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COMPANION VEGETABLE GARDENING

It's said that vegetables are like people, they thrive on companionship. It is believed that vegetables will yield up to twice as much when they are surrounded with companion plants. So in this article we will discuss the top 12 vegetables and their best friends.

If you're getting ready to plant your vegetable garden you may want to try placing the various vegetable crops so you can take advantage of their natural friends. If you have already planted your vegetable garden you may want to make some changes in subsequent plantings later this summer.

The following are a list of the top 12 vegetables and their ideal plantingcompanions.

Beans--they like celery and cucumbers but dislike onions and fennel.

Beets--Bush beans, lettuce, onions, kohlrabi, and most members of the cabbage family are companion plants. Keep the pole beans and mustard away from them.

Cabbage--Celery, dill, onions and potatoes are good companion plants They dislike strawberries, tomatoes, and pole beans.

Carrots--Leaf lettuce, radish, onions and tomatoes are their friends, Plant dill at the opposite end of the garden.

Corn--Pumpkins, peas, beans, cucumbers and potatoes are nice companion plants, Keep the tomatoes away from them.

Cucumbers--They like corn, peas, radishes, beans and sunflowers. Cucumbers dislike aromatic herbs and potatoes so keep them away.

Lettuce--It grows especially well with onions. Strawberries carrots, radishes and cucumbers also are friends and good companion plants.

Onions--Plant them near lettuce, beets, strawberries and tomatoes but keep them away from peas and beans.

Peas--Carrots, cucumbers, corn, turnips and radishes plus beans, potatoes and aromatic herbs are their friends. Keep the peas away from onions, garlic, leek, and shallots.

Radishes--This is one vegetable that has a lot of friends, they are excellent companion plants with beets, carrots, spinach and parsnips. Radishes grow well with cucumbers and beans. It's said that summer planting near leaf lettuce makes the radishes more tender. Avoid planting radishes near cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kohlrabi or turnips.

Squash--Icicle radishes, cucumbers and corn are among their friends.

Tomatoes--Carrots, onions and parsley are good companion plants. Keep the cabbage and cauliflower away from them.

Sometimes plant friendships are one-sided. Carrots are said to help beans, but beans don’t reciprocate. Though beans will help nearby cucumbers.

Other plants have bad companions and you'll be doing them a favor to keep them apart. Beans and onions are natural enemies so keep them at opposite sides of the garden.

If you have a patio you might try mint to repel ants, and basil to keep the flies and mosquitoes away. Both herbs have pretty flowers and are fragrant too. Besides, they're nice to harvest and use in the kitchen. In her book, "Carrots Love Tomatoes" Louise Riotte, says getting to know good and bad companions can double the bounty of your garden. The only required work is to plan your garden planting properly.

"Carrots Love Tomatoes", Garden Way is an informative, well-illustrated guide to the subject of companion planting. The book recently reprinted was originally published under the title "Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening".

If you would like more information on the various plants to use for companion planting and natural insect and disease control, you'll find "Carrots Love Tomatoes" is available in bookstores that carry the Garden Way books.

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