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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Companion Planting

2009 Native American Dollar, obverse
Planting the "Three Sisters" - corn, beans, squash

I was chatting with a colleague, asking what they do when they aren't working for a wage.

Turns out they have a half acre where they practice intensive gardening. They have 39 solar panels that produce 4.5 kW of electricity and tanks to hold up to 2000 gallons of water, along with an osmosis and UV treatment system so their water meets USDA standards for safe drinking water.

So cool!

I've spent some time checking out online resources for intensive gardening. I was particularly pleased by three of the resources I stumbled across:

1) VEGETABLE GARDEN: INTENSIVE GARDENING METHODS, a page at the Arizona Cooperative Extension website. They have an extensive table listing plant spacings for intensive gardening, a method for calculating the distance between companion plantings in such a garden, and a list of the top 15 vegetables from an economic value standpoint.

2) Companion Planting: So Happy Together! by Kelle Carter, in the April 2006 issue of the Seeds of Change eNewsletter. Kelle's article is informative and easy to read. And she includes a HUGE list of plants, good companion plants, and the effects of the suggested companions. Awesome!

3) Companion Planting post over at Emily's My Square Foot Garden. Emily has a spreadsheet that lets you figure out companion plants for a single crop or what third plant would work if you already have two other crops in that same space. I like that she tells you what plants to not plant next to one another, as well as giving degrees of goodness.

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