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Companion Planting Herbs, Autumn Season - Gardening Western Australia
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Companion Planting Herbs, Autumn Season - Gardening Western Australia

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Companion Planting Herbs, Autumn Season - Gardening Western Australia

Companion Planting Herbs, Autumn Season - Gardening Western Australia

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  • 1. Gardening WA 2005 Autumn Season Fact sheetSegment Title: Companion Planting HerbsEpisode 9: Veggies, Fruit & All That’s Home GrownPresenter: Kate MainWhether you’re spicing up a dish, need remedies for ailments or want to keep insects at bay there’s a herb foryou. Most herbs are rapid growers and need very fertile conditions with regular feeding during the growingseason.Most herbs are herbaceous perennials, which have a dormant period. They should be cut back hard at thisstage when they look scruffy. It’s a good idea not to apply fertilisers at this time as they will be wasted.Compost and mulch are very important though, as is water. This is especially true of those plants grown inpots. In hot weather the soil needs to be kept moist, but not wet.Some herbs can, due to their vigorous nature, become a weed if grown in an inappropriate location and forexample, it is always recommend that mint be grown in a pot.Herbs are fabulous in the veggie patch because many are companion plants and ward off insects. Somefavourites are:CHAMOMILEChamomile is an evergreen, mat forming perennial, with fine light green, feather-like divided leaves. It cangrow to 30cm in height, although it is often cut shorter and grown as a lawn. It grows well in sun or partialshade and is tolerant of frosts and foot traffic. It prefers a moist, but well drained, fertile soil and it’s a goodidea to build up soil with lots of organic matter before planting. Companion plant that will go well near it areonions, the chamomile will improve their flavour. Others are cabbages and cucurbits. If grown as a lawnchamomile will tend to repel insects.Uses: Flowers believed to repel fleas, flies and some other insects. The flowers can be used in teas, forculinary and medicinal purposes. Or as an attractive lawn which rarely needs mowing!CHIVESChives are small bulb forming, lily-like plant that grow to a height of approximately 20cm, and produce amauve flower ball up to 15 mm diameter.Growing Conditions: Chives need full sun or semi shade with an open or protected position and grow best ina temperate to tropical climates. The plant prefers well drained, moist, fertile soils. Cut and fertilise yourplant regularly.Useful in repelling both air- and soil-borne pests, so may be beneficial to other susceptible plants such asroses, fruit trees, grapes, cucurbits (eg. pumpkin, cucumber), brassicas (eg. cabbage, cauliflower), tomatoesand carrots.Uses: Culinary, medicinal, and repellent properties. The leaves can be used to flavour savoury foods, such asmeats or vegetables, or can be chopped as a garnish (e.g. for herb breads and soups)
  • 2. CORIANDERCoriander is a hardy annual that grows to a height of 30cm. Its flowers are small and pink, and its fruits aresmall, round balls that turn from green to brown as they dry out. Coriander prefers a moist, fertile, welldrained soil and grows similar to parsley. It does go to seed quickly in warmer weather. Companion plant thatwill go well near it are radish and spinach as the coriander will germinate and develop quicker, also potatoes.Do not plant near roses. Coriander is said to repel aphids.Uses: Coriander seeds are used to flavour cakes and breads, they taste sensational in curries and savourydishes. The leaves are used extensively in Asian cooking and the oil is used as a medicine for nausea. Theplant does attract bees when in flower.GARLIC (Allium sativum)Garlic is a hardy, clump forming plant that grows to 70cm in height. It has green to blue-green foliage, andwhite to pinkish flowers. It grows best in full sun. Spells of cold weather (ie. below 10 degrees C) are neededbefore planting the cloves), otherwise the foliage doesnt develop properly. Cold weather after plantinghowever, can slow development and reduce the crop. In most places cloves are planted over autumn or winterand harvested 6-9 months later.Culture: The plant prefers a rich, moist, fertile, well drained soil. Make sure to add some lime when you addcompost and manure. The foliage will die back to the roots (cloves) in cool winter areas and regrow in thespring. It is a good companion plant for most other plants due to its disease repelling feature. Good for fruittrees (for the control of borers), peach trees (for the reduction on peach leaf curl disease), roses (forprotection from black spot and some pests). Beneficial combination would be with carrots and tomatoes.Garlic sprays can be effective against many pests and diseases, but should be used fresh for best results(make up the spray and use it immediately).LEMON GRASSLemon grass is a semi-hardy clump forming grass that grows to 1.8 m tall. It prefers full sun to light shade.Culture: The plant prefers a moist, well-drained, organic rich soil or compost. One or two applications ofcompost or manure each year is beneficial. Frequent watering in the warmer months will promote rapidgrowth. It’s a good idea to cut back hard or divided the clump at the end of winter to allow fresh shoots togrow freely. It seems to grow well beside most mint family herbs including lemon balm, mentha and salvia.It is useful as a border planting to keep vigorous grasses out of garden beds.Uses: Leaves are used fresh or dry to make lemon grass tea. Stems are used extensively in Asian cooking.Herbs are multi-purpose. They add flavour to your meal and they can protect other plants in your garden.Great reasons to plant them now!Products featured in this segment: Baileys Potting MixBailey’s products are available from Bunnings and all leading garden centres