Companion Planting

Companion Planting Chart For 10 Popular Vegetables

Companion Planting

Did you know that…

– Some vegetable garden plants should NOT be planted next to each other.
– Other vegetables LOVE to grow next to each other…

Certain plants, when grown together, improve each other’s health and yields.

For instance, some plants attract beneficial insects that help to protect a companion, while other plants (particularly herbs) act as repellents.

Additionally, plants that require a lot of the same nutrients as their neighbors may struggle to get enough for themselves, producing lackluster crops.

– Farmers Almanac

 
Tip: Flowers, especially Marigolds are as good as gold when grown with just about any garden plant. They will naturally control pests and attract beneficial pollinator insects, which will increase the fruit-set.

Tip: Separate foes and friends on opposite sides of the garden, or at least 4 feet away.

 

Companion Planting Chart

CROP NAME FRIENDS FOES
BEANS Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Cauliflower
Celery
Corn
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Peas
Potatoes
Radishes
Squash
Strawberries
Summer savory
Tomatoes
Garlic
Onions
Peppers
Sunflowers
CABBAGE Beans
Celery
Cucumbers
Dill
Kale
Lettuce
Onions
Potatoes
Sage
Spinach
Thyme
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Strawberries
Tomatoes
CARROTS Beans
Lettuce
Onions
Peas
Radishes
Rosemary
Sage
Tomatoes
Anise
Dill
Parsley
CORN Beans
Cucumbers
Lettuce
Melons
Peas
Potatoes
Squash
Sunflowers
Tomatoes
CUCUMBERS Beans
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Corn
Lettuce
Peas
Radishes
Sunflowers
Aromatic herbs
Melons
Potatoes
LETTUCE Asparagus
Beets
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Carrots
Corn
Cucumbers
Eggplant
Onions
Peas
Potatoes
Radishes
Spinach
Strawberries
Sunflowers
Tomatoes
Broccoli
ONIONS Beets
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrots
Lettuce
Peppers
Potatoes
Spinach
Tomatoes
Beans
Peas
Sage
PEPPERS Basil
Coriander
Onions
Spinach
Tomatoes
Beans
Kohlrabi
RADISHES Basil
Coriander
Onions
Spinach
Tomatoes
Kohlrabi
TOMATOES Asparagus
Basil
Beans
Borage
Carrots
Celery
Dill
Lettuce
Melons
Onions
Parsley
Peppers
Radishes
Spinach
Thyme
Broccoli
Brussels sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Corn
Kale
Potatoes

Chart source: Farmers Almanac

 
The Most Popular Companion Planting Guide:

Companion Planting Guide

Carrots Love Tomatoes: Secrets of Companion Gardening

 
More: Beneficial Companion Plants for Tomatoes

 
What has been your own companion planting experience?
Any other suggestions or tips?

Similar Posts

83 Comments

  1. Since I have to drive to Albuquerque and back today (320 miles!) for old man’s doc visit, I have to post early.

    I have used companion planting for many years and it works beautifully. I started with Carrots love Tomatoes and also her second book and then went to other sources. I let the marigolds go wild as they keep the aphid population down, but be careful, they take over. After a week of being gone I had to find my tomato plants among the marigolds. Also Calendua aka Pot Marigold help plants keep insects away and the flowers are good in salves. Plant basil with tomatoes always.

    At the end of summer I let my lettuce bolt and the seeds fly all over as it seems to like all plants and you get some nice surprises next spring.

    In a 20×40 raised bed garden it is sometimes hard to keep plants separate, especially those dang potatoes, they don’t seem to get along with anyone! And broccoli isn’t much better.

    1. old lady,
      Be safe going to ABQ, seems as years go by it gets just a little more crazy there,

  2. OH MY I have Garlic everywhere in my raised bed garden right now. Have to find a new home for my Beans…. Although they did pretty well last year surrounded by garlic and onions lets see how much MORE production I get away from them.

    OY might explain how I have had Zero Success with Peppers too.

    Thanks for the input Ken! Did you get anything planted outside yet?

    1. Nothing’s outside yet. Had snow again 2 days ago, but gone now. Just a few piles of it here and there.

      Maybe I’ll must do a raised garden bed inside the house and call it good this year ;)

      1. Ken,
        The snow is one thing,
        Frozen ground, now that is a problem!
        Something i have never really dealt with.
        All sortsa fun challenges, you guys have the cold, we have the rain, buckets and buckets of rain, better than no rain though, thats a whole nother problem,

        1. And we have no rain. Nada. Zip. We do need some rain. Seems to keep going around us. I guess at least its not cold.

          1. Texasgirl,
            Thats not good, theres a few places up there that are real dry, going to be a problem during the summer

      2. Ken
        Now is the difficult time, waiting for the soil temperature to get to 60. Days begin to look promising, no more forecasts of frost, … be patient my friend. This is the cool time of year I distract myself from the garden with firewood cutting and spring cleaning.

        1. Indeed! At least I’m able to get back into the ‘garn’ project (garage/barn) as I continue the electrical wiring without freezing my azz off in there.

          Will soon be buying the lumber for my new raised garden bed. Maybe tomorrow. Realized that I’ll also need to put a fence around it due to potentially hungry rabbits and other such critters. It’s never easy!

          1. Ken
            That’s the, good or bad side of achieving self-sufficiency (depending on your outlook). You never run out of projects on the wish list and the must do list. No such thing as retirement for us preppers. As NRP expounds “its a lifestyle”.

