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After a bit of hard graft, we have come to realise that these lovely individuals do not always work so well next to each other. Indeed, it is wise to make sure that regardless of which temperamental plant you want to put next to another, just check that they are not competing for sun light


Anyway, here is a list:


· Potatoes:

Potatoes do not play well with cucumbers, melons, tomatoes, squash, turnips, or sunflowers or anything really.


· Beans and Peas:

Both peas and beans have negative effects on some plants including all kinds of peppers, sweet and hot. Beets are also affected by pole beans of all kinds.


· Broccoli and Cauliflower:

Neither broccoli or cauliflower will grow well near peppers, strawberries, tomatoes, and pumpkins.


Also, do not plant cabbage and Cauliflower next to each other. They will attract fungus and every butterfly known to mankind. Radishes and tomato also do not do well near cabbage and cauliflower.


· Asparagus

Just plant it on its own. Asparagus does not like other plants growing too close, so give the bed a little space. It is especially vulnerable to poor growth when planted next to onions, garlic, and potatoes.


· Brussel Sprouts

Strawberries and Tomatoes, as if you would.


· Carrots

These do not grow well when planted too close to dill.


· Celery

For best results, it should never be planted near potatoes or parsnips.


· Cucumbers

They do not like to be planted near potatoes, tomatoes, cauliflower, or any of the strong aromatic herbs like coriander, basil, rosemary, thyme, or lavender.


· Onions

Onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots have a discouraging effect on beans and peas. When planted nearby they stunt the growth of beans and peas.


· Sunflowers

Sunflowers emit a chemical from their roots that prevents nearby plants from growing and competing for nutrients. This chemical affects an area of at least 12 inches around the plants. The seed shells also contain toxic chemicals that will kill grass and other plants, so harvest the seed heads before the seeds begin to drop


· Marigolds

Marigolds are a popular addition to the vegetable garden because they keep away so many pests. However, they have a detrimental effect on beans and peas.

· Lettuce

Lettuce is easy to grow when planted away from beans and beets. Surprisingly, they also do not like to be near parsley.


· Tomatoes

Cucumbers, Coriander, and tomatoes do not like to grow too close together.



The garden can be your sanctuary and a place to lose yourself in wonder and enjoyment. It has the capacity to rejuvenate and at the same time exhaust.


We have found after countless hours in the garden there are a few key thoughts and actions to consider when starting out.


One – Have a think


First things first, plan ahead. Or at least have an idea in mind as to what you want your garden to look like. Do not be afraid to take out plants that do not fit the goal that you have in mind for your garden. The reality is that your garden will be unlikely to reach its full potential in the first or even second year and it will come to the fore in the third year, after a lot of hard work.


Two – Kill the weeds


Weeds are a gardener’s worst enemy. Weed regularly and make sure you remove all their roots. If there are seeds clinging to the weeds, do not put them in the compost heap, they are a nightmare when they pop up again.


Three – Worship the sun


Work out where the light shines at each point of the day and plant accordingly. The direction and the strength of your light is really crucial. If you are not sure, you can use the compass app in your phone to find out what direction the light is coming from. Once you know if your growing area is north facing, south facing, shady or bathed in sunshine you are in a much better position to know what will work best in your chosen location.’


Four - Space, it is the final frontier


Make sure that you have enough space in your beds and pots. If you place young plants too close together, not all will survive or, if they do, they will need more frequent watering and fertiliser. Crowded plants are also more susceptible to disease. Plant labels tell you how much room they need.


Five – Water, but not too much


From growing from seed to nurturing an established plant, watering is one of the most important things to get right. Over-watering is common. Houseplants only need watering once a week. As for outdoor plants, only when the weather gets really warm in proper summer that you will need to do a daily water. Check the soil before you water as you only really want to be watering into dry soil. If it feels moist, it probably does not need watering.


Six – Get Planting


Get planting as quickly as you can, ideally you want to get your shrubs and roses (bare-rooted plants) out by mid March. April is really the time to get vegetables planted.


Seven - Have fun


Enjoy your garden, otherwise there is little point to having one....




Due to the current global situation, we all find ourselves with plenty of time on our hands whilst we wait to be given the all clear to return to work or we are among those who suddenly have a lot less time because we are on the front-line of caring for the nation.


If you are fortunate enough to have more time on your hand, why not use some of your time to explore the use of the delectable thyme in your cooking? (And if you’re feeling generous, you could share your tasty meals with one of those amazing key-workers who are keeping us safe.)


Although thyme is a member of the same plant family as mint, it definitely has a very different flavour. Garden thyme is the most commonly used in cooking and has a peppery warm pungent flavour which can be used to easily add flavour to soups, casseroles and pasta dishes.


However, there are a number of other varieties of thyme with slightly different flavours that can add a unique flavour to a dish too.


One of these is lemon thyme that partners well with fish and chicken – it can even be used to make some tasty cookies. This is because it has a slightly citrus flavour that helps to make it taste slightly less bitter than the more traditional garden thyme.


A further variety is silver posie thyme that partners particularly well with many vegetables, especially mushrooms, aubergines and courgettes due to having more warmth within its flavour than garden thyme.

However, you choose to spend your time, we hope it will include some good thyme!





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