Beans and Onions: Too Close for Comfort?

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I've been reading about companion planting. It makes sense and I plan to try it.
I'm more concerned about the bad companions. They say beans and onions don't like each other, but beans and carrots do (as well as carrots and onions). I plan on planting a row of pole beans (along a fence line for support), with a row of carrots beneath them. If I planted onions on the other side of the carrots (so the carrots are between the beans and onions) would that put the beans and onions far enough apart? The beans and onions would be a foot or two apart with carrots in between.
--------------------------- Fence B B B B B B B B B B B B B B Beans C C C C C C C C C C C C C C Carrots O O O O O O O O O O O O O O Onions
Also, how close do good companion plants (like tomato and basil) need to be to gain benefits from each other? Does the magic happen underground (root level, stuff exuded into soil) or it is only related to the fragrance of the plants?
Thanks!
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

You have to remember than companion planting is mostly a practitioner concept-not a scientific one. People find certain combinations seem to do better, but it could simply be that they share a need and both benefitted from that need being met that season (similar light, heat, soil ph, watering pattern, bugs present, worms, lack of common pest)
There are some science-based items like using nitrogen fixing legumes to replenish nitrogen then planting greens there afterwards to benefit. Sadly there isn't enough info on the actual uptake and release of different elements from each plant family--then we could understand how they help eachother.
So there are no hard fast rules as to how many inches things need to be away from eachother.
Consider root spread, leaf spread and runoff--assuming one of those is the transmission method for whatever is good/bad. Some companions have to do with bleed over of taste--which could simply be from the odor of the plant. Marigolds' scent is attributed with its ability to keep pests away. As is it's root system which encourages good nematodes. Onions and garlic also have strong scent-based benefits. I've used all three as edgings to other plants.
Until the scientific community thinks it is of important to understnad the hows and whys the fruits and vegetables, which have sustained our race on the planet for 100,000 years, grow we'll have to make due without proof or exactness.
DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 4th year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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wrote:

Scientific proofs are overrated. Give me a time-tested practitioner concept, any day.
In an age of corporate 'science' that changes with every new mass-media-released 'study', people need to rely somewhat more upon their own observations and common sense.
Luc
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Amen to that, Luc.
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There are a gazillion "time-tested" ideas that no one should believe. Black cats, walking under ladders, the number 13, women are subservient to men, and *MANY* many others that have survived hundreds, sometimes thousands of years. Doesn't make them any more real than Santy Claus, Easter Bunny, Thor the Thundergod, or many others. Urban legends passed around the internet prove how gullible people are--they will believe anything as long as someone says it or writes it.

True, but the average person believes he's really really gonna win Lotto because "someone has to". Or that gambling casinos and betting are a way to make fast money. Or that there is no harm in alcohol. We "see" whatever we can make fit our own conclusions. The rest doesn't get noticed.
I learned 20 years ago whenever someone said "tell me the truth" they are asking to be lied to, nod along with what they say, or sit in silent "agreement" with them and "listen". People have no appetite for digging up the truth or facts in a situation. It's all too messy to figure out.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 4th year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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Serrano peppers are benefited by cherry tomatoes and vice versa. I've got a couple planted less than two inches from each other and both are producing great, better than all the others I've tried. Of course I don't know what a good vine of cherry tomatoes produces because I've only had one such vine so far. <g> I ended up with 30 tomatoes off the first run and it's still blooming some flowers.
Anyone here that might relay their production run from cherry tomato vines? Thanks.
Jim Carlock Post replies to the group.
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G'day Jim & all;
...

Back in the early '70's we lived just outside Sacramento. One fine spring morning I bought a package of tomato seedlings from a local nursery for the garden. The fellow counting them out tossed in one, small mangled cherry tomato plant with the ones I'd purchased. Our garden was in the corner of two fences. The mangled plant was tossed onto the compost heap, that was at the apex of the corners furthest back.
Well, that mangled little cherry tomato flourished. It ended up with flowers up the wazoo! So, because it had so many flowers (looked to be 60-80 or so), we decided to keep a count of how many we picked. The rules were: only those tomatoes that made it into the house for washing and eating were to be counted. Those that were eaten out of hand in the garden didn't count (for me alone, that was a considerable amount). And with two precocious little girls that delighted in "grazing" in the garden, many fell victim to that onslaught. As the summer progressed, the plant grew up the walls, and topped it by 6-feet or so. Then, during a late summer storm, the top collapsed into our neighbors yard--and continued to flourish. They delightedly ate many, and none of those were counted. By late October the flowers stopped. The final count? 1,158!
L8r all, DustyB

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Just don't plant onions next to potatos.
It will make your eyes water!
Brian
--

I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.

