Garden

Earlier this week I planted my garden! This was my big goal for the spring, and it is so exciting to actually have my plants in the ground.

Before planting I read about how to plant vegetables organically. I specifically wanted to learn about companion planting because my aunt told me about this and she does it in her garden. Companion planting means planting different plants right next to each other specifically to benefit the plants.

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Here are some cool things I learned about companion planting:
– Companion planting can increase fruit/ vegetable yield of the plant
– When certain plants are planted together, they can both naturally resist pests, and attract beneficial insects. One method of doing this is called planting a “trap plant”. This means that you plant something that pests are more attracted to around another plant or plants. The idea is that if you have a pest problem, they will go after the trap plant and leave your good plants alone. Here is a good article on this.
– It utilizes the space well. For example, root plants can grow into the soil while upright plants row up, and veining plants grow out.
– Companion planted gardens look pretty! Check this one out:
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(Source)

I chose to grow several plants from seed, but they were not ready to add to my big garden yet. I will wait a couple more weeks to add them. But many of the seedlings are doing great. I have planted these from seed: Sunflowers, Marigolds, Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Peas, Carrots, Lettuce (not doing so well), and Zucchini.

I also planted Cilantro and Basil from seed in pots, but I will keep them in the pots for now. (It is exciting to see my cilantro getting little cilantro-looking leaves already!) Earlier I was talking to a local greenhouse owner, and he said herbs will grow pretty well in shade, and I’ve got a nice little patch of shaded soil along the side of my house. I might make that into an herb garden in the future.

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Last year for my birthday I got a blueberry bush. This spring it perked up right away and now it has leaves and flowers all over it. It’s so pretty. I bought another small blueberry bush because I learned that they need to cross-pollinate with other plants, preferably different species, in order to produce blueberries.

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Alright, so for my garden, I am using the two flower beds in my front yard. We have a big deer problem where I live (like the deer aren’t even afraid of people, or of cars, or of walking on doorsteps), so Coleman built a fence for the garden out of chicken wire and some scrap wood from our basement. I left some space to add plants that I am growing from seed. Here is what I have planted (these are plants purchased at a local greenhouse, all heirloom seeds):

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Top Flower Bed: Marigolds, Spinach, Strawberries, Garlic & Onions (from seed); and I am growing Zucchini and Carrots from seed and will add them later

Bottom Flower Bed: Marigolds, Cucumbers, Garlic & Onions (from seed); and I will add sunflowers, bell peppers, and peas which are also growing from seed

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I planted the marigolds in both places because they are really great for most plants, and they have the added benefit of keeping away deer. According to what I read about the companion planting, the plants I put together should not harm each other, and if all goes well, they might help each other.

Hope this garden works out! I’m excited!

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