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Gardening Companions

May 8, 2009

Peas and Sunflowers

I received a copy of Great Garden Companions by Sally Jean Cunningham for Christmas this winter. In it, Sally talks about all kinds of ways to pair plants that are compatible and complementary to each other. Here in the Carolina Victory Garden, I have tried to incorporate  some of her suggestions in to my garden. My logic may be slightly flawed, when it comes to my choices, but I have planted large sunflowers and peas together in the front large bed with a row of cosmos in front of them. the idea is that the peas will use the sunflowers as supports by growing up the stalks. In the photo above, you can see a sunflower surrounded by peas.

In the back yard I planted basil in between the tomato plants and planted corn with the runner beans. According to Sally, Native Americans traditionally planted corn, beans and squash and called them the “three sisters” because they grew so well together. Due to the space constraints and the original garden plan, I have placed the tomatoes and basil in a row in front of the beans and corn rather than the squash. We’ll see how this works and next year, I may plan to actually put the squash in with the beans and corn. Do you use the companion planting method in your garden? How does it work for you?

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