grow and you'll see many beneficial insects moving from one flower or herb plant to another. All of the insect activity will help keep down the number of pests you spot.

    THE THREE SISTERS....OR MAKE IT 4 OR 5 SISTERS: The native tribes who lived in North America long before the white men arrived here traditionally grew the three sisters: corn, beans and pumpkin (winter squash) together, although they didn't necessarily grown them in the same way. Each tribe, or maybe I should say the various tribes in each region, altered the planting layout to suit their climate and soil. The reasons behind planting these together are interesting. Corn, which loves nitrogen, is a heavy feeder. Beans, as with all legumes, fix nitrogen from the air so that they can return it to the soil over time (but only if you incorporate the plants into the ground after you've harvested all the beans). So, your beans are going to put nitrogen back into the soil to help make up for all the nitrogen the corn took out of the soil. This is crop rotation over time. What is the purpose of the pumpkins or winter squash? They are large sprawling plants that will shade the ground beneath the corn and beans, serving as a living mulch that reduces weeding by shading out weeds and that keeps the ground more moist by blocking the rays of sunlight from hitting the ground. Best of all, the big coarse pumpkin or winter squash leaves often are somewhat prickly and it is believed they help keep the raccoons out of the corn. I have found that sometimes they keep the raccoons out of the corn and sometimes they don't, but I plant them together anyway. It is a great use of space, giving you at least three different veggies from space normally used for one.

    In order to make this work in our modern gardens, we have to tweak it a little bit. The types of corn traditionally grown by the native Americans, depending on their geographic location, tended to be dent corn, flour corn or field corn. These types of corn grow taller and sturdier than most of our modern day sweet corn varieties, which tend to be wimps by comparison. I find it somewhat problematic to plant most varieties of modern day corn with pole beans as the weight of the pole bean plant can pull down the corn plants. You can do it, though, if you choose a really strong, sturdy variety of sweet corn. I like to do it with Texas Honey June which is a monstser plant that often gets 8-9' tall in my garden. I'd never try it with a small variety like Early Sunglow. Sometimes the vines twine around the ears as they are growing and impede their growth. So, while I love to plant three sisters style, I will alter it a little bit. Sometmes I will plant my beans on the garden fence adjacent to the corn planting. I might plant it on one or two of the four sides of the pen, Then I'll plant the pumpkins. It helps to plant the corn first and let it make some growth and achieve some height first so the winter squash or pumpkin doesn't shade it while it is too young. This is pretty easy to do because corn can go into cooler soils than winter squash can. So, if you just naturally plant your sweet corn at the right temperatures, then by the time the soil warms up enough to plant winter squash or pumpkins, the corn plants will be gowing nicely and too tall for the squash to shade them out. I usually plant the corn first, the pole beans 2 or 3 weeks later, and then the squash a few weeks after that.

    How about a fourth or fifth sister? Because I sometimes grow my corn in a corn cage (picture a dog kennel type pen with a chicken wire fencing roof to completely exclude raccoons), I have fencing on all four sides of the corn patch. So, I'll come back and plant a pole type of lima bean (like Worchester Indian Red or Christmas Pole) or southern pea (like Red Ripper/Mandy) on the other two sides. Last year I planted Yard-long Bean on the fence alongside one side of my mid-season corn patch. Since they are legumes, they'll give back to the soil just as the beans will. The fifth sister I plant is sunflowers, which also are traditionally grown as a fourth sister by many native American tribes. I didn't know that until I read the utterly fascinating book "Buffalo Bird Woman's Garden". Sometimes I plant edible golden purslane or the ornamental flowering purslane on the ground just on the edge of the garden kind of between the fence with its legumes growing on it and the first row of corn. Along with the pumpkins it serves as a living mulch to help keep down weeds, but it is so small it doesn't compete and steal water away from anything else. The flowers attract beneficial insects, as do the flowers of the sunflowers. I also like to have a small patch of buckwheat near the winter squash and corn. Buckwheat flowers pretty early from seed--in about 5 or 6 weeks, and the flowers attract lots of the types of beneficial insects that attack corn and squash pests. The buckwheat can be pulled later on and put on the compost pile, pulled and laid on the ground where it will serve as a mulch until it decomposes, or can be dug into the soil or rototilled into it at the end of the season.

