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The Mix & Match Guide to Companion Planting: An Easy, Organic Way to Deter Pests, Prevent Disease, Improve Flavor, and Increase Yields in Your Vegetable Garden Hardcover-spiral – March 11, 2014
"Neverworld Wake" by Marisha Pessl
Read the absorbing new psychological suspense thriller from acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Marisha Pessl. Learn more
About the Author
JOSIE JEFFERY grew up with a companion planting chart pinned up permanently in the kitchen. She studied Horticulture and Garden Design at the University of Brighton, is the author of two gardening books, and runs a seedbomb business, SeedFreedom.
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Each page of each strip has symbols that get matched with symbols on the other strip pages (about 25 pages for each strip)!. The more matching symbols, the greater the partnership. But wait, you once you find companions, you now must check the general comments in case one of the companions is antagonist, in which case, should not be planted together?
Not only is that too confusing and to much work, some main crops are left out, like melons and winter squash. Corn and onion are treated as above ground companions. Spinach, peas, and beans are treated as below ground companions. So you'll have to rethink things, not consider them a main crop, but look in the index to find where they fit in.
OK, I can understand their way of thinking in that, but lets say I choose to plant pole beans. They are on the strip with bush beans and if I match the symbols, they both pretty much go with everything according to this system. All other publications I have say pole beans are not compatible with everything.
Now let's say I'm trying to find a place to put my marjoram plants. I want to know if I can put them near the peppers. Only one symbol matches. Does that mean it's OK or not ? And by the way, what does that symbol mean again? I have to flip back to the page somewhere in the beginning of the book to find out. There are 16 symbols to memorize.
And remember, that symbol (let's use SI) says crop 1 needs a soil improver, and crop 2 is a soil improver. But what if crop 2 releases an element that is detrimental to crop 1? The symbols don't tell you that. I have a few other books that tell me that stuff.
I thought this would be a handy tool to facilitate companion planting, but it's not so clear cut.
The mid to end portion has 3 segments of "cards" that can be flipped and matched with the companion plants. For example, the mid-section is the main crop. Then, you flip through the top section of cards to see which plants match up the best (have the most dots) with the mid-section card for whatever main crop you're using. Then, you can do the same for the lower section of cards. Or, you can just go with the top and main or the bottom and the main.
The thought with the 3 sections of cards is a middle one for the main crop, the top section is for the crops that benefit the main crop from above the soil line. The lower section of cards are the crops that would benefit the main crop from below the soil line.
The cards have photos of the plants and also the growing tendencies, important notes and common problems. Mid-section main crops are: apples, apricots, asparagus, beet, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cherry, cucumber, eggplant, grape, lettuce, parsnip, peach, pear, pepper, plum, potato, raspberries and other cane fruit, strawberry, tomato, turnip, and zucchini and other summer squash.
Cards for the top and lower card sections include many herbs, as well as things like onions and garlic, beans, alfalfa, and some non-edible plants, even. Also included are flowers.
The rest of the book contains general gardening information - helpful and pretty pictures, but not need in my opinion. Other portions expound on the history and cultural background of companion planting and celestial (lunar cycle) planting/harvesting.
Overall, I am happy to have this book in my newly-formed gardening library. Due to its nice, pretty appearance, I would even give this as a gift to a gardener. It looks more $$$ than it actually cost.