By Montana Grant

Posted: March 10, 2022

Spring means that we can begin to plan for our plantings. Montana has a short growing season so planning and organizing is important. Knowing what, where, when, and how to plant can make or break your gardening season. 

Last year, I was able to plant my vegetable garden early in May. I used Walls of Water to protect my young plants. These covers protected my plants from nighttime cold. Salads and other plants are more frost resistant. Things were fine until we had a few days of freezing temperatures. My tomatoes and squash were frost bit and stunted. I lost a month off my growing cycle. 

Certain plants benefit other plants. Once you can rule out a frost, consider planting certain areas with themes.

Salads and Spices    Basil, parsley, thyme, and oregano grow well with lettuce, peppers, and tomatoes. Planting these similar plants together enhances growth and repels flying insects.

Beans and cabbages    These plants along with eggplants, lettuce, potatoes, and legumes do well together. Plant marigolds and petunias around the edges. This will protect from insects. Also keep cabbages away from tomatoes and strawberries.

Carrots    Keep carrots away from Dill. Onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and parsley grow well together.

Cucumbers    Lettuce, peas, radishes, and onions do well together. Keep away from potatoes and sunflowers.

Squash    Keep away from cucumbers and melons.

Tomatoes    keep away from potatoes and fennel. Marigolds, basil, carrots work well around the tomatoes.

Nasturtiums    These flowering plants go well with all garden plants. Because they mask plant odors, they deter many pests.

Petunias    plant these flowers amongst your grape, eggplants, greens, and squash. Insects such as leafhoppers are deterred.

Gardeners take pride in their harvests. Having more than you need means the neighbors will benefit from the excess. Make your garden accessible, so you do not have to step into the raised bed area or planted spaces.

 Also ensure proper irrigation. Running micro irrigation lines to the garden makes for a quick way to water. I also use sturdy long necked plastic bottles to serve as funnels. Cut the bottom off and stick the neck into the dirt next to the plants. Add a couple rocks into the funnel to slow the flow. Fill occasionally to allow a more constant watering.

Test your soil to see what fertilizer you may need.

Partner up with your plants!

Montana Grant


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