    One of the biggest challenges with a Three (or more) Sisters Garden will be how to harvest the ears of corn or the beans without breaking the squash plants. I just try to watch where I put my feet and hope that if I step on the squash plants, they'll forgive me. I usually just leave the bean and corn plants in the ground after I harvest from them. Sometimes the beans meander over from their fence/trellis and climb on bean plants and I just let them. Sometimes the winter squash or pumpkin plants do the same thing. No harm, no foul. Last year, I crammed leftover okra plants down at one end of my five-sisters garden, with a few ornamental gourds on the fence at that end so I had a Seven Sisters garden in a space where some people only would have planted corn. It is your garden. If you want to grow multiple plants in the same area, do it. Does Mother Nature have all of one kind of plant in one corner of a field, and something else in another isolated spot? No. They all grow together and benefit one another in various ways.

    TOMATOES: It is tempting to just plant your rows of carefully spaced tomato plants all in big beautiful rows and call it a day. That way nothing else is in the way when you're picking tomatoes. But....it is so boring, and there's nothing growing there around the tomato plants to help them. When you grow in a monoculture, you invite both diseases and pests that feed on the monocultured crop to come have a feast. Instead, you can create a polyculture and sow carrot, radish and lettuce seeds to grow in the shade of the tomato plants. To do that, I usually plant the lettuce, carrots and radishes first, leaving an open spot periodically where I'll come along later and plug in the tomato transplants. The carrots, radishes and lettuce all will be done and out of there almost before the tomato harvest begins, except with the earliest tomato varieties. The lettuce will benefit from being shaded by the tomato plants as they grow and the shade may keep them from bolting quite as early once the air temps are getting hotter than the lettuce likes.

    I like to plant basil and borage with the tomato plants. I just stick one in the ground every few feet. Basil is said to improve the growth and flavor of tomatoes and borage is said to help repel tomato horn worms, which I happen to believe as I seldom see any tomato or tobacco hornworms in my garden even though I grow tons of tomatoes and quite a few flowering tobacco (nicotiana) plants. I plant chervil and chives along the wooden edge of the beds, where they help repel pests and/or help attract beneficial insects. Chives are said to improve the growth and flavor of carrots while chervil performs the same function for radishes. Mint is said to improve the health and growth of tomatoes, but I'd never put an invasive plant like mint into the ground near my tomatoes, to I put it in pots near them. I usually add a few nasturium plants to any bare spot in the bed, and do the same with the The Three Sisters Garden. Nasturtiums attract many beneficial insects and improves the growth and flavor of the radishes. Over in the Three Sisters Garden, the nasturtiums will repel squash bugs, aphids and striped cucumber beetles (which attack all cucurbits and most any other plant they find as well).

    Because I plant several raised beds of tomato plants, I vary my companion plants a lot. I will add green onions (to be harvested as scallions), parsley, and chives to some beds. I'll add short, compact zinnias and sweet alyssum to attract beneficial insects. If I put onions in a tomato bed, I'll interplant the onions with chamomile because it is said to improve their growth and flavor. I'll plant white-flowered borage in some tomato beds and blue-flowered borage in others. I'll use different types of bush nasturstiums to different tomato beds. Sometimes I plant marigolds, but I am careful about which kind I select. Some of them will attract spider mites, which are a major problem in my rural area. They literally blow in on the wind and that makes them more difficult to fight. Often, they will congregate on marigolds. If that happens, once the marigolds have a lot of spider mites, I sacrifice them as a trap crop, pulling them up and bagging them and trashing them in order to get rid of the spider mites. More mites will come later, but at least I've taken out all of that bunch of spider mites.

