Planting guide

Companion planting

Companion planting is a framework that can help us get the most compatible mix of crops. 

Some plants seem to do better in the company of certain plants and conversely suffer when planted with other plants.

Companion planting is one of the practices that gardeners have been applying for generations throughout history.

Crop rotation

Rotating crops is the most important rule when planning what to grow in your veggie garden.

When planting out beds it is important to consider what was planted previously and whether that will have an effect on the crop you want to plant now.

pH requirements

pH refers to the acidity or alkalinity of the soil and is measured by the concentration of hydrogen atoms in the water within the soil.

The pH of the soil has a direct effect on the availability of the major nutrients to the plants, as it controls many chemical processes in the soil.

Microbial activity is also affected by the acidity or alkalinity of the soil.
Plants have a range within the pH scale where they have optimum growth.

Family groups

Every plant belongs to a family group of related plants. 

These plants will have similar characteristics, such as:
- they like to grow in the same conditions
- they require the same nutrients
- they are susceptible to the same diseases and pests
- they perform the same function eg. legumes fix nitrogen in the soil

Knowing which plants belong to which family is important in crop rotation, and in the general planning of where to plant crops.

Moon cycles

Gardening by the cycles of the moon has been followed for centuries and does appear to have an influence on the health and viability of plants

Certain phases of the moon dictate particular activities such as when it is best to plant root crops, or when nothing at all should be done.

General tips

This section comprises random tips and ideas that have come to us along the way.

Some of them will be mentioned in other categories, but those that are particularly useful have been included here.

Often there are small observations or little hints which don’t seem to fit anywhere else but they are worth sharing.