companion planting in practice - part 1

In bed 1 I haven' yet got any plants but the ground is ready, I was experimenting in bed 2 with some newspaper mulching - which was basically just layers of 4 to 5 sheets of newspaper weighed down with pieces of wood where I would like to have a path, I'm curious to see how effective this is to keep down the weeds.

It has rained from last week when I put it down so the newspaper is wet but it seems to be doing what it's intended to do which is good. I have 4 pepper plants in the bed as well and they seem to be doing well. I watered the seedlings copiously and covered with newspaper mulching covering the 4 to 5 sheets of newspaper with soil just to weigh it down. The plants are doing well and there are no weeds around them which is great.

In a week I can see that the plants have grown noticeably by a few inches. There is a lot more space available for other plants so I would like to finish the combination planting table to plant some more in this bed tomorrow.

Bed 3 has 3 lettuce plants and a coriander plant which had been struggling since I had planted in but seems to have recovered in the last month. I suspect the soil in this bed isn't as good as the other beds as I've noticed the lettuce was also struggling and the plants remained quite small. I plan on mulching the area and perhaps and some compost soil when I have some ready. I also have a herb plant in the corner which I am yet to identify. I also have about half a meter of space on the left side and also additional space behind and in front of the lettuce which I would like to fill with complimentary plants.

In bed 4 I already have 10 broccoli plants, about 5 garlic cloves, 2 lettuce plants and 1 parsley plant - all plants seem to be doing very well.

The broccoli and the lettuce where all planted in the garden from seedlings around September, in January through to February the caterpillars attacked the broccoli and it was a struggle to keep the plants going but by the 1st of week of March the caterpillars disappeared (having all been manually killed) and haven't as yet come back.

The broccoli seems to be recovering, I've been taking off the leaves that turn red so that plan can focus on the green parts.

I have managed to get 3 harvests from the lettuce plants (helpings good enough for putting in a salad mixed with other ingredients for 2 people). This would be from both beds 3 & 4 so in total from 5 plants even though bed 3 Today it looks like the plants have enough foliage on them for the next harvest session perhaps in a weeks time.

Aimee Fenech

Aimee Fenech

Lifelong student, occasional nomad, eternal dreamer and writer, permaculture enthusiast, an escaped financial services professional aspiring to a long, healthy and happy life.

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