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Veggie Gardening & Companion Plants

5 min read | Dec 13, 2012 | Plants 

Tired of the economy? Well, you can help chisel away expenses by growing your own herbs and veggies; the amount you can save is well worth the effort. In addition to wallet relief, you’ll have peace of mind knowing what chemicals (or lack thereof) is in the food you put on the table (plus everyone knows fresh is better!). In addition to these two perks, you’ll get some great exercise preparing and taking care of your garden. It’s an all around win!

Don’t have the room or time to take care of a garden? Try container vegetable and herb gardening. Everything you need to know is included in this article, including companion plants and tips on problem solving, both for newbies and experienced gardeners alike!

Light Conditions
Most veggies and herbs need at least 8-12 hours of full sun. There are a few that can take more shade, such as lettuce, cabbage, spinach, parsley and onions. But, for the most part, they need a lot of sun to produce a crop!

Clay, wood and plastic pots are the best to use. If using wood, it is best to use cedar. Treated (deck) wood is not advisable because it contains toxins. If using old plastic containers, make sure they have not contained any toxic chemicals. Depending on what type of plants you are planting, you can even use plastic trash containers. Tip: To jazz up an old trash can, spray paint it a lighter color. Looks good and the lighter color helps to keep the roots from getting hot. Be certain that the paint you select is appropriate for the container you have chosen (i.e. wood, plastic or clay).No matter what type of pot you choose, it must have good drainage; one small drill hole in a five gallon container will not do the trick. A good rule of thumb is to always put at least three holes in the bottom of your pot (three large holes for a five gallon container, slightly smaller for smaller containers; you get the idea). Adding an inch or two of gravel to the bottom of the container will also help with drainage. If your pot is located on a deck or concrete/cement, you might want to lift it by placing a few bricks underneath, thus ensuring good drainage. An ideal situation is to put it on a caster with wheels. This allows you to rotate the plant to ensure it receives sun on all sides and grows evenly. It also makes it easier to relocate to the garage, indoors or to any protected area where inclement weather will not harm it. Remember to choose a container that will support the plant once it reaches it’s full potential.

If using seeds, start in small containers and once well rooted, transplant to a larger container. I find it easier to purchase a well established plant that has been taken care of from the garden center. You can try different veggies, but the ones listed here are the most ideally suited for container gardens: dwarf tomatoes (cherry, roma, etc.), peppers, onions, beans, lettuce, squash, radishes, cucumbers, cabbage, spinach, peas, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, greens and turnips.

Good Container Combinations
– Tomatoes, Marigolds, Curly Parsley and Oregano: Need a Cage
– Cucumbers, Borage, Marigolds: Need a Cage
– Spinach/Strawberry and Chives: Need a Cage
– Peppers, Basil, Oregano and Marjoram: Need a Cage

Tomato & Vegetable Products We Carry at Fairview:Insect & Disease ControlBonide Tomato & Vegetable 3-in-1
Three garden products in one. This product is a multi-purpose fungicide/insecticide/miticide. Kills eggs, larvae and adult stages of insects. Prevents fungal attacks of plant tissue as well as controls disease outbreaks. May be used right up to the day of harvest. Approved for organic growing.
This is a ready-to-use plant hormone that promotes blossom set and fruit development as well as increased fruit yield. Spray the blossom and surrounding foliage until the leaves are saturated. Repeat as new blossoms appear or at weekly or two week intervals. Tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, okra, melons, strawberries and grapes will often bear fruit earlier.

Bonide Rot-Stop
Don’t you hate it when your tomatoes are starting to ripen and all of a sudden the bottom of the tomatoes rot? Blossom end rot on tomatoes and other vegetables is caused by a calcium deficiency. To help control blossom end rot, apply R

Veggie Pharm
This is an organic insecticidal soap with organic garlic and peppermint oils. Use Veggie Pharm to treat powdery mildew, horticultural fungus and garden pests; it is an insecticide, miticide and fungicide all-in-one! This glycerin-based soap controls insects. The organic oils prevent fungal spores from traveling and maturing to disease.

FertilizersOsmocote Vegetable and Flower
Slow released plant food. Guaranteed not to burn. Provides continuous feeding for up to four months. Special formula balances vigorous top growth with strong root development. Recommended for growing mouth-watering vegetables and hardy perennials.

Cockadoodle Doo
Cockadoodle Doo Super Premium Fertilizer is an organic, nutrient-rich fertilizer. It is highly effective and easy-to-use. 100% safe for children and pets.

Tomato Tone by Espoma
This is a complex blend of natural ingredients that provides all the nutrients your tomatoes require. Because the nutrients in Tomato Tone release slowly, it is very safe to use. Feed your tomatoes twice a month. No need to supplement with water soluble plant foods, because an overabundance of nitrogen will encourage the plant to over produce foliage at the expense of the fruit you want.

Happy Veggie & Herb Gardening!
Pegi R., Greenhouse & Cindy K., Garden Center
FairviewGreenhouses & GardenCenter