    CUCUMBERS can be grown in your three sisters garden if you have space, but I usually plant them alone near a trellis or garden fence they can climb. They like to grow with sunflowers, so I plant a sunflower every 2 or 3 feet. You also can underplant your cukes with radishes or lettuce or both. I like to get a lot of cucumbers at one tine in pickling years so I can make many batches of pickles, and then not worry about pickles again for a year or two. I usually grow my cucumbers on the north garden fence bordering the woods because the pests are slower to find them there than if I grow them on the south garden fence near the driveway. I used to grow tansy inside the garden as it attracts many beneficials and repels some pest insects, but it is a rampant grower and was hard to control. Nowadays I plant it outside the fenced garden in the space between the north garden fence. It is a good companion for cucumbers grown there because it deters cucumber beetles, which surely are the bane of a cucumber grower's existence as they spread disease. I usually plant nasturtiums at the feet of the cucumber plants to both serve as a living mulch and to attract beneficials. You also can grow peas, beans, lettuce or radishes with your cukes. I like to plant rat-tail radishes near all members of the cucurbit family because their flowers attract beneficial insects that prey upon some pests of the cucurbits.

    EDIBLE PODDED PEAS + ROOT CROPS + sweet alyssum. Sugar snap peas and snow peas are two of the earliest crops to go into the garden. If you plant the vining kind and let them climb a fence or trellis, you can underplant them with turnips or rutabagas planted at about the same time (or even a little earlier), or you can underplant them with nasturtiums or buckwheat. The nasturtiums and buckwheat attract beneficial insects that will help control pest insects like pea aphids.

    ASPARAGUS + TOMATOES are said to be good companions to one another, but I don't interplant them. My asparagus is in a bed more or less by itself because it is a perennial crop and I don't want to disturb it. Last year, Laura Bush petunias (which live all summer and laugh at the heat and then reseed themselves too) popped up in the aspargus bed so I thinned out most of them, but let some stay as a living mulch to keep the soil cool and shaded. That seemed to work out pretty well. I did grow tomato plants in their own bed next door to the asparagus though. I also had a row of parsley down one side of the bed along the wooden edging and a row of basil down the other long side of the bed along the wooden edging.

    OKRA + WATERMELONS: I use fairly wide spacing with the okra plants when I use branching varieties and underplant them with watermelons. It is just a good way to get more use from the space, and the watermelons shade the ground and serve as a living mulch for the okra and the okra helps shade the melon fruit and keep them from sunburning. It seems to be a mutually beneficial relationship. I usually have a few zinnias and nasturtiums in that bed, along with some flowering nicotines. If you've never grown nicotianas, you may not realize that the backs of their leaves are sort of sticky and insects can become stuck to those leaves....like a natural form of flypaper. I've grown these plants together for several years and they seem to grow as well together as they do apart.

    CABBAGE FAMILY CROPS: (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi). The types of plants I interplant with these are chosen for their ability to repel the dreaded broccoli worms. For this purpose I interplant with chamomile, dill and sage. If I have leftover onion plants (bulbing or green onions), I'll put one in the bed here and there. You can add any sort of aromatic plant known to repel moths, which includes chamomile, dill, sage, rosemary, and thyme. There are some other plants known to repel moths but you have to handle them differently. All mints are repellents, but are very invasive, so I have them nearby in pots. Wormwood is an excellent deterrent, but I like to plant it about 3' away, outside the garden fence if possible, because it has root exudates that can have an alleopathic effect and negatively impact the root growth of desirable plants. If the cabbage family plants are in the middle of the garden, I just put a few wormwood plants in pots near them. I like to leave a lot of my permanent herbs in pots, so I can move them around the garden every year without digging them up.

    BEETS + ONIONS -- both are root crops, both go into the ground early, and they seem compatible with one another. Otherwise, I don't interplant too much with the main bulbing onion crop. They really don't like competition from weeds or from other interplanted crops, so I leave them alone for the most part, although every now and then I'll put a little sweet alyssum plant here or there to attract beneficial insects. I've never really had a problem with pests on onions, and if you have an issue in your garden with western flower thrips, I would keep all flowers away from the onions.

    EGGPLANT grows well with potatoes or with beans, but I don't grow a lot of eggplant because no one in my family especially likes to eat it. Sometimes in the past I also companion-planted it with hot peppers and they seemed to peacefully co-exist with one another and with nasturtiums really well.

