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Garden Planning & Companion Planting in Austin

published on April 10, 2012

Spring is the gardener’s busiest season as the changing weather creates prime conditions for sowing seeds. Backyard gardens abound in Austin neighborhoods, from Circle C to Great Hills, with home gardeners often utilizing raised or tilled beds. The blank canvas of a home’s backyard may be intimidating to a novice gardener, or someone conducting an Austin home search with a garden in mind. Luckily, homeowners who would like to start their own vegetable patch or flower garden have help from local nurseries and groups like the Austin Organic Gardeners, who have a handy planting calendar to help identify the best times to sow certain seeds.

April in Austin is ideal for planting beans, beets, cantaloupe, chard, corn, cucumber, okra, peppers, squash, tomatoes, and watermelon. Homeowners can purchase seeds and start them in seed cups made from empty egg shells or newspaper (both biodegradable and can be planted directly in the garden bed), or find seedlings from local nurseries or farming co-ops. Free online garden planning tools can help make laying out a garden easy.

Knowing how to pair plants to help with both flavor and pest control also contributes to a healthy, successful garden. For example, planting tomatoes next to basil can help intensify the flavor of the tomatoes, as well as discourage some insects, like flies, from bothering the fruit. Mint is known to keep ants from nesting in your vegetable or flower bed. Below are other examples of mutually beneficial arrangements in plants, known as companion planting:

Beans with cucumber, peas, and lettuce

Broccoli with Onion

Cauliflower with Celery

Eggplant and spinach

Leeks with carrots

Lettuce with strawberries or radishes

Onions with bell pepper

Potatoes with sweet corn

Squash with sweet corn

Swiss chard with Onions

Incompatible pairings to avoid include:

Asparagus and Garlic

Beans and Onions

Beets and Beans

Broccoli and Beans

Cabbage and Strawberries

Carrots and Celery

Corn and Tomatoes

Onions and Peas

Potatoes and Tomatoes

An Austin realtor can help a prospective buyer find a home with a backyard ideal for planting anything from flowers to vegetables to fruit trees.

Interested in Austin Gardening? Also see How to Make a Vertical Succulent Garden.

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