Guilds & Companion Planting

Banana Citrus Circle Pit

We are so excited and blessed to have Peter Rain Treurnicht join the Growing Home Team! I met him back in 2015 at the Hogsback Festival of Trees in the Eastern Cape and instead of coming back to Cape Town Peter ended up going to live and work on an amaaaaaazing Permaculture Farm just outside East London – for 2 years! He is now back in the city and itching to Get Growing again and we are super stoked to have him…

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Nourishing Nettle ~ Wild Food & Medicine & How to Harvest without the Sting

Sometimes Nature has an odd sense of humour. Take Stinging Nettle – Urtica urens here for example: at a glance she looks rather unassuming, even inconspicuous. Now, take a closer look: see those fine hairs? Well, if you’ve happened to brush past stinging nettle, you will know what I am talking about: those hairs sting as they come into contact with the skin – and not just a momentary prick but a lingering stinging and sometimes itchy and almost burning…

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A Shout-Out to Nasturtiums ~ Beneficial in the Garden & in Medicinal Food Recipes

One of the most beautiful things about the winter garden has to be nasturtiums. We have grown to love her bright orange, yellow and even red blooms and her big, round leaves that rise up to dance in the breeze.They bring with them some winter brightness as well as the pollinating bees to the garden. Our kids love to pick a nasturtium leaf that has a few droplets of water nestled in it’s centre and watch how it rolls around…

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Companion Planting with Leeks

Leeks are part of the Allium family. For the purpose of companion planting, leeks should generally be treated like onions. Leeks are related to onions, garlic and chives. They prefer full sun though partial shade is tolerable. They require moderate water and nutrients. Companion Plants should have similar soil, sunlight and watering requirements as well as an additional attribute such as pest or disease suppression, flavor enhancement or so forth. Leeks, chives, onion and garlic all emit a pungent aroma…

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Introducing our Medicinal, Herb and Indigenous Garden

Every garden deserves a wild place. Ours is filled with indigenous plants, medicinal herbs and healing plants. It wraps itself around the far corner and along the back wooden fence; closest to where we sit under the shade of the big bottle brush tree that is so often filled with birdsong. It is still new – everything lovingly placed with intention in carefully chosen places. All of these plants will act as companions to our entire garden as they attract…

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Friends & Foes of Onions

Onions are shallow growers, making them excellent companions to deep rooted vegetables. The best onion plant companions are members of the cabbage family because onions naturally repel pests that love cabbage family plants, such as cabbage loopers, cabbage worms, and cabbage maggots. Cabbage family plants include: Broccoli Kale Brussel Sprouts Cabbage Kholrabi Onions deter aphids and Japanese beeltes which means you can use them as companions to plants that often suffer from these pests. Other companions to onions include: Tomatoes…

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What’s The Deal With Dynamic Accumulators?

The term “dynamic accumulator” is often heard in Permaculture circles and is used to describe plants that have long tap roots that allow them to draw up nutrients and minerals from deep in the ground. These nutrients and minerals are stored in the leaves of the plants which are later “chopped and dropped”  or naturally die back or fall to the ground around the base of other plants, allowing them to release the stored nutrients as they decompose, making them…

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A Lemon Tree Guild

We love lemons and believe every garden should have a lemon tree. Lemon trees are quite hardy and established trees can tolerate drought conditions remarkably well. The cuticle layer that makes the leaves so shiny is what helps to conserve water. We have inherited a lemon tree on our new garden plot that has not been watered in over 6 months, during a very hot summer drought: and it is still blossoming and baring fruit! We have had to prune…

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Asparagus Companions

 Companions for asparagus or any other vegetable must be compatible with each other. Asparagus is a perennial that likes a sunny area of the garden. They take 2-3 years to reach a full yield and, thereafter, produce spears for the next 10-15 years! This means that companions for asparagus must like sun exposure and be able to work around the semi-permanent asparagus. Asparagus Loves …. Parsely – helps with plant vigor Basil – helps with plant vigor Tomato – plant…

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Broccoli Companions

Broccoli Loves …. Dill – strong smell deters common garden pests Sage – strong smell deters common garden pests Rosemary – strong smell deters common garden pests Basil – strong smell deters common garden pests Mint – strong smell deters common garden pests Garlic – strong smell deters common garden pests Thyme – strong smell deters common garden pests Bush Beans Lettuce – likes the shade of broccoli Potato Radish Shallots & Onions – improves flavour Celery – improves flavour…

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