Every year my garden is attacked by bugs, like WWII. There is rarely a survivor among them. So, because of this I’m trying my hand at companion farming.

Companion farming is known by most people through their elementary education. Native Americans were/are well-known for their innovative farming, known as three sisters gardening. The whole principle is based around the three plants helping each other to flourish. Corn, pole beans, and squash are the three vegetables used in this method.

The pole beans impart nitrogen into the ground, for the corn to use, while simultaneously using the corn as a trellis.  The squash helps keep the weeds down with extensive shading, making it much easier to care for the garden space. They were typically planted on hills, but I have never had much success with hills.

I’m taking it one step further and trying to add in new flowers, herbs, and vegetables around my more treasured plants. I did some research and found a pretty large pool of information on the subject. Particularly keeping squash bugs at bay, which has been my life’s mission (and occasional failure) for many years now. Even one day of missing some eggs can ruin a crop.

The common thread I saw in all of my research was that the nasturtium plant was, hands down, the best to keep away squash bugs. That alone will make me jump for joy, but it isn’t the end of the struggle. Last year I saw the addition of a flying moth that’s larvae invades the inside of the stem of many melons and squash plants. Cementing an awful harvest last fall.

This lead to discovering that possibly radishes will help distract them. Many folks have had good results, so maybe I can too. Worth a shot right? I found even more good companions, for things like broccoli, lettuce, and tomatoes. But I think I’ll save that for another post, just to keep things chill.

 

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