Companion Planting forum: Interplanting a long raised row of pumpkins and melons - suggestions?

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Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
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chelle
Jun 17, 2013 1:29 PM CST
Are there plant combos that help one another here?

We do have squash bugs, so if you've noticed companion plants that deter those pests I'd love to hear about them.
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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Jun 18, 2013 7:58 AM CST

Moderator

I would love to hear any suggestions here.

Nasturtiums are known to deter squash bugs and they can be interplanted very nicely between the squash. I keep wanting to try this but nasturtiums don't make it through the summer in our heat.

Another that I haven't tried is Bee Balm; supposedly the smell and oil of bee balm is repulsive to the squash bugs. Next year. Whistling

I didn't grow any summer squash this year because of the squash bugs but I'm hoping their life cycle will be over soon and I will plant some winter squash soon, after I harvest the garlic.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jun 18, 2013 8:39 AM CST
Oh, wow! I have tons of extra bee balm plants, so I'll try some of those!

I have rotten luck with nasturtium germination and I don't understand why. Yet another one of those "it's too easy" kinds of things, I guess. Hilarious! I have seeds though, so I'll toss some out there.

Thanks for the tips, Christine! Thumbs up
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jun 24, 2013 5:05 PM CST

Moderator

Hi Chelle, I just finished listening to Dave & Trish's pod cast about 'all things tomatoes' and Trish was talking about the squash bugs. It got me to thinking about the little frog living in with the crookneck squash last summer. It was actually eating the squash bug eggs!

Maybe a frog house is also a good idea for your pumpkin patch. I'm going to try to it too. Big Grin

Thumb of 2013-06-24/wildflowers/fbc9be
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jun 25, 2013 5:12 AM CST
There are frogs out there in my patch! Hurray! I didn't know that they'd eat the squash bug eggs -that's good to know! Thumbs up I also saw one of the larger parasitic wasps on my potted squash plant the other day, so that might be more good news.

Still no nasturtium sprouts. Rolling on the floor laughing And these were freshly purchased seeds.


Now that the tree crew has finished removing the second batch of dead ash trees from our roof line, I just might have a chance to get some bee balm transferred out there.
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Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Level 2
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pod
Jun 25, 2013 6:09 AM CST
Chelle ~ I don't know if you did this but Nasturtium seeds need to have the hard coating nicked and then soaked for about 24 hours. That may be your germination problem. I love these bloomers but they are a no go here.

Seems I read recently that someone planted radishes among their squash vines and had no vine borers. Not something I have tried. Good luck.
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jun 25, 2013 8:18 AM CST

Moderator

Thumbs up Good info, Pod. I have tried this and it seemed to work very well, germination was quick when I nicked and soaked the seeds in a little water and drop of hydrogen peroxide. But I admit I usually just throw them in the soil in late spring and keep it moist.

I've also found that they like the soil warm. Not a good choice for wintersowing, I don't think. But your soil should be warm enough now, Chelle?

Sadly for me, I am pretty much only successful growing nasturtiums in a pot that I can move to a shady location when it gets too hot. On the plus side, I can move it into the garage or sun room over winter and have a head-start on next year. lol

p.s. ~Chelle, sorry! somehow I missed your post up there on the 18th! Not sure what happened.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jun 25, 2013 12:39 PM CST
The first batch of nasturtiums were nicked and then soaked in warm water and a bit of peroxide...the second batch I just buried. Hilarious! Neither batch has done anything yet, that I've noticed. I've had some germinate and grow in the past, but I just can't seem to depend on them every year. I'm going to sow a third batch soon...just because. Whistling

I'll try some radishes, too. Thumbs up Thank you!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jun 26, 2013 7:32 PM CST
I had to trim one of my mint patches today, so I mulched my squash plants with the trimmings. I'm thinking that maybe the squash bugs won't like the smell of moldering mint. I can't wait to see if it helps. This would be such a great solution, as I have lots of extra mints growing here!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jun 27, 2013 7:54 AM CST

Moderator

I hope it works, please do tell. I have a surplus of mint growing too. nodding
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jun 27, 2013 8:58 AM CST
Not one squash bug to be found this morning; however, I usually see most of them in the evening, so I'll keep on looking. You bet I'll post what I find...or don't find, as the case may be. Big Grin
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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chelle
Jul 1, 2013 7:10 PM CST
Moldering mint probably isn't a deterrent. Sad I'm still handpicking bugs; not nearly as many, but I think that's probably because of a break in the bugs' life cycle, not due to the presence of the mint.
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
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wildflowers
Jul 2, 2013 7:29 AM CST

Moderator

Sad I was hoping! but maybe the mint interrupted their cycle, with it's scent it could have thrown off those smelly little squash bugs! Hilarious! I think squash bugs smell like moldering bananas! yuck!

