Thursday, June 5, 2008

Companion Panting in NYC Community Gardens

I am a new community gardener in New York City. I will be planting vegetables , and I wanted to know are there any companion plants I could include in my garden plot in order to keep pest(insects) away from my vegetables?

That is an excellent question! For those of you that do not know, companion planting is a proper horticultural practice that can be a natural preventative step to fend off various pest and disease issues that can affect a vegetable garden. With the right diversity of plants and proper care you can grow a large and healthy crop without having to rely on using strong chemicals. Of course weeding and scouting for pests is still something you have to do in a garden through summer, but knowing a few reliable combinations can be really invaluable. At this moment I must admit that we do not have an updated companion planting list on hand but here at the HSNY Library we have a tremendous selection of books that would be of great assistance for your vegetable gardening efforts. In particular, Katherine Powis, HSNY Librarian, found these titles for you:

A-Z of companion planting / Pamela Allardice ; illustrations by Sue Ninham. Pymble NSW : Angus & Robertson ; New York NY : Distributed in the U.S. of America by HarperCollins Call Number: SB453.6 .A43 1993

Bob Flowerdew's complete book of companion gardening / photographs by Jacqui Hurst. London : Kyle Cathie Call Number: SB453.6 .F64 1993

Carrots love tomatoes : secrets of companion planting for successful gardening / Louise Riotte. Pownal Vt. : Storey Pub. Call Number: S603.5 .R56 1998

Companion planting : successful gardening the organic way / by Gertrud Franck : Distributed by Sterling Pub. Co. Call Number: 635 Fra

Great garden companions : a companion planting system for a beautiful, chemical-free vegetable garden / Sally Jean Cunningham. Emmaus Pa. : Rodale Press ; [New York] Call Number: SB321 .C9 1998

Planting companions / Jill Billington ; with photography by Clive Nichols. New York : Stewart Tabori & Chang. Call Number: SB453.6 .B54 1997

prepared by Katherine Powis, Librarian
The Horticultural Society of New York
148 West 37th St., 13 floor
New York, NY 10018
212 757-0915 x 109

The top two books I have used a lot and really enjoy. The others I do not know so well but I am sure they will have things to add. You are always welcome to come to the HSNY Library to read through any of these titles and discuss your vegetable garden with me if I am around. We are open 10-6 Monday through Friday and Katherine is typically here Monday through Thursday. Anyone is invited in to read and research in the library, and to borrow the books we just have to sign you up as an HSNY Member, but that takes no time. Hope this helps. Also, if you have specific pest issues or questions as the season progresses you can feel free to ask me those as well as entomology was part of my horticultural training.

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