Companion Planting

It has been another busy week in the garden!  At this point nearly all the vegetables have been planted and many are showing great growth!  We have been tackling some pretty nasty weeds and are beginning to gain the upper hand in this never-ending battle.  We cleared the pumpkin patch and most of the sunflower bed, which were our toughest weed areas.  We laid straw in the walkways, which will hopefully keep the weeds to a minimum there.  We were very excited to install our new solar electric fence to keep the deer and rabbits away from our crops.  We also set up shade nets over the spinach and some of the lettuce to help keep the temperature at a reasonable level for these cool-loving plants.
  
When we weren't pulling up weeds, we also focused on some companion planting.  Companion planting can be used to keep certain pests away, assist each other in growing, or even repel other plants.  For example, we have planted marigolds around tomatoes, cucumbers, and will soon add them to the squash beds.  Marigolds destroy nematodes, and repel whiteflies, tomato hornworms, bean beetles, cucumber beetles, and asparagus beetles, which can all be devastating garden pests.  We also planted nasturtium surrounding the cucumbers to keep away the squash bugs which also attack cucumbers.  The nasturtium also produces beautiful and edible flowers, as a bonus!  We planted basil among some of the tomatoes and peppers because its strong scent deters and confuses some insect pests.  Plus, you can never have too much basil!  We hope that our garden will be well-protected from pests of all types.
The garden crew would like to offer our appreciation to all of the garden volunteers who have helped us out so far this season.  Volunteers are always welcome; please contact Heather at hellis@smcvt.edu if you are interested.

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