Category: Wine Cellars

What Is a Companion Plant to Tomatillos?

The tomatillo (Physalis philadelphica) is a green, tomato-like vegetable that’s used to create Mexican salsa verde. Tomatillos grow as annuals in the house garden. The plant needs two to 3 months to raise and produce fruit and therefore are cultivated in the same fashion as tomatoes. The fruit is ready to harvest when the newspaper covering of the tomatillo turns brownish. Several plants can grow as companion plants into the tomatillo in your own garden.

Herbs

Tomatillos grow nicely with basil and parsley. Basil helps you to repel hornworms that eat the fruit. The herb also keeps away other harmful pests such as mites. Parsley helps to repel the asparagus beetle and attracts hoverflies whose larvae eat aphids. The herb also attracts predatory wasps that eat other pests. Just as basil and parsley are utilized to complement tomato dishes, then the herbs may also be used with tomatillos.

Pollinators

Tomatillos must either be hand-pollinated or get some assistance from bees and other pollinators. Adding companion plants that attract these pollinators can assist in the pollination of your tomatillo plants. Marigolds and nasturtiums are two flowering plants that attract pollinators. Marigolds also have the added benefit of repelling nematodes in the soil, while nasturtiums discourage white flies.

Vegetables

Some root plants that work as companion plants to tomatillos include carrots and onions. Onions drive off beetles, spider mites and ants in the garden, plus you may use the onions after turning the tomatillos into salsa. Carrots split the soil as they grow so the roots of the tomatillo plants are not confined. Other vegetable plants that work nicely as a companion to this tomatillos include hot peppers and asparagus. The peppers help prevent root rot, while the asparagus shields the tomatillo plants from root nematodes. Tomatillos also grow nicely next to peas, which add nitrogen to the soil.

Unfriendly Plants

Tomatillos are incompatible with a couple of garden favorites, nevertheless. Corn and kohlrabi should be planted in a separate region of the garden when growing tomatillos. Corn attracts pests that attack the tomatillo plant, and kohlrabi stunts the development of this tomatillo plant. The plant does not grow well with fennel or dill, either. Both dill and fennel contain oils that inhibit root growth and could destroy neighboring plants. Potatoes and eggplants attract potato beetles and potato aphids and shouldn’t be planted near tomatillos, which can also be vulnerable to these pests.

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Ideas for Succulent Planters

Succulents are drought-tolerant plants that survive by storing water in their fleshy leaves. The cold tolerance of succulents varies considerably, and many varieties won’t withstand frost. Otherwise, succulents adjust to any climate provided that they have good drainage. Succulents current opportunities for experimentation and creativity because they thrive in almost any container, including teapots, urns, soup tureens, hollow logs, cooking pans, old boots and tennis shoes.

Dish Garden

A dish garden full of a miniature landscape created with succulents is simple to care for because the plants require no fertilizer and hardly any water. Proper containers include a pan, pottery dish or other container measuring approximately 2 inches deep. Promote drainage using a potting mixture consisting of one part sand and 2 parts potting mixture. Plant modest, slow-growing succulents like miniature agave, jade, aloe or echeveria. Interesting stones or figures complete the landscape.

Strawberry Pot

A strawberry pot is perfect for planting a variety of vibrant succulents. Fill the container with a fast-draining potting soil like regular potting soil mixed with sand or a potting mixture formulated especially for cacti and succulents. To include interest, plant a different succulent in each pocket of this container and two or three taller varieties in the container’s leading. Succulents that function well in a strawberry pot contain red stem portulacaria (Portulacaria afra), black knight echeveria (Echeveria affinis “Black Knight”), coppertone sedum (Sedum nussbaumerianum), flapjack kalanchoe (Kalanchoe thyrsiflora) and striped finger (Senecio talinoides var. mandraliscae). Place the pot in a sheltered place when temperatures fall below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hens and Chicks

A large bowl full of the succulent called hens and chicks (Sempervivum spp.) Adds visual interest because the tiny chicks fill the spaces between the larger hens, eventually forming a closely packed mound of texture and color. With time, hens and girls form a film of spidery white hair on the top. Any low, round bowl functions for hens and girls, and even a concrete bowl or an older, cracked urn makes an effective container. Be sure, however, that the container includes a minumum of one drainage hole in the bottom. Catch the container outdoors year around or pull it inside during cool, wet winters.

Groups of Three

Small potted succulents arranged in groups of three is a simple way to create a number of interesting arrangements. For instance, plant three succulents in three individual pots of different shapes or of slightly different sizes. The 3 succulents should vary in color and size, like two rosette-shaped echeveria (Echeveria spp.) , which develop in a number of colors, including blue, red, green, purple and brown. Change the third container with a long-leaved succulent like burro’s tail (Sedum morganianum) or pen cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli). Arrange the 3 containers any manner that pleases your eye, or place all three with a circular tray, platter or terracotta dish. Make sure each container has a drainage hole to stop stem rot.

Water Requirements

Even though most succulents are incredibly drought-tolerant, the plants benefit from occasional irrigation during warm, dry weather. Water them generously but only when their dirt is dry, and allow the pots to drain completely. The containers should never stand in water because succulents in soggy dirt develop stem decay quickly. Succulents require little or no water during their dormant period, which can be indicated by a marked decrease in their growth. Although many succulents go dormant during the winter season, some varieties, like Dudleya, a succulent native to California, are dormant during summer.

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Spaghetti Squash Planting Guide

Cucurbita pepo, or spaghetti squash, is native to Mexico and Central America and can be many different winter squash. The pulp and flesh of a spaghetti squash look like spaghetti noodles, and that is what inspired the name. Spaghetti squash supplies an abundance of nutrients that are essential, such as vitamins C and A and is easy to develop. Once the danger of frost has passed, then you can safely sow squash seeds or plants and crop in a few months.

Types

Spaghetti squash varieties can get an exterior which ranges in color from tan. The’Vegetable’ spaghetti type is the traditional and conveys squash which are light tan to pale yellow in colour. ‘Hasta la Pasta’ is a orange skillet and can be sweeter than other forms. ‘Orangetti’ is spaghetti squash’s orange variety and’Tivoli’ is yields fruit which tastes somewhat like a potato and a variety.

Planting

Spaghetti squash grows best in full sun and in. Wait until the danger frost has passed, which can be about mid-March to mid-April in northern areas along the West coast, such as San Francisco. Start spaghetti squash seedlings indoors and transplant them outside. Dig a hole slightly larger than the plant’s origin. Carefully arrange the plant in the hole and fill with soil. Otherwise spaghetti squash seeds outside, 1 inch deep, leaving about 12 inches of space between each seed. Water seeds or the plants immediately after planting.

Tending

Once the squash have begun to grow, thin them so there is about three to four feet between each one. This may encourage the plants to bear fruit. It might also encourage the squash. Pull weeds from around the skillet plants frequently. Weeds can rob your spaghetti squash plants of the water and nutrients they need to thrive. Water skillet plants especially when the weather is warm and dry. Watch for spider mites, that can be common garden pests which attack squash. Use an insecticide approved to help stop them from damaging your harvest.

Harvesting

Spaghetti squash is ready to harvest in autumn or late summer, depending on if you planted it outdoors. You may know your squash is ready to pick when the stem starts to crack. The rinds will also harden and increase in colour. Cut the skillet from the blossom with a pair of gardening shears. Store the squash in a single layer and at a cool, dry area. This helps stop the squash from rotting.

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