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On Tue, 14 Mar 2006 03:05:39 GMT, Fvert plucked a feather from Fawkes, dipped it into the ink well and then scribed:

LOL that was clever. :-)
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Regards Erik Vastmasd

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*trim*
My Gramma said when she planted sweet and regular potatoes next to each other she got some that were orange in places and white in others. It was real strange...
Puckdropper
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www.uncreativelabs.net

Old computers are getting to be a lost art. Here at Uncreative Labs, we
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Potatoes are remarkably promiscuous. What comes up now -- I haven't deliberately *planted* a potato in a long time -- is a hybrid of russet, yukon gold, and german butterball. It's a yellow-fleshed potato with a rough brown exterior, although exactly how yellow or how rough the skin is depends on where you're digging them up.
--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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snipped-for-privacy@internet.com writes:

I really must comment on this, at least two of the comments.
Black cats are bad luck, at least in past centuries. Imagine making the dark night run to the outhouse and having a black cat run across your path, you trip and fall and perhaps even break some bones. With a doctor not even available, that would be bad luck, wouldn't you say?! Some such event is likely the seed of that superstition.
Walking under ladders can be very bad luck and is downright not thinking. If you don't believe me, let a bucket of paint or a hammer fall on your head!
Spilling the salt was undoubtedly tagged as bad luck as people had to travel many miles (sometimes hundreds) to get salt, and salt is necessary for the human body. That necessity is why salt tablets were given to military personnel as well as government employees working in construction (hot weather, sweating, etc.) Although, where throwing some over your left shoulder if you do spill it came from is totally beyond my imagination so far. <g>
Whether someone should believe those "urban legends passed around" would depend on what it is. You think walking under a ladder is bad luck is nonsense, but I'm not going to do it, not if someone is on it working!
Many superstitions are founded in reality, just think about how they may have gotten started way back when. I'm convinced the "If dogs don't sleep every two hours, they'll die" (which we, as adults, know is not true) is a result of some parent not wanting their kids playing with the dog all day inside the house.
Oh, and "women are subservient to men" was very real . . . just look at history and see how women were treated and still are in many parts of the world. Though our Creator may have created all of us equal (regarding rights, etc.), historically we human beings have not practiced it.
For some comic relief: Maybe the number 13 is unlucky when you have 13 eggs and a 12-egg box and drop the 13th or maybe the 13th donut gets eaten, started out as a baker's dozen and someone decided 12 is enough. (Sorry, the devil made me do it.<g>)
Glenna
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On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 10:11:46 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

I can't find an online reference, but I remember reading somewhere that the Roman Catholic Church, in an effort to wipe out a resurgence of the cult of Freya, I think, declared cats to be minions of the devil. By the Middle Ages, cats had become associated with witchcraft, and witches were believed to be able to change into black cats.
There are actually a lot of conflicting superstitions about black cats, sometimes they're considered lucky; and it seems it was the witch hunts of the Puritans that established the superstition that black cats are unlucky in this country.

I beleive there was actually some nonsense about the ladder, what it was leaning on, and the ground being a symbol of the Holy Trinity because it formed a triangle. Walking through it was a sign you were aligned with witches and demons. I agree that it's certainly a safety issue, but I don't think that was the source of the superstition.

I thought it was because Judas spilt salt at the Last Supper? At least, that's what I was taught as a child.

You throw salt into the eyes of the evil spirits waiting to make you sick or give you bad luck.

But are you avoiding it because it's a safety issue, or because you think it will spoil you chances of winning the lottery? Recognizing the danger of walking under a ladder is common sense, but believing doing so will bring you bad luck is a superstition.

No, they're not. They're founded in a false conception of causation.

Only, way back when, people in single family dwellings weren't likely to have dogs in the house. And that's if they could afford to have a dog at all. That's a superstition I've never heard before, btw.

