Companion Planting and the Green Thumb - University of Tennessee
June 2010 UT Extension—Greene CountyVolume 2, Issue 4 “The Greene Thumb” Special points of interest: • Companion Planting • Daylily Booster • Nasturtiums in the Garden • Weed Eating Companion Planting... Geese Companion planting assists gardeners in their quest to avoid the use of • Grass Clipping chemicals to control pests and disease in their gardens. Due to natural Mulch substances in their leaves, flowers and roots certain plants can repel and • Caterpillars discourage harmful pests. These same substances help attract beneficial and White bugs and insects to your garden. Use these plants as borders, back- Oaks drops, even inter-plant them in your garden as a natural way to keep • Scouting Your plants and flowers pest free. Garden • Natural Also, with the exception of fennel, most herbs planted in or near Insecticide vegetables will have a beneficial effect. Try planting herbs at the Remedy corners of beds to ward off flies and various insects and to attract bees. Basil Marigold Basil is an excellent companion The marigold flower is considered plant for tomatoes and is said to one of the best pest deterrent plants help improve the growth and flavor for a garden. The French marigold of the fruit. Plant basil with peppers, exudes a substance from its roots Harvest cabbage heads asparagus, petunias and oregano. that is said to kill nearby nema- when they are large, solid Basil will repel such pests as thrips, todes. Plant close to tomatoes to and firm to the touch, flies and mosquitoes. It also wards repel white flies. Mexican marigolds usually about 2 to 3 off spider mites, aphids and white are the most powerful insect repel- months after planting, flies. Bees are attracted to basil ling flower and keeps Mexican bee- depending on the variety. which allows for better pollination tles, tomato hornworms and rabbits results in your garden. Keep basil away from your plants. Plant mari- away from sage and rue. golds freely about your garden near potatoes, tomatoes and roses. Keep them away from beans and members of the cabbage family. (Continued on Page 2)
June 2010 “The Greene Thumb” Page 2Companion Planting continued...Mint Nasturtium RadishTomato plants and members Considered to be a gardeners The workhorse of the garden,of the cabbage family gain dream, nasturtium are small, radish plants, are goodhealth benefits from having easy to grow flowers that companions too many plantsmint as a companion plant. make excellent companion including broccoli, lettuce,Mint deters ants, fleas, plants for cucumbers, beans, melons, spinach, corn, beets,aphids and white cabbage squash and members of the beans, carrots, parsnips,moths. It attracts hover flies cabbage family. They fend peas, cucumber and allwhich eat aphids and other off woolly aphids, white flies, members of the squashpests that will damage your squash bugs, cucumber family. Radishes protecttomatoes. Mint attracts earth- beetles and pests belonging squash plants from borers;worms and is said to drive to the cucurbit family. they deter cucumber beetlesaway mice. Fruit growers often plant and rust flies. They lure nasturtiums around their fruit leafminers from your spinach trees; the strong odor of the plants. Let radish plants go to nasturtium keeps bugs away seed around corn and they from the trees. They have no will help stop corn borers. known enemy and can be planted around trees and almost anywhere in the garden. Keep nasturtiums away from your cauliflower plants. Do not plant radishes near cabbage, cauliflower, hyssop, turnips and Brussels sprouts. See Page 5 for Companion Planting Chart for Vegetables
June 2010 “The Greene Thumb” Page 3DAYLILY BOOSTER:• 1 teaspoon Epsom salt Molasses are a natural bio-stimulant containing• 1 ounce Sorghum Molasses sulfur, potash and many trace minerals needed• 1 tablespoon Baking Soda by plants. These minerals will be absorbed• 1 gallon Water through the foliage when used as a foliar dip or spray. Baking Soda will help control fungalBefore planting newly acquired or divided disease.Daylilies wash roots and submerge entire plant inthis simple bare root recovery booster. Use themixture to water plant when planting, poured overthe crown. Daylilies can be given this boosteragain when bloom scapes appear, to intensifybloom and foliage color.Caterpillars Devouring White Oaks... Over the last few days we have had numerous calls about caterpillars devouring the foliage in white oaks. Many of these trees are quite large, major defoliation has already occurred, and it would be difficult to treat with an insecticide spray. We have not received any samples yet but they appear to be the common oak moth and a type of inchworm, possibly a geometrid in the genus Phigalia or maybe fall cankerworms . Defoliation of infested trees is occurring and people are understandablyconcerned. Fortunately, when healthy trees become defoliated, the trees will quickly put out a newflush of foliage. A repeat defoliation from this pest should not occur since most of these caterpillarsonly have one generation per year.Keep an Eye on Your Garden...It is now that time of year when folks begin seeing leaf spots (many plants) and wilting (tomatoes and cucumbers). It isalmost impossible to diagnose any plant problem without seeing the plant. Fungus, mold, bacteria, virus, or borers cancause spots. Many are hard to distinguish with the naked eye. A healthy plant will fight off problems and a plant understress will attract disease and pests. The common initial problem is improper watering and fertilization. Many vegetablesrequire ‘consistent’ not ‘constant’ watering practices. Several disease and virus problems are attributable to beingtransmitted by thrips and aphids. Any vegetable plant that shows signs of stress (spots or wilting) will not fruit as well asit should. You need to correct the problems immediately. When. If you start seeing leaf spots, you will need to do thefollowing: • Get it properly diagnosed. • Once plants are established water once a week and deeply. Water only if soil is dry. • Water the soil not the plant. Only water the plant if you are using a fertilizer that can be applied as a foliar feed. • Check your plants regularly, at least every 3 or 4 days. Remove diseased leaves immediately. If the entire plant is affected, remove it before it infects other plants.