    PUMPKINS + CORN, ETC. About the only way I ever grow pumpkins and winter squash is with corn. They grow just fine by themselves too, but I always like to grow buckwheat and nasturtiums around them to attract beneficial insects.

    SUMMER SQUASH: These are such big sprawling plants that I don't really plant much else with them as an edible compaion, but I like to plant buckwheat, nasturtiums and rat-tail radishes with them. Actually, I usually plant the nasturtiums, rat-tail radishes and buckwheat first, and then transplant the squash plants into the ground (you can direct-seed them if you prefer). I feel like the companion plants need to be up and growing fast so they can attract beneficials as the squash grows. Since squash grows so fast, plant the companion plants a little further away so they won't be buried under the squash plants.

    PEPPER PLANTS + OKRA: Okra is tall, peppers are

  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    Original Author
    21 days ago

    Does houzz limit the length of posts? Here's the rest.


    PEPPER PLANTS + OKRA: Okra is tall, peppers are medium-high. Okras love sunshine, peppers like some sunshine but suffer mightily if they are in full sun in our hot summers from sunup to sunset. I usually plant my okra and pepper plants together, letting the okra plants shade the peppers. Of course, I usually have a few herbs and flowers in the bed with them....often nasturiums early in the season, but dwarf zinnias and Laura Bush petunias later in the season as the nasturtiums sort of falter in the heat. I also often plant basil and parsley in the same bed with them.

    SOUTHERN PEAS: These are almost always treated as succession plants in my garden, often going into the ground in May or early June to replace earlier crops like broccoli, snap peas, spinach, kale, etc. Being heat-loving legumes, they are happy pretty much anywhere. I especially like to plant them in any bed from which I've just removed heavy feeders (pretty much everything we like to eat except for root crops are heavy feeders). I try to plant the southern peas in beds where no beans or peas grew the year before. My garden is very large, so it isn't hard to rotate legumes into beds where no legumes were grown recently. Last year I grew legumes on one portion of the north fence, and muskmelons and cuckes on another portion of the garden fence, so for crop rotation, this year I simply grow the legumes where last year's cucurbits grew and will plant the cucurbits in the area where last year's legumes grow. I don't drive myself crazy trying to maintain the heavy giver, light feeder, heavy feeder cycle because when you intercrop a lot, it is almost too much to keep up with. Anyway, since I garden organically and work continually to add compost and other organic matter to the soil, I don't think the giver-taker rotation is a critical as it otherwise would be.

    Well, I'm sure I failed to mention some sort of crop, but I'm tired of typing and anyone who's made it this far is likely tired of reading.

    For those of you who had questions about how to interplant to create a garden that is its own little ecosystem of plants who help one another, I hope this post gives you food for thought. For the many types of companion plantsing that I didn't specifically mention, I just routinely scatter them around the entire garden. There's really no wrong place, for example, to plant lemon balm or Mexican mint marigold.

    Got questions? I'm ready.

    I'm not going to go back and proofread for errors, so forgive any typos.

    Dawn

    Carol, I think it has been the heat with the okra the last two years. I've never had to water okra so much in my life just to keep it hanging on. This year, I had watermelon plants growing beneath okra in two beds and peppers shaded by okra in another bed. My best okra production was in July when I was still watering and then again in September/October after the ones that survived my no-watering-spell in late July/August leafed out again and made tons of okra.

    This year I am planting cowhorn okra, among others, because it is one of the best producers in extreme heat, and because it makes huge monster plants that will make lots of shade for plants growing beneath it. Last year, when I planted refrigerator melons under the okra, I used Beck's Big Buck and Stewart's Zeebest and spaced the plants 3' apart. I was worried they might shade the watermelons too much, but then with high temps well over 100 degrees endlessly, I also thought the melons needed some shade. It all worked out well as we had endless numbers of watermelons and good, though spotty, production from okra.

