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Preparing for a Happy Harvest

Did you know that certain fruits and veggies can be each other’s best friends or worst foes when planted in pairs? No one wants an unsuccessful garden with plants that are unable to grow fully; so, to ensure that you reap a bountiful harvest and make the most of your garden, here are some key tips for you to take to your garden this planting season!

Garden Foes
When planting your garden, make sure all your plants will be happy and healthy! The last thing you want is for your plants to stunt one other’s growth. This unfortunate mishap can occur a few different ways: planting different sized crops near one another, and overhydrating or dehydrating them. Making sure your plants are similar in size or height is important because taller plants can block sunlight from reaching the shorter ones. For this very reason, you should not grow tomatoes next to broccoli, cauliflower, kale, or potatoes. If you are interested in growing plants of varying heights, make sure that there is plenty of space between them.

The second thing that can cause a growth problem is overhydrating or dehydrating. While some plants require a lot of watering and fertilization, others are very low maintenance and too much water could stifle their growth.

Another aspect to consider when preparing for a happy harvest is the placement of all your plants. For example, avoid planting beans near peppers, leeks or garlic. Or, if you’re wanting to grow tomatoes in your garden, avoid placing them next to broccoli, cauliflower and cilantro. Want broccoli and cauliflower in your garden? Their enemies when situated near one another are squash, strawberries, peppers and tomatoes. However, there are some plants that actually help others grow!

Garden Friends
Start companion planting! A great way to ensure a bountiful and thriving garden is by planting vegetables from complementing families, or simply referring to a companion chart. Below are some plants that grow great together with recipes you can make straight from your garden!

Do you love spinach? If you said yes, you just agreed in unison with many other fruits and vegetables!  Spinach is one of the easiest vegetables to grow because it can be planted alongside a plethora of plant friends like strawberries and tomatoes. We love to grow these together to make this nutritious and refreshing Spinach, Strawberry and Quinoa salad!

If you are looking for another plant that will blossom alongside many different vegetables, try cabbage! A few of cabbage’s closest companions are beets, potatoes and onions. This vegetable not only gets along with an abundance of crops in a garden, it especially tastes great when it’s paired with a few of its friends like in this Cabbage and Beet Slaw recipe!

Carrots and radishes are also a popular garden duo! They are featured as the base ingredients for this delicious Carrot and Radish Salad. The different flavor profiles help jazz up your salad collection and color your plate in no time! 

Growing a vegetable garden doesn’t mean you only have to grow vegetables! Flowers and herbs can also be great companions because of their beauty and insect repelling abilities. Try planting Marigolds and Oregano around your garden to repel many insects and pests. Herbs such as basil, dill and thyme can help deter pests and improve the flavor of your other plants. Try planting a few herbs and flowers nearby to keep the pests out and grow a bountiful harvest!

Which companion plants do you have in your garden? Share with us in the comments below!

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