I'm a new gardener who decided to try raised bed gardening this year due to living in South Eastern North Carolina where's there's a lot of sandy soil.

I followed some advice on companion planting this year and planted in one bed:

  1. Potatoes
  2. Lettuce
  3. Marigolds
  4. Broccoli

And in another bed:

  1. Beans
  2. Onions

Raised Beds

The potatoes seem to be doing really well, and the lettuce isn't but I think it's because I planted too closed to the potatoes which I understand, however, the marigolds and broccoli aren't doing much at all.

I the second bed, the beans came up great, but just stopped and the onions sprouted and stopped also.

Any ideas on what I can do to improve my results?


1 Answer 1


Mostly patience is helpful in these situations. The weather has been a bit cooler than normal in N. America this spring so your beans and onions may be just reacting to that. hings are about to change for the warmer, so keep an eye on them and if they continue to perform poorly then sacrifice a couple of plants of each to examine the roots - if something is chewing the roots this will stop the growth, otherwise if you see light coloured roots leave well alone.

Setting aside the fluff of marigolds and lettuce in the potatoes, spuds and broccoli appreciate slightly different soils; both like soil on the acid side which evidently you have since the potatoes are doing well. But potatoes like soil more acid than the broccoli, so your planting may be telling you that your soil is at pH 6 or less but the broccoli would prefer closer to 7 but still less than 7. Broccoli also prefers temperatures on the cool side, so if things get warm this could slow down the greens. It is much easier to raise pH than it is to lower it, so take care with what adjustments you make to soil acidity. Each year is a valuable learning experience.

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