Companion Planting is An Ancient Farming Technique
Organic gardening entails more than just not using petro chemicals to kill pest and weeds and fertilize the plants. Straight from India comes a great article about companion planting your vegetables and flowers.
Companion Planting Explained
Thanks to author Vinita who write this article in CitizenMatters in Bangalore. Here is a paragraph about cucumbers, the vegetable that I want to grow this summer.
“Cucumber: Cucumber is good to plant with corn and beans. The three plants like the same conditions: warmth, rich soil and plenty of moisture. Let the cucumbers grow up and over the corn plants. A great duet is to plant cucumber with sunflower. The sunflower provides a strong support for the vines. Cucumber also does well with peas, beetroot, radish, and carrot. Radish is a good deterrent against cucumber beetles. Dill planted with cucumbers helps by attracting beneficial predators. Keep potato away from cucumber.”
Companion planting is a great idea for terraces and balconies. Really urban gardeners have to use any available sunny space they can find! If your terrace or balcony can take some weight (and it just better if you are going to farm there) you should use the largest pots you can get away with. Use perlite not sand for drainage to keep the soil mixture light. And, of course grow your food on trellis’ that you can attach to the railings.
Potagers are gardens designed to combine ornamentals, herbs, and food plants in a lovely and easy to harvest way. Farming doesn’t haven’t resemble 4H! You can also farm in a sophisticated estate garden, in a contemporary xeriscaped garden, or a Japanese rock garden (maybe?) as long as it is sunny most of the day.