    If I remember correctly, my dad's garden did not produce okra well in the summer of 1980 in Texas, which had weather almost identical to what we had here in OK in 2011. As far as I can remember, that's the only year he ever had trouble getting an okra crop. It had to be the heat. Nothing else makes sense. I'm growing the variety of Cowhorn okra sold by Willhite. It is like cannas---it won't die and you can't kill it.

  • Kim Reiss
    21 days ago

    The comment about the borage was from Dawn 10 years ago.
    Back then it was more challenging to find.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    21 days ago

    I still don't have ground ready for the later stuff. I am thinking that I may try to grow my winter squash across the creek, that will be 2 or 3 hundred yards behind the house, but I will have to drive 1/3 to 1/2 mile to get to that spot. I don't trust myself to walk that far.


    I invited grand daughter, and, soon- to- be husband to lunch Sunday. I want to make a roast, so went to the pasture garden to get some onions. These onion were divided and replanted about 4 or five months ago.

    I can understand why Madge does not like to fool with winter onions, these were so hard to pull, I had to use a spading fork to get these out of the ground. This spot was cow pasture till this past fall, and this has no amendments at all. I used 3 of there onion in fried potatoes for lunch. These onions are larger than the onions that that I plant from sets, maybe because these were just pulled, divided and replanted in a different garden.


    Here is a picture of some of my garlic and onions I planted from sets about 3 months ago, you can see the very cold snap bit then pretty good. My Elephant garlic looks worse than the regular garlic. I have about 205 garlic, and a good bit more winter onions, and plan on planting around 200 bulbing onions. I think that I have around 50 Elephant garlic. I have the Elephant garlic under a trellis where I plan on planting peppers because it seems that peppers and garlic like a little extra fertilizer.



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  • hazelinok
    21 days ago

    Looks good, Larry! I sure enjoy hearing about your life and seeing pictures of your garden and garden goodies.


    Oh, I know, Kim. That's why I said that thread was so old (an oldie and goodie for sure). I would never dispute anything that Dawn said. (I know better. lol!) I just wanted to mention that borage is available now.

    Just in case there are any long-time lurkers, etc. When a person like Dawn is so well loved and highly regarded, people hang on to every word they say and it's truth regardless of how old a comment might be OR without the awareness that the loved person might have changed and/or grown or that situations are different.


    In great news, I'm seeing beginning sprouting of most everything that I started two days ago....other than the spinach.

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  • Kim Reiss
    21 days ago

    Jennifer I actually meant that comment for Rebecca in case she thought that there was an an availability with borage

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  • Kim Reiss
    21 days ago

    Unavailability

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  • HU-422368488
    21 days ago

    Looks good Larry.

    Hopes for a new beginning , got seed potatoes and some onion sets on the ready and onion bunches coming in too.


    About all of Dawn's posts, I sure would like to collect them all and have available for anybody's access. But as much as she posted it'd probably be easier to rewrite the Bible.


    Weather boy says snow on Super Bowl Sunday.


    Rick


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  • slowpoke_gardener
    21 days ago

    I am trying to learn about herbs. I sniffed a bottle of cumin from Madge's spice rack, and thought if belonged in the potatoes I was frying for lunch. I thought it would give the potatoes a fuller flavor, I seasoned the potatoes up pretty well, Madge and I both liked them.


    Madge grew up in a family that used very little seasoning, including onions and pepper, and followed the Old Testament diet. I grew up on bacon grease, fried potatoes, pinto beans, and cornbread.


    Speaking of the times when I was growing up, brings to mind of the ol wood stove mom had with what she called a warming closet on the top, I think it was just put there to keep the flies and kids from getting into the left-overs. That compartment may have kept the flies out, but I was in there every chance I got. I could often find a cold biscuit, but when I found a piece of bacon also, I was in hog heaven. I would take that cold biscuit and bacon out and look for what we called wild onions ( I thing most people call them chives ) if it was the right time of the year.


    Anyway here is a picture of what I was talking about. I took this picture today, thinking that I might just plant some of these in a mineral tub, I am not sure if I should just buy some chive seed, or just scoop some of there out of the lawn.

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  • jlhart76
    21 days ago

    I've actually got a book started. I asked Bruce to ask Tim approval before I started; then posted a request in the facebook group (possibly here, too) for anyone's input. I may work on it some more, give me something to do while we're in limbo.