Next plan...
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Aug 5, 2013 12:38 PM CST
I planted a row of watermelons and cantaloupes with okra and it seems to be working well. My rows run north and south, are 90 feet long x 4 feet wide with a 28 inch path between rows. I planted the melons and cantaloupes in the middle of the raised bed with 6 feet between hills with 2 plants per hill and planted the okra at the same time on the west side of the bed about 12 inches from the edge and 30 inches between hills with 2 plants per hill.

My thinking on this was to let the okra provide some afternoon shade for the melons and cantaloupes and also act as a trap crop for cucumber beatles and stink bugs. So far it seems to be working. I turn the vines up and down the row so the sides and path can be mulched with a mower and rotary hoe (weedeater).

The rows on either side of the melon and cantaloupe and okra row are planted with 2 rows of Contender bush beans with some buckwheat planted between each row of beans. Stink bugs don't seem to like the smell of beans either.

I don't use any fertilizer, insecticide or herbicide, just tea made from garlic, red pepper, and sage mixed with a little lacto bacillus, horsetail tea, and Palmolive Orange dish washing liquid. Claud



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Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member Birds Organic Gardener Native Plants and Wildflowers Winter Sowing Herbs
Critters Allowed Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Composter
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wildflowers
Aug 5, 2013 3:21 PM CST

Moderator

Very nice, Claud! The pictures are very helpful, and your garden looks so nice. I like the way the okra is shading the watermelon.

I've been reading that stink bugs don't like the smell of beans, more confirmation! Thumbs up Thumbs up
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Michele Roth
N.E. Indiana - Zone 5b
I'm always on my way out the door..
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Forum moderator Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Dog Lover Cottage Gardener
Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Identifier Organic Gardener Keeps Horses Hummingbirder Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
Image
chelle
Aug 5, 2013 4:35 PM CST
Fantastic, Claud!

Look at all those beans! Hurray! nodding

Your rows are so neat and tidy; kudos for great planning and maintenance!
Cottage Gardening

Newest Interest: Rock Gardens


Name: Reid
North Branch, MN (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Anderwood
Mar 5, 2014 4:15 PM CST
I am not sure where I read it, but squash bugs won't cross Borage.

Also, to attract toads, you can burry a planter half way. They will crawl right in there! You can also dig a furrow/hole, and then find some thick bark and place it over it. If you want to spend money, you can buy toad houses. I have heard that toads eat TONS of bugs.

I know that if cucumbers and melons are planted next to each other, they will be bitter. I am not sure if this is true with melons and pumpkins.
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Region: Texas Master Gardener: Texas Permaculture Raises cows I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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dave
Mar 5, 2014 4:35 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

I've done a lot of experimenting of my own with squash bugs and have not yet found a real solution short of daily proactive attention to the plants.

This year I'm going to do everything I can do attract tachinid wasps to my garden. They are a chief predator of squash bugs and I think the idea has some promise.

They'll be attracted by the other plants I'm going to grow around my squash: parsley, tansy, crimson thyme, pennyroyal, lemon balm, and golden marguerite. Buckwheat would help, too, but we can't grow that due to our particular soil conditions here in East Texas.
Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Mar 5, 2014 11:32 PM CST
The last week in July of 2013, we had a bad storm and it must have rained leaf footed bugs because the next day I had a plague of them in the garden. Thousands and thousands overnight.

Since I don't use insecticides, I decided to treat it as a blessing and use their abundance as an opportunity to learn how to control them without poison.

This is a row of Rattlesnake pole beans. There wasn't a single stink bug or leaf-footed bug on them. Same for cucumber beatles. The row to the left of the picture is Purple Eye Purple Hull peas (they have a better flavor than the common Pink Eye Purple Hull peas) and has thousands of squash bugs, leaf-footed bugs and cucumber beatles. They like to drink the nectar the peas provide where the pea pods join the stem.

I planted the row of peas on a 4' wide bed with tomatoes as an experiment to see if the tomatoes or peas were effected by each other. I also planted another double row on a different bed away from the tomatoes. I had never seen Purple Hull peas put out runners. The double row I planted away from the tomatoes didn't make any runners. Same seed. The rows run north and south. The distance from the peas to the trellises was the same east and west, but the peas didn't put out a single runner trying to get to the east trellis. They all ran to the west trellis and grew to the top of the 6' trellis and then back down to the ground. The single row of peas next to the tomatoes produced 3 times as many peas as the double row away from the tomatoes and were still setting peas when frost took them out. The peas weren't damaged by the stink bugs, but the tomatoes were a total loss. It didn't matter about the tomatoes, because the stink bugs also destroyed all the other rows of tomatoes and peppers. They do like to suck the fruit don't they.

