Companion Planting in the Vegie Patch

I have this weird obsession with my veggie patch. I like it straight, everything has to line up in nice straight rows. lettusEvery different type of vegetable in its own plot. I am very happy to tend my vegie patch, I feel a connection with the earth when I am weeding, watering and planting. The one thing I hate doing though is harvesting my plants. My babies that I have nurtured to adulthood. It just doesn’t seem right to take them away from their friends and eat them. If I have to select a cabbage I will usually take one from the end of the row even if there is a bigger one in the middle. It would look like a gap toothed smile otherwise, and I would see a hole, not the cabbages. I know that it is pride that makes me want to keep looking at my handiwork, everything lined up neatly (no gaps) but I am aware that vegies are best for us when eaten, not looked at. It is also impractical to have everything lined up and in its own plot.
Have a look around in nature. Nothing grows in straight lines, and several different plant species seem to grow in a disorderly muddle. The bush has a canopy of tall trees, an understory of shrubs and bushes, and ground cover plants all growing together happily. Even a paddock full of grass seems to have many different types of grasses and weeds all tumbled together. By the way a weed is just a flower in the wrong place.
O.K so I can adapt.
tending_garden-600x400-1I’ve learned that some vegies grow better in the company of others while others actually inhibit the growth of others. Some flowers and herbs provide beneficial effects as well. Symbiosis is a word I love, it means “mutually beneficial relationships” Everyone deserves good relationships even plants, so if it’s in my power to provide that, then I will do my best. However, I think I will still have my plants lined up in rows, with alternating rows of vegies, companion plants, vegies, and then more companion plants. I still want my garden to be a work of art. It needs to be aesthetically pleasing to MY eye, because I get so much enjoyment from looking at it. And if I start planting at the ends of the row first and work my way to the. middle, I should be able to harvest that way too …. shouldn’t I.

So hopefully no more gaps in my nice neat rows. Well that’s the plan anyway.