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Serena Manickam

Serena Manickam is a freelance editor and writer and sustainable market gardener in rural Virginia. She holds a BA in environmental science and runs Fairydiddle Farm, a small market garden in which she grows no-spray produce and herbs to sell at a local farmer’s market.

15 Best Companion Plants for Beans (And 4 to Avoid)

Beans are one of my favorite garden vegetables. They are so rewarding and easy to grow, and I appreciate the rhythmic work of picking and snapping them (though by summer’s end I’m tired of the work!). In winter, I can pull out a bag of frozen beans or a jar of dilly beans and enjoy …

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13 Best Companion Plants for Basil (And 5 to Avoid)

Basil is a delicious herb and one of the easiest to grow. Sprinkle a few seeds in the garden and enjoy homemade pesto, flavorful soups, pasta, focaccia, and more all summer, and even throughout the year (pesto freezes wonderfully!). Sprinkle those seeds in the right places, and you’ll also enjoy benefits from and to basil …

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14 Best Companion Plants for Asparagus (And 3 to Avoid)

Companion planting with perennials like asparagus can seem a bit daunting at first since they occupy a permanent space in the garden. However, interplanting perennials (and mixing in a few annuals, too) can be very rewarding. Check out the tips below on the best companion plants for asparagus, as well as which plants should be …

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21 Best Companion Plants for Arugula (And 3 to Avoid)

In spring, arugula is one of the first vegetables to show up at the farmer’s market. This peppery green contains lots of vitamins and adds a pleasant bite to salads. If you would like to start growing this wonderfully healthy vegetable in your garden, plant it with some of the best companion plants for arugula …

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Companion Planting Guide (Including 7 Benefits Of Polyculture)

Companion planting offers numerous benefits to the home gardener, whether practiced in the vegetable garden, herb garden, or even flower beds. If you are just getting started with this practice, the numerous possible plant combinations can seem impossibly overwhelming. This companion planting guide breaks down the basic details about companion planting and includes a list …

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15 Beautiful Flowers in the Bible to Grow in Your Garden (With Pictures)

I often find that I feel most connected to God when I am outside, completely engrossed in the wonders of creation. Since our passion (gardening) is so closely tied to the earth, I imagine most gardeners have a similar experience. While simply resting or meditating in the garden can be a spiritual practice in itself, …

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16 Best Companion Plants for Peppers (And 4 to Avoid)

Peppers are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, flavor, and depending on the variety, heat. But they can be difficult to grow in the vegetable garden. One excellent way to help pepper plants along is to grow companion plants alongside them. Some will provide benefits to the peppers, while others will receive benefits from the peppers. Not …

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12 Best Companion Plants for Onions (And 4 to Avoid)

Onions are a wonderfully versatile vegetable, both in the kitchen and in the garden. From green onions to storage onions, these edible alliums add flavor to almost any savory dish, making them a culinary staple. Less well known, perhaps, is their usefulness in the garden for general pest protection. With their strong scent, onions deter …

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Landscaping Under Black Walnut Trees: 64 Pretty Flowers and Other Plants that Will Grow

Landscaping under any tree can be challenging, thanks to the dense shade cast by the branches and the abundance of thick roots in the soil. But black walnut trees (Juglans nigra) seem to be in a category all their own; nothing will grow anywhere near them! Although landscaping under black walnut trees may feel like …

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Landscaping Under Fir Trees: 4 Easy Tips And A Long List Of Plants!

What can you plant under the beautiful fir tree in your backyard? Not much seems to want to grow there, but the carpet of needles that would look natural in a forest appears sadly bare in your garden. To get started beautifying the area around your fir tree, first learn about the tree itself. Then …

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