This week the kids learned the concept of companion planting. Simply put, grouping plants together by how they can help each other is one of the secrets to organic gardening. (So is worm poop, but we’ll get to that later.) Squash bugs LOVE squash plants but they HATE radish. So how about we plant radish next to our squash?
Our radish help our squash by preventing an attack of squash bugs! How great a friend is that?
A really good one. And since we’re planting tomatoes this week–heirloom red beefsteak–how about we plant some basil with them?
Basil is said to improve the growth and flavor of tomatoes. Sounds good to me!
Teamwork comes in real handy with this project, especially when it comes to forming wells around our plants. Above, one student shows another how it’s done. Below, the excitement continues!
We do so, because it will help collect and direct water to the base and roots of our plants. But plants need more than water, they need food. And what kind of food do they like best?
Yep–you guessed it. Worm poop! I mean, plants get their food from the soil, right? And who lives in the soil?
Worms. And it just so happens that worm poop is full of nitrogen (N of the N-P-K) which helps the plant make green leaves.
Isn’t nature fabulous? We have friends above the ground and friends below the ground. We’ll talk more about companion planting as time goes on, but remember: it’s a key tenet of organic gardening and we’re organic gardeners!