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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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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New Garden, Dew Drops & Spiderwebs & Good Ol’ Manure ~ May ’17 Round Up

    The Seasons are changing. The nighttime grows colder, longer; quieter. Morning’s coming later; creeping in with the mists of the sea, over the wetlands towards Our Garden. The chickens sleep in a bit longer now. So does Merlin, aka Blue, the resident peacock. The horses don’t seem to mind or even notice: like old friends of Time, they do not even rise to greet each other anymore. They just carry on, as usual, knowing they share an unspoken…

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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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Strawberry Companions

Strawberries Love…. Spinach – contains the compounds known as saponins, which repel pests Spring Onions – strong smell repels pests Chives – strong smell deters pests. Chives add potassium and calcium to the soil through their chopped-and-dropped leaves. Basil – wards off aphids and mites. Thyme – deters worms. Catnip – discourages insects as aphids and cabbage loopers — both enemies of the strawberry. Yarrow – attracts pollinators Comphrey – conditions the soil. Leaves can be used to mulch and feed…

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