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Four O'Clocks Companion Planting

four o clocks companion planting

Companion planting is an effective and sustainable way of gardening that involves growing different plant species together. This practice not only enhances soil fertility but also helps to reduce pests and diseases while increasing crop yields. In this article, we will explore the topic of four o'clocks companion planting in detail.

What are Four O'Clocks?

Four o'clocks (Mirabilis jalapa) are beautiful, fragrant plants with trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in the late afternoon or early evening. They come in a range of colors, including pink, white, yellow, and red. These plants are hardy and easy to grow, making them a favorite among gardeners.

Benefits of Companion Planting Four O'Clocks

Growing four o'clocks alongside other plants can provide numerous benefits, including:

  • Attracting beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, which help to pollinate crops.
  • Repelling harmful pests such as spider mites and aphids.
  • Improving soil fertility by fixing nitrogen in the soil.
  • Reducing weed growth by shading the soil surface and preventing sunlight from reaching weed seeds.

Companion Plants for Four O'Clocks

When choosing companion plants for your four o'clocks, consider plants that have similar growing conditions, complement their color and texture, and provide additional benefits such as pest control and improved soil health. Here are some examples:

1. Marigolds

Marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are a popular companion plant for four o'clocks. They are easy to grow, have vibrant colors, and produce a strong scent that repels pests such as nematodes and whiteflies. Marigolds also attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings, which prey on aphids and other harmful bugs.

How to Plant:

Plant marigolds around the perimeter of your four o'clocks bed or intersperse them with your plants. Make sure to space them at least 6 inches apart to allow for good air circulation.

2. Nasturtiums

Nasturtiums (Tropaeolum majus) are another great companion plant for four o'clocks. They have bright yellow, orange, and red flowers that complement the colors of four o'clocks. Nasturtiums also attract pollinators and repel pests such as aphids and whiteflies.

How to Plant:

Sow nasturtium seeds directly into the soil around your four o'clocks after the last frost. Space them about 12 inches apart to allow for good air circulation.

3. Petunias

Petunias (Petunia spp.) are an excellent choice for companion planting with four o'clocks. They come in a range of colors and provide a beautiful contrast to the trumpet-shaped flowers of four o'clocks. Petunias also attract pollinators and repel pests such as thrips and spider mites.

How to Plant:

Plant petunias around the perimeter of your four o'clocks bed or intersperse them with your plants. Make sure to space them at least 8 inches apart to prevent overcrowding.

Other Companion Plants for Four O'Clocks

Here are some additional companion plants that can be grown alongside four o'clocks:

1. Basil

Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is a fragrant herb that repels pests such as mosquitoes and flies. It also attracts beneficial insects such as bees and butterflies, which help to pollinate crops.

How to Plant:

Plant basil around the perimeter of your four o'clocks bed or intersperse them with your plants. Make sure to space them at least 6 inches apart to allow for good air circulation.

2. Beans

Beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) are leguminous plants that fix nitrogen in the soil, improving soil fertility. They also provide shade and help to reduce weed growth.

How to Plant:

Plant beans around the perimeter of your four o'clocks bed or intersperse them with your plants. Make sure to space them at least 8 inches apart to prevent overcrowding.

3. Cucumbers

Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus) are vining plants that provide a natural trellis for four o'clocks to climb on. They also attract beneficial insects and improve soil health.

How to Plant:

Plant cucumbers along the edges of your four o'clocks bed and train them to grow up a trellis. Alternatively, plant them in between your four o'clocks and allow them to trail over the ground.

Tips for Successful Four O'Clocks Companion Planting

Here are some tips to help you succeed with four o'clocks companion planting:

1. Choose plants that have similar growing conditions.

Plants that have similar water, light, and soil requirements will grow better together.

2. Consider color and texture.

Choose companion plants that complement the color and texture of your four o'clocks to create a visually appealing garden.

3. Space plants properly.

Make sure to space your plants at least 6 inches apart to allow for good air circulation and prevent overcrowding.

4. Rotate crops.

Rotate your crops every year to prevent soil-borne diseases and pests from building up in the soil.

Four o'clocks are beautiful and easy-to-grow plants that can be enhanced by planting them alongside other complementary species. By using companion planting techniques, you can improve soil fertility, reduce pests and diseases, and increase crop yields. Try some of the companion planting tips mentioned in this article to create a thriving and sustainable garden.

FAQs

1. Can four o'clocks be grown in pots?

Yes, four o'clocks can be grown in pots as long as they have sufficient sunlight and well-draining soil.

2. How often should I water my four o'clocks?

Water your four o'clocks once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch.

3. Are four o'clocks toxic to pets?

Yes, four o'clocks are toxic to pets if ingested. Keep them out of reach of dogs and cats.

4. Can four o'clocks be grown indoors?

Four o'clocks prefer to be grown outdoors but can be grown indoors if they receive sufficient sunlight and warmth.

5. Do four o'clocks require fertilizer?

Four o'clocks do not require fertilizer but can benefit from a balanced fertilizer applied once a month during the growing season.

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