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Hey plant friends!
I’m Maria, the "Plant Killer Turned Plant Lady" with a mission to help you care for plants successfully, grow your indoor jungles, and cultivate more joy in your life. I've got tons of content for you here on the blog, on the Bloom and Grow Radio Podcast, and Bloom and Grow Youtube Show to help you keep blooming and keep growing.
Did you know that plants can also be friends? If you’ve followed me on Instagram this year, you will know about the love affair I am having at The Lodge at Woodloch, a luxury resort and spa, about an hour from where I live. A very interesting aspect of the Lodge at Woodloch is the Blackmore Farm, their regenerative organic farm that grew 9500 lbs of produce for the Lodge’s Restaurant last year! And it is run by only two guys, Sam and Derrick, whom I’ve invited to share their passion for soil biology and sustainable gardening… and to spill all the beans (pun intended) on their companion planting secrets!
Growing Joy: The Plant Lover’s Guide to Cultivating Happiness (and Plants) by Maria Failla, Illustrated by Samantha Leung
so you don’t miss the amazing episodes we have coming up!
Companion planting is like having a garden party where plants are the guests! It’s all about growing specific plants together in ways that benefit everyone. The perks of companion planting are pretty amazing:
Companion planting charts and guides are available online, so you can find out which plants go together.
Sam and Derrick made an ecosystem where crops grow together like best friends. Here are some of their best companion planting combinations:
Sam shared one of their superstar combinations: cucumbers, dill, nasturtiums, and bush beans. Nasturtiums are like the party planners—they invite cucumber beetles to the bash, who in turn pollinate the flowers. It’s a mutual admiration society that benefits the whole garden.
These two amazing garden managers firmly believe that companion planting is the secret sauce to growing happy, healthy, and productive crops. And I’m totally on board with that!
Sam blew my mind when he shared their stunning two-acre orchard at Blackmore Farm. Imagine a garden filled with fruits, berries, and other plants. We’re talking apples, Asian pears, European pears, peaches, plums, cherries, apricots, pawpaws, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, currants—you name it, they have it!
For each square foot of garden space, plant “a fruit, a root, a leaf, an aromatic herb, and a flower.” It’s like creating a perfect party mix that brings together all the cool kids in the garden. Check out these combos that you can try with your garden:
Tip: planting basil alongside tomatoes keeps those pesky tomato hornworms away.
Let me tell you about my favorite. It not only tastes like refreshing cucumber but also has medicinal powers. Borage plays a key role in Blackmore Farm’s garden tapestry. It attracts beneficial insects and wildlife, adding to the diversity and harmony of the garden.
Companion planting is a valuable technique for any gardener who wants to maximize their garden’s potential. You get way fewer pests, your plants grow way better, and your whole garden becomes healthier. You can create this garden vibe where everything works together and helps each other grow. Whether you have a tiny veggie patch or a massive garden, companion planting is the way to go!
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