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Cosmic Gardening and Other Tricks

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Companion gardening isn’t exactly a social gathering, but it could be depending on how you look at it. In fact, the theory of companion planting does suggest compatibility between certain plants. Squash and nasturtium are friends, and so are tomatoes and basil. Companion planting also covers insect repellent characteristics of certain flowers.

From ancient folklore, the practice of companion planting is all but lost. There are really too many variables to lend credibility to this old time belief. A person may even go so far as to label it superstition. Amish folks use this method, and so do some older gardening buffs.

For the moment, however, say this theory is true. How did the first gardeners learn about companion gardening? Did they have spirits and divas to enlighten them?

For me, arranging a garden with repellent flowers, and using a buddy system has somehow accompanied the good fortune of many gardens with very few insect problems. (Knock on wood and see resource below)

As nature would have it, many insects have a scavenger role in the outdoor world. Creepy-crawly pests generally gravitate toward plants that are already unhealthy. They know it before you do. Starting the garden right, keeping it chemical free and well nourished is key.

Hygiene is important. Leaving dead brush or dead plants scattered about is a no-no. Bugs will set up housekeeping under these. Debris such as pop cans or seed packets encourage fungi to move in with the creeping little critters.

Keeping the soil turned keeps undesirable growth at a disadvantage. Here is where machines may come into the picture. A handy rototiller turns up weeds much faster than people can. However, the motor noise might upset the garden spirits.

The best thing to do for these cosmic creatures is to leave a sacred piece of the ground exclusively for them. When left undisturbed, the special ground provides a place for toads to live and raise a family. Toads help with insects intending to set up camp in the garden.

The first time I created a sacred space for devas. A small board with one end resting on an old brick made a nice lean-to home for a small toad. Then I noticed he had a companion. Shortly after, I took another peak and they were conjoined – one on top of the other with happy expressions I thought I saw in their eyes.

Rodale, a pioneer of organic gardening, says to leave a few weeds growing in the garden to help drainage. Leaving a few behind is o.k. If pigweed, or lambs quarters become gangly, take of the seed heads off. This can help limit the quantity of potential weeds. The worst weed is the dandelion, as it gives off gases that are noxious to the neighboring plant.

ref: http://gardening.about.com/od/organicgardening/qt/Interplanting.htm

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