March is a frustrating month for many of us. Sure St. Pat’s Day is fun, but March is still kind of frustrating. I guess March has one thing going for it…it is not February!
Edible gardeners are often perplexed by this much maligned month. To plant or not to plant is often the question. I say don’t plant until you are sure the conditions will be just right. Instead of planting spend your time planning.
More specifically, I find this to be a great time of year to think about and plan some companion planting. My style of companion planting embraces the unique characteristics of our family gardens. For example, we love growing lettuce because it tastes great when freshly picked and saves us a lot of money. The challenge comes during July and August when heat causes the lettuce to bolt, wilt or even disappear. Fortunately, we also love tomatoes and cucumbers. Over the years we learned to plant our lettuces and tomatoes in the shade of the sun-loving tomatoes and the succulent, crunchy cukes.
I also use the above technique with basil. However, basil typically prefers a bit more sun than most types of lettuce do. Basil is everywhere in our garden!
Another companion planting I find really useful comes from our friends, onions and garlic. I like to use these plants around the borders of our gardens. Onions and garlic are not a preferred target of many pests and critters. In fact, it is said these plants deter many bugs and even animals.
What types of companion planting do you do in your edible gardens?