Monday, September 27, 2010

Companion planting

We plant companionably and we plant companion plants. Now there is a mouthful for you. A recent visitor to the garden was quizzing me on the bright orange and yellow flowers putting on such a good show. Are they marigolds? Calendulas? Mmm, I'm not sure I answered but I am sure they were planted to be companions to some other plant. They might have been planted to deter some of the nasties which decide they want to eat our hard won vegetables.

So a little investigation led me to this pagewhere the flower certainly doesn't look anything like the ones in the garden. So I searched further. This site has a few more photos of different marigolds but still not one resembling the flowers in our garden.

Now move onto calendulas and see if this is what we have. Ah, the photos here look much more like what we are growing and they still have properties which control sap-sucking insect pests (such as aphids, thrips and whitefly).

I like the tips about hanging the dead flower heads to harvest more seeds for next year when I will be able to talk with much authority about the calendulas and the pests they deter.

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Would love to hear your comments and please ask questions...can't guarantee I can answer them but will try!