Organic and Raised Bed Gardening Tips for NJ Zone 6



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Companion Planting

Companion planting is an effective way to keep pests and disease away from your organic garden vegetables without the use of chemicals and pesticides. My husband and I have been experimenting with organic gardening techniques for the past five years, and this has become part of our successful planting strategy.

Companion planting works because certain plants emit strong odors which repel insects or improve the flavor of neighboring vegetables. Others contain disease-fighting properties that strengthen the plants that might otherwise become compromised. And still others may prefer to cohabitate simply because their tendency to grow up, out, or form a vine, compliments the growth preferences of certain other plants.

Flowers and herbs strengthen and protect many varieties of vegetables:

Nasturtium protects beans, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, melons, pumpkins and squash.

Marigolds can be a useful companion plant all around your garden, benefiting a wide variety of vegetable crops including tomatoes, squash, potatoes, pumpkins, melons, eggplant, corn, beans, and asparagus.

Beans are benefited by nasturtium, rosemary, and marigolds. All ward off several types of damaging bean beatles.

Marigolds, nasturtium and oregano all protect cucumber plants by fighting nematodes, aphids, beetles and bugs.

Best companion plant groupings:

Corn, beans and squash. Native Americans taught the early settlers to plant the "three sisters" in a circular formation. The corn stalk grows in the middle and the squash plants form a circle of low-growing bushes or vines around it. The beans vine their way up the corn stalk, and all three mature together in a mutually beneficial configuration.

According to, "Corn, being tall and straight, provides support for the beans. Bean vines, being strong and wiry, build a framework around the corn that helps keep it from falling over. The big squash leaves cover the ground, conserving moisture and shading out weeds. And just to put the fudge on the sundae, the beans, being legumes, provide extra nitrogen for the corn and squash."

Tomatoes, basil and parsley. The basil's strong odor wards off aphids and other bugs while improving the flavor of the tomatoes. Keep in mind that the tomatoes will grow much taller than the basil, and so they (the tomatoes) should be planted "behind" the basil (behind, meaning in a more northerly direction). Otherwise, the tomatoes can easily shade out the basil entirely. Parsley is said to be similarly beneficial.

Beans do well when grown nearby beets, cabbage (and other brassica vegetables), carrots, celery, chard, corn, cucumber, eggplant, peas, potatoes or radishes.

Chamomile, garlic and the cabbage (brassica) family. These herbs will improve the flavor and growth of your cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower plants.

Chives, garlic and lettuce. Place chive and garlic plants strategically close to your lettuce plants to repel aphids which commonly feast on lettuce.


Combinations to Avoid:

Do not plant tomatoes and corn near each other. These plants are vulnerable to a certain type of worm and will attract more of this pest if grouped together.

Do not plant garlic and onions close to your pea plants, as these herbs can deter their growth.

Do not plant tomatoes and potatoes together. They can fall susceptible to the same type of blight.

Beans and peas should not be planted near onions, as it can stunt their growth.

Order our NJ Zone 6 Organic Gardening E-Guide and Encyclopedia of Veggies, Herbs and Companion Flowers

Gardening is easy... and it's also complicated. To become a pro, why not check out our Complete Beginner's E-Guide to Organic Gardening in NJ Zone 6. Now available in ebook format only, available for instant download via PayPal payment. is owned by Mike Hyde and 4 Seasons Lawn Care. We build, deliver and install raised garden beds to Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ and Northampton County, PA.

Contact us for more information: 908 783 5733 or email today!


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Chemical-Free Pest Control for Your NJ Organic Garden

Grow Better Tomatoes by Amending the Soil

Growing Herbs in NJ Zone 6 Instant Download E-Guide

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes from Seed

Buying Good Garden Soil in Hunterdon, NJ

What Type of Soil is Right for My Raised Garden Beds?

What Vegetables to Plant on May 15

Ode to the Turnip

Best Seed Catalogs

When and How to Start Prepping Your Garden Beds in New Jersey

When to Plant Early Spring Vegetables in NJ

Garden Planning in February? Yes! Get Ready for Spring Planting in NJ

Getting Your Raised Garden Beds Ready for Spring Planting

Is Rototilling Necessary? To Till or Not to Till Your NJ Garden Beds

Garden Planting Dates for NJ Zone 6

How to Plant Peas When There is Snow on the Ground

What to Do When You Miss Your Planting Date

Baking the Weed Seeds Out of Your Garden Beds

Planting Onions in Early Spring in NJ Zone 6

Broccoli Planting Instructions for NJ Zone 6

Sacrificial Carrot: How to Make Your NJ Carrot Crop Go the Distance

How to Grow Strawberries Organically

How to Plant Cucumbers in NJ Zone 6

Growing Herbs Successfully in NJ Zone 6

Spring Gardening in NJ: What to Plant on May 15?

Mid Spring Gardening Upkeep



Organic Composting Q&A

Mulch Q&A for Vegetable Gardens

Choosing a Fertilizer for Your Vegetable Garden

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Growing Tomatoes from Seed