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  • Kim Reiss
    21 days ago

    Larry I think it would be better to get them out of the lawn. They are always well acclimated to your climate

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  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    Original Author
    20 days ago

    I like cumin, too. I put it in egg salad. It has many health benefits as well. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-benefits-of-cumin#TOC_TITLE_HDR_6

  • hazelinok
    20 days ago

    Has anyone here grown cumin? We eat it often. It's probably the spice I buy most often too.

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  • Kim Reiss
    20 days ago

    I have black cumin. It is medicinal not culinary. It is very easy to grow and beautiful plant

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    20 days ago

    I was looking up seeds for it, it is a pretty plant and sounds like it would be easy to grow. I also looked it up in the grocery store, I think I will become friends with cumin.


    I spent the whole day taking Madge to Dr. appointments, still need to see more.

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  • Kim Reiss
    20 days ago

    I hopefully will be bringing lots of herbs and flowers to the fling. Larry I just heard about an over the counter supplement that shows promising results. It’s called Umary. My sister in law has had great results. She was hardly able to walk. Might ask her Dr.

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  • slowpoke_gardener
    20 days ago

    Thanks, Kim, Madge is sleeping now, she is tired from all the running around today, her kidney function is down to 30%, and she has lost down to 128 lbs, but they can't say what is wrong with left ankle. Madge is to go to orthopedic doctor next.

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  • Kim Reiss
    20 days ago

    Bless her. I don’t think she could take that meds I recommended with kidney issues. I pray she gets well.

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  • Kim Reiss
    20 days ago

    My garlic chives are coming back. It really is nice to see the grasshoppers didn’t take out everything.

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  • Kim Reiss
    20 days ago

    Can someone start separate thread for the spring fling. I tried but it never works.

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  • Kim Reiss
    19 days ago

    I found cumin seed. The culinary herb. Let me do a test and see if it’s viable and if it is I will grow a few plants to bring to the fling.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • Kim Reiss
    19 days ago

    Forecast was rain all day. We got about 1/8” of drizzle. I had already planned to work inside so I did. I pulled all my seeds to direct sow made tags and I am feeling pretty good about this year. I need compost and peat to make my own container mix. I have big bag of perlite. If half of my stuff germinates I will have lots to bring to the fling. It feels good to get back in the growing game. I want to grow arnica. Has anyone ever grown it??? It’s a medicinal herb. Oh by the way I found the dawn thread I was looking for. It’s so full of info about intercropping.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    19 days ago

    Kim, I am glad you found the post you were looking for.


    I am looking forward to spring fling, I feel that this will be the only chance I will have to met most of you gardening friends.


    We have started another project around the house, and both, Madge's and my medical conditions are a little off right now, but none of us know for sure if we will see tomorrow or not.


    I went out today to buy supplies for the deck, and supplies for gardening. I bought a 4' bag of perlite, and a tray with 36 count insert. I also grabbed a bargain pack of white Lisbon onions seeds. I really did not need the gardening supplies, but it gave me a chance to stop by the Farmers Co-op. I had such a good time, Madge was about to send out a search party by the time I got back.

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  • Kim Reiss
    19 days ago

    Larry I bet she was. It’s a sure blessing to have someone to watch out for you. I bought okra the other day and got home and have 8 different kinds already. Well I did not have Clemson spineless so… now I do.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    19 days ago

    Kim, do you save seeds from okra? I have been saving Heavy Hitter seeds for a few years, after the first year I only grew Heavy Hitter because it did all I needed, but I would like to experiment with other types, but I am concerned about cross pollination. I really dont think it would matter that much, but it is too hard to un-cross pollinate.


    Yes, Kim, it is really nice to have someone to share your life with, I am a lucky man.

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  • Kim Reiss
    19 days ago

    Yes I have lots of saved seeds. I typically grow one variety per year. This year I am growing two different ones but they will be covered with insect netting so I will be pollinating all my veg that needs it.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • hazelinok
    19 days ago

    I'm here. Just busy with grocery shopping this morning and taking the recycling to the recycling center. We also took a load of stuff to donation.

