I have to be more creative with the mix and match of vegetables and flowers in each patch in our garden this fall. Hopefully, looking at the variety of seedlings available in our hands that is currently growing well and healthy, I can make many happy groups and not bad companions in one of the patch. I would try my best to plant these seedlings in block, inter-planting, successional sowing and spreading the same variety of plant at different location. One of the combination of plants that seems to get along very well which I have planted last fall did seems to be working were my kitchen garden patch (very small area which is about 1.3 X 2 per-square metre).
Front view of the kitchen garden in early spring.
We trained nastartiums to climb trellis near the wall. Nastartium were choking the plants when we let it rambling at the ground. Self-sowed violas, celery and carrots (topweight) are growing in partial shade. Some polyanthus flowers which can tolerate shade. Leeks recently planted in spring as it was bare after we harvested that small area transplanted near over-wintered carrot. Bolting coriander/cilantro plant nursing capsicum back to health which survived winter but were infested with aphids because it was weak against the cold weather. We have self-sowed french marigold and aquilegia growing near the front door. All the winter brassicas have been harvested and while we wait for summer seedlings to grow like tomato, inter-planting with komatsuna.
Kitchen garden side view.
Can you see 2 tomato seedlings inter-planting with komatsuna?
A closer look.
Can you see at the front sunflower seedlings?
A few week later, over-wintered celeries have bolted so I have replaced celeries with one zucchini plant. Sunflower seedlings has grown much taller. I found that growing sunflower and zucchini close together has less crop compare with zucchini plants which is not growing together with sunflower. However, sunflower did not effect on viola. The reason we planted sunflower in front of the kitchen window is to provide us some shade from the afternoon sun. Moreover it is not ideal to plant herbs here during summer, too hot for them. In winter this patch received very limited sun, only leaf vegetable can grow well here. This is the main thing I have to remember when I plan to grow things in this patch, Summer-too hot; winter-almost no sun.
Photo taken in middle of summer where the sunflower has already fully bloom, the plants flop toward the ground when it is too hot and gradually start to go upright again in the afternoon after drinking some water. Over-wintered capsicum producing. Cherry tomatoes did well last summer. Bean and jicama (legume) not fond of this soil here. Aquilegia spent-blooms were left dry and collect the seeds later which is giving us lots of babies at the moment. I am still not satisfied on how I use the space here, need to think of new plan next summer.
What is "Companion Week" and Seed Give-Away visit this post for more information.