Friday, April 22, 2011

Cauliflower Combo (Companion week)

Most book regarding companion planting has given suggestion to make companion planting work well is not to plant the same kind of plant in a straight row but to plant in blocks and inter-planting with other plants that give good support or compatible to grow with. Moreover, not to just focus on getting them on the same plot but grow them scatter on different place in the garden. In my first year of growing cauliflower , we grew them in 2 straight row with lack of knowledge about companion planting and it was time consuming to get rid of the eggs and caterpillars. Those cauliflower were not a beauty and the leaves were badly munched, sometime we were tempted to just give up on the cauliflowers. On top of that, some of the cauliflower plants were also badly infested with aphids which cause the plants growth to be stunted. We lost many cauliflower plant to these pests. So, on our second year we decided not to repeat the same mistake again and try to follow this simple basic rules:
1)Plant in blocks, not rows.
2)Inter-planting with other plants
3)Plant in different location in the patch. It does not matter even the patch does not look neat and organise as long we can avoid the pest (contain them in one place). Think of it as playing hide and won't be seek.
4)Succession sowing ( one of the last sowing, bye-bye butterfly mom too cold for you now, only worry about snail and slug).
Our second year of growing cauliflowers were a success, save so much time and money (don't even have to make organic spray that often). We harvested more than 50 cauliflowers which is more than double the amount of harvest in the first year from our small garden.
Here are some cauliflower combination inter-planting with other plants that we did last year. I was amazed in 1metre X 1 metre persquare plot there were so many variety of plants that we can inter-plant.
Peas growing vertically behind 3 cauliflower plants. Growing in-front of cauliflowers are leeks, carrots, corianders,lettuces and 2 poppy plants.

Peas growing vertically, 2 cauliflower plants were growing side by side with 3 celery plants, calendulas and phyrethrum plants. There are 3 sad-looking chili plants near the pathway which bravely withstand winter season which we treated as perennial instead of annual. Not a pretty sight in winter but many chilies for us now.
Coriander don't mind shade so a row of corianders at the back, 3 celery plants in the middle and poppy as a border on the front. Coriander grew taller and taller as they bolt, when they are flowering it will be most effective against pests like aphids and sap suckers.

We have fresh seeds of Zinnia (Lilliput Mix), Bitter Gourd, Leaf Amaranth (Chinese Spinach) and Portulaca (Moss Rose) that we will like to share with 3 blogs that has kindly share their experience in companion gardening by linking their post within this"Companion Week" , which will be chosen randomly.
Happy reading and hope you have a relaxing long Easter weekend!


13 comments:

Mark Willis said...

Wow, you certainly know how to pack a lot of flowers and veg into a small space!
One bad combination I know is Fennel with practically any veg - the Fennel allegedly inhibits the growth of other plants.

Green Lane Allotments said...

That's a lot of cauliflowers! On our plot we net our brassicas but this isn't attractive in a garden.

cikmanggis said...

masyallah....seronok betul lihat kebun Diana dalam petak 1 m x 1 m besarnya tapi semuanya ada. Kebun Cm selalu gagal dapat hasil yg baik kerana main belasah je bila menanam...banyak dapat belajar dari blog Diana ni.Insyallah bila kami pindah ke rumah baru kami akhir tahun nanti pastinya kebun kami akan berwajah baru dan tanaman yang macam-macam ada(berangan ni hehe)

Stephanie said...

All look very tidy. I am amazed by the condition of the veges - all so green and pretty. Good move to plant them in patches. I admire your passion in growing vege and you are doing it successfully. Have a wonderful weekend to you and your family!

Mr. H. said...

I love that you have had so much success with your cauliflower. I am going to take your advice and work on doing a better job of interplanting mine this year as pests are always an issue with us as well when it comes to cauliflower.

One said...

You do have lots of healthy veggie. I like to mix my plants up. I've read up about companion planting and think this is really the ideal way. I'm not sure if all I read are true. So far, cabbage and marigold seem to go well together. I have not pay enough attention to my tests to write something meaningful. Anything that get rids of mealy bugs? They are on my sugar apple tree.

Cat-from-Sydney said...

I'm packing my bags now and moving to the house next to yours!!! hehehe....we used to plant kailan, cauliflower and bokchoy in pots. Guess it's different when it's in a proper garden like yours. purrrr....meow!

kitchen flavours said...

You utilize the space to the maximum! Really great to see all your beautiful veggies. This is something that I will have to apply in order to maximize the usage of my limited space! Thank you, Diana, you are an inspiration, as always! :)
Have a great weekend!

Why I garden... said...

I'm not at the stage that I'm companion planting yet as things really get going for me outdoors from June onwards. But I'm growing calendula and nasturtium from seed for interplanting. I mixed some veg in with the flower garden last year. I have alot to learn and your post is very helpful. Kelli

petite nyonya said...

i am liking your veggie patches so very very much!! if only i have such garden space. you truly have super green thumbs!

Lrong said...

Am using the companion planting technique too... very pretty pics!

catmint said...

Hi MKg, you are learning so much and your amazing looking and prolific veggie harvest is the evidence. I also enjoyed your last post about the zinnias and love the photo of the ladybird. Unfortunately don't see as many of them these days. Hope you're feeling better, cheers, catmint

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Mark~ I have some fennel seedlings that ready to be transplanted and not sure where to grow them since fennel don't grow well with most plant.

Sue~ My family like them very much so, I have to make sure we plant them a lot. We plant extra for friends and neighbours too.

CikManggis~ Kami pun masa awal-awal main belasah je tanam ada yang nasib bagus, ada juga yang tak menjadi.

Stephanie~ At the end os season, usually the patch look so messy. You have a nice weekend too.

Mr. H~ I found with interplanting when the pest start to attack it won't spread very fast like growing in rows.

One~Some are true and some are not. How big is that tree? You can plant some companion plant to reduce the number attack but it will only work if both of the plants are in same height. If your sugar apple tree is tall the top part will still not escape from the pest attack which happen to my cucumber plants. No problem with the lower part of the plant but the pest are clever to stay at the top of the plant.

Cat-from-Sydney~Fish that we caught today from our fishing trip were still small so had to toss them back to the water. You are very welcome to stay with us. But my boys won't leave you alone;-).

Kitchen Flavours~ Good Luck. I think using your frontyard for vegetable gardening is a great idea. You will be an inspiration in your neighbourhood when they watch your plant.

Kelli~We learn from each other. There are many vegetables that you are growing at the moment which we are growing for the first time this fall planting.

Petite nyonya~Boleh! We don't have much space to grow either.

Lrong~Hope you can share some of your companion planting technique that you are using in your potager with us.

Catmint~I hope this winter season, I will have the chance to learn more about growing herb. Some of the new herbs for our garden this autumn are chervil, dill and fennel. I have no idea what to do with them for cooking.