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Victory Gardening Tips: Top Heat Tolerant Veggies For Companion Planting!

As our climate gets warmer every year its time to think about growing your own victory garden to defray the costs of feeding yourself and family!

Growing plants next to their companions can improve the overall health of both plants. By eliminating competition between plants, you allow one to absorb what it may need without depriving the other. Additionally, as nutrients are pulled from the soil by one plant, the result can actually change the entire biochemistry of the soil. And when done right, the soil can then change or improve the flavor of other plants in the area.

Vegetables like corn, okra, eggplant, hot peppers, tomatillos, and even though they aren't vegetables, melons like watermelons and cantaloupes grow well in high heat conditions. Corn originated as a tropical grass. Vegetable gardening is all about becoming attuned to the environment around you even one that is quickly changing due to global climate events and a way to maximize land space and crops is companion planting. It is more important now than ever before to learn about how plants interact with your climate. Especially If you are used to a more temperate climate, or you have been taking your inspiration from gardeners further south from the equator, there may be an adjustment while you learn what your warming climate will support and what it won’t. Don’t be discouraged! But do your research and you will be rewarded for your efforts. It is absolutely possible to have a great garden, even in really hot places, if you plan accordingly.

Watering Schedule

As it gets hotter and summer becomes longer it is crucial to water your garden at least twice a day. It is best to do this morning and evening. Watering in the middle of the day is fine, but it is less efficient and a waste of precious water as so much of it evaporates before it gets to your plants. Be aware that it is still possible to overwater. Overwatering can cause mold, rot, or just literally “water down” the flavor of some vegetables!

Adding Mulch

Mulch is a necessity for very hot climates, as long as you are careful not to cover delicate seedlings. It is good to wait until your seedlings are well established, approximately 4-6 inches tall. Using a mulch helps you improve water retention. It also blocks weeds, keeps the soil cool, and makes your garden look nice. If you find that your garden is in an inhospitable environment, you can modify it with mulch to make it more welcoming to your plants.

The plants we will suggest here are those that have the highest nutritional values and can grow well despite warmer weather conditions!

  1. Arugula: The benefit to growing radishes within several feet of arugula is that many pesty beetles who love leafy salad greens will instead snack on radish leaves instead of your greens crop. I haven't personally tested this, but I have been told that radishes grown near arugula tend to have a less woody texture.

  2. Avocado Tree: Avocado trees can be guild with lemongrass, sweet potato, nasturtium and marigolds.

  3. Cucumber/Zuchini: Plants and flowers that grow tall and strong will lend themselves as natural, organic supports to crops that grow low or sprawl. An example of this would be planting tall sunflowers next to cucumbers, zuchini or snap peas. The sprawling crops can use the taller plants as a trellis.

  4. Bell Pepper:Vegetables and herbs that make great salsa also make perfect companion plants for peppers. The plants require the same growing conditions (light, soil pH, water) and help with insect and disease control. Great crops to plant alongside peppers are cilantro, marigolds, and onions.

  5. Okra: As long as cucumbers have enough space to spread out in the sun, they make excellent companions for okra because they both love a lot of water and rich soil.

  6. Eggplant: Like many other flowering herbs, oregano is useful for attracting beneficial insects and repelling nuisance pests. Bees adore oregano flowers and sowing this herb near your eggplants can increase your vegetable harvest. In the kitchen, the flavors of oregano and eggplant pair beautifully in such classic dishes as eggplant parmesan.

  7. Sweet Potato: Dill, chives, borage, summer savory, and oregano also make good companion plants for sweet potato vines. Plant these aromatic herbs nearby to ward off the destructive sweet potato weevil.

  8. Melons (Cantaloupe. Watermelon, Honeydew):Melons are one of the most compatible plants in the garden and do well when planted with most anything including beans, peas, onions, leeks, chives, and garlic. They also flourish with cabbage, broccoli, carrots, kale, okra, cauliflower, spinach, Brussel sprouts, and lettuce.

  9. Onions and Garlic: Green Beans, corn, dill, oregano, peas, radishes, spinach and edible marigolds are great companion plants.

  10. Corn: Climbing beans, cucumber, marjoram, peas, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, zucchini

  11. Tomato: When basil, mint, parsley or, oregano is grown about 1 foot from tomato plants, it will increase the tomatoes yield. Basil also improves the flavor of lettuce.

  12. Sunflower: Sunflowers can be planted beside corn and also provide a natural trellis for climbing beans, which in turn can help support the sunflower stems. Nasturtiums are a beautiful flowering plant that is easy to grow and wonderful to cook with. The whole plant is edible, from the flowers to the leaves and is packed full of flavor, beneficial vitamins and minerals. These flowers can attract aphids away from the sunflowers, acting as a natural pest deterrent.


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