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Companion plants are ideal for small gardens

Q. I saw a gardening program on television which spoke of companion plants for growing tomatoes and other vegetables. Can you tell me the names of some of these plants tha can be used to keep insects and other garden pests away from my garden?

–B.D., Sea Breeze Estate

A. The companion plants for growing tomatoes and other vegetables include basil, which repels flies and mosquitoes. Chives, garlic and mint improve the health and flavor of your vegetables. Marigolds deter nematodes in the soil and prevents other garden insects and pests attacking your plants.

Q. I have a seagrape tree that has blossomed for the past two years and never bears any fruit. Wasp and flies are eating the blossoms and I recently heard about a bee pollen treatment. Can you tell me what is the problem with my tree?

–W.D., West Bay Street

A. Seagrape plants are male and female and are not a self-pollinating plant. Your tree seems to be a male plant ant I would suggest that you look around and find a tree that bears fruit, and take a bud or two from this tree and but it on to your tree. Your seagrape tree will then become a self-pollinating tree. A further suggestion that if you have the space for a second tree, you can use another method of plant propagaion by air-layering a branch of a bearing tree and have it planted not too far from your male plant.

Q. I have had a lot of problems with my garden helper who uses a machete to remove weeds in my lawn and in my flowering beds. It seems that after he has completed weeding, a week later, twice as many weeds appear. Is there a gardening tool that one can use to remove weeds in the lawn and in flower beds that would replace the use of the machete?

–T.M., Blue Hill Road South

A.There are two garden tools that I have found to be useful in removing weeds in your lawn and garden beds that I would recommend. An Asparagus or Dandelion Weeder is used for lifting out tap-rooted weeds and weeding in tight spots between stepping stones. It is ideal for small cultivating jobs. A Straight Shank Trowel has a narrow and deeply curved blade which is used for transplanting seedlings or lifting weeds.

Q. I have tried to germinate papaya seeds with not success. Is it necessary to dry the seeds before planting?

–C.B., Westward Villas

A. Cleaning the seeds is more important than trying to dry them. Seeds should be obtained from a fruit that ripened on the tree to assure the gelationous covering. Remember that papaya plants need organic mulching around the plant.

Planting guide for November

Vegetables:Brussel sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, collards onion sets, onion seeds and turnips.

Flowers:Aster, baby’s breath, calendula, candyturf, carnation, cosmos, daisy, dianthus, gallardia, hollyhock, larkspur, lupins, marigold, nasturtium, pansy, periwinkle, petunia, phlox, poppy, snapdragon, stocks, sweet peas and verbena.

Grasses: Bahia

For help with your garden problems, write to Garden Korner, P.O. Box N-3011, Nassau.

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