    Then, came home and put it all away.

    And started painting the walls in Ethans room. I had to do some repairs to one of the walls and had to do two coats. In between all of that I did animal care and cleaned up the kitchen which hadn't been done in a couple of days.

    I'm really tired. Still think I'm fighting a cold or something.


    But, I'm really excited to see that most of my pellets are sprouted. They're just so pretty I could look at them for hours.


    We saw our daughter last night for dinner. It was really nice. Her husband was at a Daddy/Daughter Dance with his niece because her daddy was out of town. It was nice to have her to ourselves for a couple of hours.


    Ethan continues to do well in Oregon. He bought a used dining table and chairs today. It's really cute. I'm glad he's finally in his own apartment.


    If everything goes as planned (it rarely does), this home remodel will be done at the end of the month. I'll spend a day or two deep cleaning. The dust from all the sanding and whatnot is everywhere. Then....THEN can finally focus on garden cleanup. The asparagus beds still aren't cleaned up. If the weather cooperates on spring break, I'll do a lot of outdoors clean up, chicken coop clean up, hoop house clean up. All the clean up stuff the yard and gardens need.


    As soon as Ethan's room is finished, I'll move the light shelf in that room and it can stay there for a couple of weeks until the carpet people come. His room should be complete by Thursday. Other than the new closet doors, but we'll install those once the carpet is in.


    The plan is to start tomatoes and peppers around March 1.

    I'll probably start some flowers, roselle, and herbs too.


    Kim, I'm excited about the cumin. If you have an extra plant, I would love one.


    I saved a lot of okra seed. BUT we had two varieties--Clemson and Beck's Big Buck. So....if these cross pollinated, it will be interesting to see what they produce.





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  • Kim Reiss
    19 days ago

    Jennifer I hope it germinates. I’m doing paper towel test. I’ll grow out at least 20 if it’s viable seed. This year I have lots more time than I’ve had in the past. Hopefully I can put that to good use. I get out of school May 17th and I am really looking forward to paid summer off. I may try to do some markets this year. We’ll see. I don’t push myself very hard anymore. It’s just not worth it. About okra it seems to be self pollinating but I don’t think crossing is out of the question

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
  • slowpoke_gardener
    18 days ago

    I watched an interesting video last night on okra pollination. The video showed how okra could cross pollinate, and how easy it was to keep that from happening. The video showed how both male and female parts were in the same flower, and, although they could cross pollinated, chances were low of that happening, and the way to be sure was to place a small cloth bag over the flower bud before it opened, and to mark that stem so you could find the right seed pod later to harvest the pure seeds. I have never tried to keep my okra seeds pure, but I have only grown one other kind after I started using Heavy Hitter, and I still feel may seeds have not changed.

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked slowpoke_gardener
  • Kim Reiss
    18 days ago

    Dawn used to do that with tomatoes

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  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b
    Original Author
    18 days ago
    last modified: 18 days ago

    Heavy hitter is a selection of Clemson spineless I believe. As in years of selecting seed from the most branching and, most productive plants. Stewart's Zee Best is a similar selection from Emerald Green Velvet. I like green velvet better than Clemson. I might get run out of Oklahoma for saying that, LOL. I'm acquainted with the heavy hitter breeder and will come back and link to more info later.

    https://www.heavyhitterokra.com/

    Kim, did you bump up the thread you found sp we could all read it?

  • Kim Reiss
    18 days ago

    I did not find it. Rick did. It’s on the thread where he has a few links. Titled ……planning your plantings in the edible garden

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  • AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked HU-422368488
  • Kim Reiss
    18 days ago

    Thanks Rick. I don’t know how to do all that and not sure it would even do it from my phone.

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  • Kim Reiss
    18 days ago

    I got 1 inch of rain yesterday and the drizzle on Saturday. I have several rain barrels set up now and will get some more set up for the spring rains. If I get my plants started off on rainwater they do so much better

    AmyinOwasso/zone 6b thanked Kim Reiss
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