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This is an earlier photo taken shortly after the beans were planted. What you see at the far end of the bean row is Boston Pickling cucumber. I planted a third of the bed in a double row of cucumbers and 2/3 of the row in a double row of beans. The reason the beans are so far behind the cucumbers is I had to replant the beans. I used seed saved from the prior year (Romas) and 2 seed had sprouted in 2 weeks. Used fresh seed to replant and got a 100% stand. 2 seed every 10" thinned to best one on the cucumbers, no thinning on the beans. The beans had no deterrent effect on the stink bugs as far as keeping them off the cucumbers, peas or tomatoes. Fortunately the cucumbers were almost finished producing before the plague arrived.

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This is the double row of peas planted away from the tomatoes. Next to the peas is a row of Early Long Purple eggplant with a row of Fordhook Improved lima beans on both sides of the eggplant. The limas were supposed to keep Potato beatles off the eggplant. And it is 100% effective. Same for flea beatles. But it only becomes effective when the lima vines are about 8 - 10 inches tall. I had to hand pick the beatles until the limas kicked in. When I harvested the limas I made a tea from the hulls and vines. I'm saving the tea to spray on the eggplant this spring to see if it is as effective as the live plant (smells just like lima bean vines). I planted some eggplant on the next row without lima beans and the limas protected that row also, so limas will provide protection from Potato beatles and flea beatles for at least 6' from where they are planted.

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Hope we see lots of this this year.

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And the rotary hoe and the rotary hoer. Claud

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Name: Claud
Water Valley, Ms (Zone 7b)
Charter ATP Member
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saltmarsh
Mar 6, 2014 11:16 AM CST
Chelle, I remembered something I had forgotten. Common Pigweed is an ideal companion for anything bothered by cucumber beatles; if you already have pigweed in your garden. Cucumber beatles prefer it to just about anything so it makes a great trap crop for them. If you have a conventional garden and don't have pigweed, I don't recommend it because each pigweed plant produces a couple hundred thousand seeds. Very hard to get rid of as a lot of it is round-up resistant. However, it has a deep taproot and mines minerals from the soil which you can use to your advantage.

Pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus)

Let me try to explain my approach to insect and weed control. I don't try to kill the insects, I just don't want them to eat my vegetables. Most insects don't like garlic, hot pepper, or sage so I make a tea using powered garlic, red pepper, and sage and spray it on anything I don't want the insects to eat or lay eggs on. I use regular table molasses as a sticker for the spray. This works to confuse a number of insects and repel others. If the insect doesn't lay eggs on your plant it solves a lot of your insect problems.

If you notice my pictures above you'll see grass and weeds in the middle between the rows. Actually what it is is a combination trap crop and fertilizer. This is my only source of fertilizer. I let the grass and weeds grow in the middle. I don't spray the middles so the bugs think they are in heaven. When I mow the middles it destroys a lot of insects and their eggs. The grass and weed clippings decay and release their nutrients back into the soil. When it rains the grassy middles slow the water run off so more soaks in. I can go into my garden after a 3" downpour and not get muddy. It's nice. The plants put out roots into the middle and suck up the nutrient rich water. When you mow you've destroyed the insects home so follow the mowing with a tea spray to move them off your plants and back to the mowed middles. The weeds are happy, the plants are happy, the birds are having a feast so try not to feel sorry for the bugs.

My garden was a cow pasture for 30 years before it became a garden and is still surrounded on 4 sides by pasture. The only plant I removed was dock. All the dock roots were dug out when the rows were laid out and leveled. Bushels of dock root. When insects migrate from the pasture to the garden they find the same plants which were in the pasture and some stinking plants which some idiot sprays on a regular basis to keep them stinking.

After the plants are harvested the beds are allowed to over grow with grass and weeds . Then the beds are mowed and tilled. Rinse and repeat until you're ready to plant again. Normally 2 or 3 crops of weeds and grass are incorporated into the soil by planting time.

I built a disc hiller attachment for my tiller. This allows me to redo the beds with a little less effort. It also moves the soil from the middle up onto the beds where the plants can benefit from it.

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This year I'm trying several different varieties of Naturtiums, Petunias, and Marigolds to repel the bugs. I'll interplant a different variety on each row so I can see if a particular variety works better than others. If they do work, I also plan to make teas from the flowers and foilage.

http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.2.42928... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.2.43824... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.2.44431... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.2.45076...

http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.2.40211... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.2.40551...

http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.9.11471... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.9.84487... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.9.11789... http://www.selectseeds.com/cgi-bin/htmlos.cgi/031131.9.93268...

Best of luck with the pumkins and melons. Claud

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