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Common household remedies request

I'm in light-blogging mode now as I do some composting and lay out some new beds, about which I have some questions:

1. One bed will be onions. But I'd like to plant some flowers round the edge of the bed, ideally flowers that are a good companion, like marigolds are to tomatos. (The bed is near the sidewalk, but not fenced, so I'm planting onions there as a barrier to critters, who I believe won't like the odor.

2. The other bed will be basil, hopefully including some Thai hot basil. Again, are there good companion plants for basil? I'm also assuming critters don't like basil either.

3. I'm also building a new path out between those two beds to the sidewalk, and I'd like to plant something ornamental at the sidewalk end. I thought of Rosa rugosa, but eeeew, more Japanese beetles. A friend suggested beach plums, which makes sense: They grow in Maine, they're cold hardy, and they won't have issues with the sand thrown aside when the sidewalk is plowed in the winter. But my soil is clay; will that be a problem? I'd rather have the beach plum send down a tap root than send suckers out into the beds.

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Submitted by Lex on

That's a good start. I wouldn't count on either basil or onions to act as a barrier to hungry critters. Most any ornamental will probably do fine with either plant, and neither are particularly susceptible to pests in the first place.

I know next to nothing about the beach plum, but given its habitat of sand dunes and suckering, i think you'll have a huge issue if you plant one in clay soil next to cultivated beds.