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Great Garden Companions: A Companion-Planting System for a Beautiful, Chemical-Free Vegetable Garden

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  277 Ratings  ·  40 Reviews
Discover the secrets of a naturally pest-proof vegetable garden with Great Garden Companions. Let master gardener Sally Jean Cunningham show you how to keep pests and diseases at bay with her unique companion-gardening system. By planting special combinations of vegetables, flowers, and herbs, you can minimize pest and disease problems and create a high-yielding, beautiful
Paperback, 288 pages
Published May 19th 2000 by Rodale Books (first published 1998)
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Mollie *scoutrmom*
A great beginner's guide, but not organized well for the intermediate gardener who would like to extract the relevant information from among all the hooey. A better guide might be Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Planting for Successful Gardening.
Ye Jin
Jan 24, 2009 Ye Jin rated it it was amazing
I learned so much from this simple book. I loved the way the author organized the material, and the illustrations crack me up. Her love and respect for nature's hierarchy is ever present in this very informative book. One to purchase for future reference.
BJ Rose
Feb 21, 2010 BJ Rose rated it really liked it
Shelves: reference
I'll be using certain sections of this book everytime I plan my spring and fall gardens.
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee
Time Machine
Great Garden Companions -- What a Resource!, April 7, 2005

If you do `Organic', then you probably already know Rodale Press and their penchant for searching out and finding the best possible authors. With Sally Jean Cunningham they certainly have a hit the jackpot. She writes so clearly and with such joy that you would think she was a Rodale herself.

To give you an idea of what her style is like, in the introduction, Sally Jean illuminates the three harvests that she personally derive
Mar 20, 2012 Joyce rated it really liked it
The book struck me as light-weight when I checked it out of the library: green type, line drawings, cutesy titling (Love Your Compost Pile), etc. So I didn't have high hopes, despite a friend's enthusiastic recommendation and the fact that the author is a Master Gardener.

Thank goodness I actually read the book! It's awesome, and I'll probably be placing an order for my very own copy.

I have had John Jeavons's book, "How to Grow More Vegetables" for many years, even purchasing updated editions bec
Jul 22, 2014 Michelle rated it really liked it
After finishing Michael Pollan's Second Nature, in which he tries to find a balance between the rigid no-weed policy of a traditional garden and the Emersonian weed-is-a-plant-whose-virtues-have-not-yet-been-discovered school of thought, I found Great Garden Companions to be a refreshing tale of success. In the intro, Cunningham mentions that she struggled when she first went organic to produce even close to what she had before--until she realized that organic requires a new framework. You can't ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Despite the hokey cover, this is a really great book on gardening especially for a beginner who wants to have a slamming organic garden and at the same time wants to be spared scientific/esoteric gardening vocabulary. Very readable book, Sally's Tips and Tricks are great, the pre-designed gardens are fabulous, and there's a lot of information of insect management that rarely gets much play in other garden books.

I really can't say enough good things. If you're just starting out and looking for a
Apr 10, 2009 Christy rated it really liked it
I got this book from the library and most of the way through it I thought I could just get away with taking some notes and not buying it. The detailed information at the end caught my eye and seemed worth the purchase. I first thought that it would be like information found in any gardening book about specific plants, but when I compared a few plants with what gardening books I had I realized how much better the info was in this book.

The author groups veggies, flowers and herbs together in a be
Mar 07, 2008 Taylor rated it it was amazing
This is great! This book details a very easy, straight forward way to combine foods, herbs, and flowers in the garden. Cunningham is obviously in love with the miracle of gardening and shares her joys and success on every page. And it's so easy to apply! I am now burning to get out in my garden and scatter some seeds, plant some seedlings, and otherwise get dirty.

Cunningham provides other basics -
*Easy (non--digging) garden bed building
*Easy over winter compost
*Easy pest control
and more and mo
Jan 10, 2013 Shae rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
So, my newest interest is gardening and I had a great friend give me this book for Christmas. I read it cover to cover and I can hardly wait to start growing. The subtitle reads: A companion-planting system for a beautiful, chemical-free vegetable garden. I can't say that I come down very clearly on chemical/organic issues, but this book has me excited to try a chemical free garden. Even better this book gave clear instructions on how to start gardening -- you know, with step by step instruction ...more
Feb 13, 2011 Jeph rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
One of the first books I read on gardening, and still one of my favorites! I still refer back to this periodically in case I need some inspiration on what might benefit from being planted side-by-side with another veggie. No guarantees that companion gardening will actually work, but I personally feel it does help!