June 2010 “The Greene Thumb” Page 4Nasturtium Salad:Nasturtium flowers, leaves and green seeds are delicious in salads, vinegars, picklesand flavored oils.Ingredients: - 4 cups nasturtium blossoms - 1/2 teaspoon salt - 1/2 cup of violet leaves - 1/2 teaspoon black pepper - 1 clove garlic - 2 tablespoons lemon juice - 2 tablespoons chopped chervil leaves - 3 tablespoons olive oilTrim stems off blossoms and wash these and violet leaves under cool running water. Drain on papertowels. Rub inside of a wooden salad bowl with garlic clove. Put blossoms in bowl, add violet leaves,chervil, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice and oil. Toss gently and serve.Weed Eating Geese!Geese are voracious grass eaters dining on such invasive speciesas Bermuda grass, crabgrass, johnson grass and adversely will eatpuncture vine. They have to be controlled so they wont destroydesirable vegetation. Geese are being used more and more foralternative weed control by tree nurseries, organic farms and fruitorchards.All geese will weed to a certain extent. The best choice: A white Chinese weeding goose. TheChinese specifically bred this goose to be a weeder over 2,000 years ago. Imagine that! A goose at6-7 months of age will eat consume an amount of grass equal to their weight everyday! One gooseis adequate to weed an urban garden. For larger areas with an abundance of weedy grasses youwould require 3 to 5 geese to get things under control. If you have a pond or waterway on yourproperty your geese will appreciate a swim and they will keep the water free from grasses!Grass Clipping Mulch...Excellent for garden and flower beds. Be sure to spread out the clippings letting them dry thoroughlybefore applying. Good for keeping soil from splashing onto the plants and causing diseases. Willalso build nitrogen in the soil. Holds soil moisture quite well. Use at a depth of 3 inches. Flowering of chicory is a signal to be on the watch for the moth of squash vine borers. The moth is active for about two weeks, during which it lays its eggs on susceptible plants.
June 2010 “The Greene Thumb” Page 6NATURAL INSECTICIDE... Liquid soap is a If you need a stronger soap In a blender, combine great alternative to formula, try this: approximately 1 cup of toxic chemical for • 4 garlic cloves (segments) tomato leaves, 2 pints of both indoor and finely chopped water, and 2 teaspoons. of outdoor plants. • 1 small onion finely cornstarch. Strain and spray on chopped your roses.Mix 2 tablespoons of liquid • 1 tablespoon cayenne (red)soap or dishwashing liquid pepperwith 1 quart water, and pour • 2 tablespoons liquid soapinto a spray bottle. Most • 1 quart waterindoor household plantstolerate this natural pesticide Mix well and let set 1 hour.well. Spray leaves, stem and Strain and pour into a spray Cabbageworms and spidertopsoil to deter insects from bottle or other container. mites can wreak havoc on yourcoming back. Refrigerated, this natural garden plants. Try using 2 insecticide will last up to two tablespoons of sea salt addedAphids, mealybugs, whiteflies weeks. to a gallon of water, and sprayand mites are all affected by your plants with the mixture.this soap remedy. Make sure If you grow tomatoes andthe dishwashing liquid is NOT roses, heres an easy remedythe grease-cutting type! to keep pests away from your roses. Greeneville The Greeneville Farmer’s valerian, ice plant, red hot Market has a lot of organic poker, stevia, crape myrtle, Farmers Market choices, but if you do not buy coral bells, eggs, jams, “EAT FRESH. EAT LOCAL. BE HAPPY.” organic, at least you are buying canned vegetables, seasoned Saturdays, 6:00 AM-1:00 PM local. You are supporting your vinegars, peach BBQ sauce, Tuesdays, 2:00 - 6:00 PM community and its economy. habanero jelly, herb rub for Know your farmer. Know your pork, pita bread, sourdough (or until sellout, through October) grower. bread, sweet rolls, yarn, alpaca yarn, and hooked rugs.Located at the Greene County What has already been sold atFairgrounds, on Fairgrounds the market this season? MEMORIAL DAY AT THERoad, just off Highway 11-E Salad greens, lettuce, red MARKET - Wear the colors of(Andrew Johnson Highway). lettuce, kale, onions, spinach, this country, honor our warAll special events at the market asparagus, onion plants, heroesare free and open to the public! pepper plants, tomato plants, and buy herb plants, turnip spouts, fresh local food herbs, raspberry and blackberry for the bushes, hanging baskets, holiday.