You're confusing a cultural practice with reality. Women were/are treated as subserviant to men because that's what religion and society taught, not because it is a fact that women are actually subserviant/ inferior to men.
Penelope
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"ElissaAnn" < snipped-for-privacy@everybodycansing.com>
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It is no doubt that many superstitions are based on religious hysteria. We have to remember, people once believe gods dragged the sun aross the sky in a flaming chariot. And these religions were as real and serious then as Jesus is considered today. Right down to human sacrifice to Zeus and Yahweh. I wonder when humanity will look back at us and laugh at how silly people were to rage wars and kill over our "modern" sacred gods.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 4th year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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On Fri, 17 Mar 2006 14:20:52 GMT, DigitalVinyl
I don't know if that was a typo or deliberate, but I love it!
I can't want for a chance to use it.
Penelope
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You have proven yourself to be the most malicious,
classless person that I've encountered in years.
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I plant carrots in with radishes. It helps both crops.
From Mel & Donnie in Bluebird Valley
http://community.webtv.net/MelKelly/TheKids
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Mel M Kelly) wrote:

That's got a good timing and physical effect. Radishes finish in 30 days and are out of the ground before the crrots would need the space. I do the same. One companionn guide suggested the radish "loosened" the dirt for the carrots. I'm not sure of the loosening, but radishes are great spot fillers until the nearby plants become full grown.

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 4th year gardener http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/royalfrazier/album?.dir=/2055&.src=ph
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my sole experience is with garlic planted right at the base of pole beans. Both did, indeed, do poorly. I had the same beans planted in poorer soil a yard away, and garlic planted in the same soil a yard away that did well (beans) or better (garlic). No explanation other than they are enemies, and it was very obvious: bulbs were 50% smaller, and the bean plants were 4 ft instead of 7. This year I have 2.5 ft between the onion row and the pole beans, and the garlic is somewhere else. Koniwng the extent of bean roots, I think that will be enough. Most plants are allelopathic, so it might be that the bulbs affect the vines.
Good companionship might mean a number of things: one plant has shallow roots, the other has a taproot (so they don't compete for nutrients). One plant is a light feeder and another is a heavy feeder for a particular nutrient. One plant repels the bugs of another plant. One plant beneficially shades the other. One plant produces nitrogen for the other. And finally, their rhizosphere (the roots) might produce chemicals beneficial to the other one. I doubt that there are plants that can really help beans, except for those that might repel beetles, though beans will help a number of other plants.
What I would really like to know is if cabbage/broccoli and tomatoes are friends or foes. Different websites list them as either. The cabbage could use the shade in midsummer.
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<snip> Intercropping ... Remember also the dislikes, and do not plant beans with onion, garlic or gladiolus, beets with pole beans, the cabbage family with strawberries, tomatoes or pole beans, or potatoes with pumpkin, squash, cucumber, suflower, tomato or raspberry. </snip>
<snip> Cabbage ... The cabbage family includes not only cabbage but cauliflower, kale, kohlrabi, broccoli, collards and Brussels sprouts - even rutabaga and turnip. While each plant of this group has been developed in a special way, they are all pretty much subject to the same likes and dislikes, insects and diseases. Hyssop, thyme, wormwood and southernwood are helpful in repelling the white cabbage butterfly. ... All members of the family are greatly helped by aromatic plants, or those which have many blossoms, such as celery, dill, camomile, sage, peppermint, rosemary, onions and potatoes. ... Cabbages dislike strawberries, tomatoes and pole beans. All members of the family are heavy feeders and should have plenty of compost or well-decomposed cow manure worked into the ground previous to planting. Mulching will help if soil has a ten- dency to dry out in hot weather, and water should be given if necessary. </snip>
"Peas, beans, cabbages and turnips" love soil containing lime (calcium).
The book also goes on to describe beans as of several different varieties, and explicitly differentiates "bush beans" from "pole beans". Bush beans and cucumbers mutually benefit each other. Bush beans and strawberrys mutually benefit each other. Beans in general benefit corn, although pole beans seem to be favored for planting next to corn. Radishes and pole beans mutually benefit each other. All beans dislike onions. And celery benefits bush beans.
The book that that is taken from is titled:
Secrets of Companion Planting For Successful Gardening by Louise Riotte Published 1975 by Garden Way Publishing
Hope that helps.
Jim Carlock Post replies to the group.
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Excellent - thanks. But that book is, for example, suggesting to mix potatoes with cabbages and onions. the former prefer unlimed soil, and the latter like it well limed. I am probably going to put the potatoes in their own patch, I see nothing that goes really well with them.
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