Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

In the Garden—Planting Plans Part 2

Last week I told you some of my plans for what I'll grow in my garden. Here's some more of those plans.

After the last frost I'll plant herbs, sunflowers, nasturtiums, and marigolds. These I'll plant in any of the plots, except the sunflowers which will go in the south-facing plot, where they will hopefully grow tall and stately. Sunflowers have the added benefit of attracting birds, including hummingbirds. Nasturtiums repel a lot of harmful insects, and act as a trap crop for aphids, especially black aphids. They'll add some color to my garden, and the leaves, flowers, and seeds are all edible. Interestingly, they do well in poor soil, and may even flower better in poor soil.

Marigolds will add color to my garden, and are great at deterring harmful insects and nematodes (roundworms). However, they do attract spider mites and slugs. I well-know slugs love of marigolds from when I planted the flowers in my plot in the Fairhaven College garden and they were utterly destroyed. But I don't think Idaho has as much of an issue with slugs as western Washington. If slugs do look like they'll be a problem, I can surround the plants or my little plot with used coffee grounds.

When frost is long gone I'll plant oregano, basil, and tomatoes. The basil and tomatoes will definitely go in the south-facing bed; in past years tomatoes have done very well there, even reseeded itself. Basil improves the growth and flavor of tomatoes. I'll also have chives here because they grow well with tomatoes and keep the aphids away. The dill will not go here because it attracts tomato horn worm. However, my roommate Aleks has told me that if there are horn worms anywhere in the vicinity of Moscow they will find my tomatoes.

In August I'll plant more spinach and calendula, which will still grow in cooler September weather. I also would not be surprised if when shopping for seeds and plants, something unplanned shouts at me to be planted. Pansies or peppers or English daisies.

To find out the last frost in your area, go here. To find out more about companion plants, go here.

Do you have any gardening plans?

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