June 2010 “The Greene Thumb” Page 7Calendar of Events...Sat., May 29 Sat.-Sun., July 3-4 Sat.-Mon., September 4-614th Annual Jonesborough Jonesborough Days Festival Archie Campbell DaysGarden Gala: Victory Gardens Jonesborough, TN Bulls Gap, TNRevisited. Event and speaker Visitor’s Center (423)753-1010 (423) 235-5216details on the Jonesboroughtown web site. Fri.-Sun., July 23-25 Tuesday, September 14, 2010 Bele Chere Street Festival Fall Home Gardening WorkshopSat.-Sun., May 29-30 Asheville, NC 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Greene CountyAsheville Blue Ridge Rose belecherefestival.com Extension OfficeSociety Annual Exhibition at the Conference RoomNC Arboretum Fri.-Sun., July 23-25 $10.00 registration fee. Wild Herb Weekend 2010Friday Evenings NC Herb Association: Vale Crucis Fri.-Sun., October 1-3May through September @ 7 PM Conference Center, Vale Crucis, National Storytelling FestivalMusic on the Square NC Jonesborough, TNJonesborough, TN storytellingcenter.netmusiconthesquare.com Tues.-Sat., July 27-31 (423)753-2171 Cullowhee Conference: NativeFri.-Sun., June 4-6 Plants in the Landscape. Western Sat.-Sun., October 9-10Blue Plum Festival Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC Cranberry FestivalJohnson City, TN Call 1-800-928-4968 Shady Valley, TNblueplum.org johnsoncounty.tn.org Thurs.-Sat., July 29-31 (423)727-7047Saturday, June 12 Grainger County Tomato FestivalDragonfly Day Rutledge, TN Sunday, October 17Warrior’s Path State Park graingercountytomatofestival.com Chillin’ and Grillin’Free, but pre-registration is Greeneville, TNrequired. Contact Marty Silver Mon.-Sat., August 9-14 greenecountypartnership.comat the Park. Greene County Fair (423) 638-4111 Greeneville, TNSaturday-Sunday, June 26-27 Lanny Love (423)638-6320Blooms Days Garden Festival http://www.greenecountyfair.com/and Market-Place The University of TN and theUT Gardens 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM Sat.-Sun, August 14-15 Big Spring Master GardenerNeyland Drive, Knoxville, TN Crockett Days Celebration Davy Crockett Birthplace State Association will host theSaturday-Sunday, June 26-27 Park, Limestone, TN 2011 Master GardenerFamily Farm Tour of the (423)257-2167 classes beginning JanuaryAppalachian Sustainable 2011 at the Greene CountyAgriculture Project (ASAP). Mon.-Sat., August 23-281:00 - 6:00 PM. Appalachian Fair, Gray, TN Extension Office.www.asapconnections.org appalachianfair.com
June 2010 “The Greene Thumb” Page 8 Farm Produce Marketing Meeting Coming to Erwin June 8th ~ 7:00 PMThis meeting will help farmers understand how to market theirproduce and other agricultural good successfully, whether you areselling at your farm or at a farmer’s market. Megan Bruch, MarketingSpecialist from the Center for Profitable Agriculture will be sharingnew ideas and secrets to selling your produce at the best pricepossible.The presenter is a very entertaining speaker and is a leading experton farmers’ markets and produce marketing. The title of thepresentation is “Making the Most of the Market”. The presentationwill help you reconsider how you sell your crop and you may seenew opportunities for bigger profits by making small changes. Meganwill help us understand how consumers think and how our displaysand container sizes effect sales.It is exciting to have this kind of program offered so close to home.The meeting will be held at Erwin Town Hall. Visit http://greene.tennessee.edu for more details on these and other calendar events. “Growing Great Gardeners in Greene County!” The University of Tennessee Extension is an off-campus division of the UT Institute of Agriculture. It is a statewide educational organization, funded by federal, state and local governments, that brings research-based information about agriculture, family andMelody Rose, consumer sciences, and resource development to the people ofExtension Agent Tennessee where they live and work.UT Extension,Greene County Because Extension emphasizes helping people improve their204 North Cutler Street livelihood where they are located, most Tennesseans have contactSuite 105 with UT Extension through their local county Extension agentsGreeneville, TN 37745 found in each of the 95 counties. Extension agents are supported by area and state faculty as well as by the educational and researchPhone: (423) 798-1710 resources and activities of the United States Department ofFax: (423) 798-1713 Agriculture (USDA), 74 land-grant universities, and 3,150 countyE-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org units throughout the nation. The stated mission of the system is to help people improve We’re on the Web!! their lives through an educational process that uses scientific http://greene.tennessee.edu/ knowledge to address issues and needs.