02 May 2012

Companion Planting

Full greenhouse!  Time to start transplanting.
The Brittany Hollow Farm greenhouse is officially at capacity.  That means that if our greenhouse was a hotel for plants, we'd be hanging up the No Vacancy sign today.  Right now we have 14,000 plants in there, ranging from lettuce to tomatoes to zinnias.  It is time to move things outside into the ground, and that is just what I did today.

We got a nice soaking rain last night, making the ground perfect for planting today.  As a pesticide-free farm, we need to take a creative approach to planting.  Insects, disease, and herbivores (like deer, woodchucks, and rabbits) can cause devastating problems for vegetable growers.  Since chemical sprays are not an option for us, we use alternative farming techniques to protect our produce.  One of these techniques is called companion planting (click here to read more about our growing philosophy).  Companion planting is the planting of different varieties of produce next to one another in the thought that they will assist one another in some way.  Since deer tend to avoid aromatic crops, we intersperse scallions with several other crops that deer love to eat.  Below you see some parsley interspersed with scallions.  Hopefully the scent will keep the deer away.

Parsley and scallions...good companions!

The scallions were planted in between our broccoli as well.  Pesticide-free broccoli in the northeast is often plagued by cabbage moths.  These pretty white moths flit around our broccoli plants and eventually lay eggs which develop into hungry little caterpillars.  We hope that the aromatic scallions will deter some of the moths this year.

Ta-da!  2 rows down, hundreds to go.

No comments:

Post a Comment