Oh, and like many other veggie gardening books, you'll find this book also has a large section describing each of the veggies you might want to grow. That's one downside to reading lot
Oct 29, 2008 Barbara rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: any organic gardener or anyone who wants to be.
Shelves: gardening
This is one of my most-used gardening books. It organizes companion plants by plant neighborhoods and then gives advice for how to grow plants in each neighborhood. It covers making raised beds, crop rotation, soil, attracting beneficial insects and birds, garden design, dealing with pests, and just about anything else you'd want to know about growing a chemical-free vegetable and herb garden with a few flower companions thrown in for good measure. I take this book to the garden with me when I'm ...more
Sep 18, 2008 Alison rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: organic gardeners
This is a great book to get you started vegetable gardening organically. The emphasis is on companion gardening which means pairing your vegetables with other plants (flowers, herbs) that are beneficial. Also valuable is you are interested in raised bed gardening. WARNING: Don't expect your garden to look like 'Better Homes and Gardens'. Weeds are welcome here.
Apr 27, 2008 Jill rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Gardeners
Shelves: gardening
This is a really good book for gardeners who are concerned about using pesticides or whatnot on their food. Companion gardening as it pertains to plants of all sorts and bugs and some diseases. Super-helpful in planning combinations. Have to take into account that the author lives in New England, not Texas.
Mar 19, 2012 Amberle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: in-my-possession
Finally someone who (at least claims to have) based her plant companions on scientific research. Her groupings are easy to apply to gardens big and small and beautiful to boot with their mixture of veggies and flowers. Aesthetics and science are the two things I usually miss when reading about companion planting; they aren't absent here!
May 18, 2008 Corrie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: gardeners
Recommended to Corrie by: Alisha
Shelves: gardening
I really enjyed this book and learning more about what plants help each other grow and fend off pests. We are looking ot have chemimcal free garden - even if we have to hand pick a few critters on the way.
May 02, 2013 Debra rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
An interesting approach to gardening by using the combination of certain plants to benefit the health and growth of others in that family of plants. Having a very small area, I am willing to do some experimenting to see if this works.
Apr 04, 2012 Geekwif rated it it was amazing
This book is with me in the garden every year. I pull it out in the late winter and use it to help decide my garden plan, and it stays with me as a reference throughout the gardening season.
Dec 09, 2007 Jeremy rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: vegetable, herb and flower gardeners
Shelves: always-reading
This is one of my main resources during the growing season. I used this book a couple seasons ago to help me start our family garden. It is very accessible, informative and well organized.
Lorri Moulton
Sep 13, 2016 Lorri Moulton rated it it was amazing
Probably the best gardening book ever written, at least the one I use the most often! Love her attitude on bugs, companion planting and windbreaks. Wonderful and very helpful book :)
Mar 03, 2009 Laura rated it it was amazing
A very useful and clear book about vegetable plant rotation and beneficial combinations. I think I'll have go go and buy this book.
May 07, 2010 William rated it it was amazing
The emphasis of this book is attracting beneficial insects to your garden, and the author does an excellent job of explaining exactly how to do it.

An inspirational book.
Jun 20, 2010 Sharleen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
I've read quite a few organic vegetable gardening books over the years, and this is by far the best. Highly recommended.
May 07, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing
Love it!. All about organic gardening and recycling/reusing. Combining flowers with vegetables to help the growth as well as prevent pest damage. Perfect read for beginner gardeners also.
Mar 20, 2009 Sande rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
A lovely book that is full of interesting information, tips, sketches, and more. Of the 5 gardening books I've read this spring this book was my favorite.
Jun 28, 2011 Cjpeffer rated it really liked it
I have basil, gazania and four o-clocks next to my carrots, tomatoes and corn. Let's see how I do! I enjoyed the book a lot. It definitely got me excited to garden!
Mar 25, 2009 Cynthia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in gardening
Excellent book on companion planting. One of my favorite gardening books that I refer to time and time again.
Mar 17, 2008 Jeanette rated it really liked it
She takes all the hard work out of researching through lots of gardening books - it's all there, for small, intensive gardening anyway. Yeah I'm a lazy gardener!
Apr 10, 2008 Darcy rated it it was amazing
Awesome, awesome book--my favorite gardening book. I re-read it every year and want a garden just like hers.
Lindsay rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2012
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