      3. Black Plastic Ken Black Plastic. Was chilly here last night with cold rain and still my soil is warmer than air temp per my hands. Awaiting the rise of my beets and Swiss chard. Started hardening off of seedlings.

        Yes you WILL need Ugly Blankets and Tree trimmings to shelter those plants but did you not write an article about “Starving Spring” or such?

        I am scheduled per Farmers Almac to get 110 days growing season here, but I extend both ends of the season. How many days do you get Ken?

        1. NH
          In jest, if you have followed Ken’s site for years you know what his season is like. May has sleet/snow, June has monsoon rains, July has unbearable heat, August has death valley drought, September has early frost every night. Then there are the voracious birds, the swarms of insects, and the interloper animals that eat everything and trod down the landscape. Yup, that’s the life. :)

        2. NHM, I have been up here for about 4 years and each season has been different regarding how many days. I’ve had frost in early June, and frost 1st week of September (worst case span so far). That makes about a 90 day worst case. Though it usually is longer typically lasting well into September.

          That said, it can be mitigated by covering, as you said. It also emphasizes the need to grow lots more than otherwise during the season, to be sure that you’ve canned enough to get you through (and then some). It’s lots of work trying to be more self sufficient!…

          1. Same deal down in the SW corner above 1200 ft.
            Snowing yesterday morning…

          2. Ah my! Ken I feel your gardening pain. AND Hermit Us FORGOT to mention Black Flies that are tiny but MIGHTY good at eating you alive! Seems I have a few more years under my gardening belt in NH than you my friend.

            Have you ever looked up LDS Prepper on You tube for his 5 gallon self watering garden? Works VERY well. Oddly enough the nasty Japanese Beetle (Colorful eating machines) often tear up my garden but never touch my 2nd floor deck full of those 5 gallon garden buckets. Often I get more production from them than the raised garden.

            ANY ADVICE for non poison solution for Japanese Beetles gratefully accepted. Chicken Chunnel’s help but free range chicken do more damage than the beetles in my garden.

            To answer hermit us jest

            APRIL/May snow/Sleet black plastic to thaw soil, I used to shovel off the raised beds first but not needed. Then plant cold weather crops like beets, Swiss chard using ugly blankets and tree trimmings for freezes.

            June monsoon rains not a jest I fear sometimes right Ken? Raised beds drain very well even when my main garden is a swamp. Ugly blankets at the ready for late frosts. BTW 5 gallon bucket system shrugs off monsoon rains.

            July/August unbearable heat/death valley drought sometimes I am afraid of having my well pump sucking mud around this time. Rain gutters into two 275 gallon totes (may get two more this year) from the monsoon season and Heavy Mulch help a lot. Have used home made from clay flower pots Olla’s to point water my ever thirsty Tomatoes. Gardening in Pre Dawn helps a lot too for this old man.

            September Ugly blankets ready, have retired my thirsty tomatoes and cleaned/put away the olla’s. Planting late season cold weather crops like parsnips as a little freeze makes them sweet :-) Harvested my garlic, dried and replanted for over winter garlic again.

            Can you tell I LIKE Garlic? A little Garlic and Apple Cider Vinegar in the critters drinking water helps prevent various issues esp. “Pasty Butt” on newly hatches chicks. Even helps hot weather bucks and doe rabbits get frisky for breeding.

            Hope this helps somebody :-)

      4. Ken
        You are planning on a raise garden bed ‘inside the house’? Did you happen to ask Mrs. J if she would mind all the dirt in or on the floors? lol
        Let alone you being sent to the new doggy house you just built & which NRP is looking at for his R&R spot.

  3. What has been my own companion planting experience?
    I forget about some stuff not really growing good together, where it becomes most evident is in the tunnel, confined space, incompatible plants= poor results.
    I have been testing a minimal disturbance approach, using straw mulch and not really cultivating anything, just pulling stuff out when its done, then replanting, my biggest challenge is weeds, have been short on spare time to work in the garden and its also been raining a LOT. Funny thing with year round growing, i think they mean the weeds grow year round, and everything else maybe. I may have to till it all in one more time, but will see. Anywayyy
    Back to companions,
    Have been working on growing beneficials for years. While growing kale for market i kept my borders growing in nasturtiums, and a whole slew of other stuff, all sorta wild, but my pest issues were not economicly damaging to production so it worked, never really had to use pesticides of any type. So know it works.

    I know this is a word mot o you will flinch at, “diversity”
    Yes this time its truly good, so dont let me lose you, having a diverse planting in borders and even in fallow fields as well as within the garden seems to be the best plan. I have all sorts of stuff growing, and the plants that naturalize tend to fall into their own seasonal rotation, its really interesting to watch, clovers, brassicas, flowers, grasses, at first it was all planted together, wild mass of stuff, now it just has fallen into a rhythm and at a certain point in the year each thing is dominant, do have issues with some invasive grasses, but a little glyphosate knocks that back every few years, yea whatever save the speeches you can spend your months pulling stuff that grows by rhyzomes. Anywhooo the point is that diversity has worked well in keeping pests to a minimum, we dont have that freeze every year that kills everything back so its a constant battle, better to let it fight itself!

    Am experimenting with naturalizing marigolds and other flowers and clovers in the garden, is interesting, i figure eventually thats going to be a pest as well🙄 but so far its keeping bugs down, the biggest thing and one that may make a huge difference in the long run is all the edibles in the borders that just keep growing, daikon and other radishes, kales, mustards, fennel, dill, black berry and potato, ground cherry (poha) and yacon, choyote (pipinola, is a small white squash, super prolific super invasive but the whole plant is edible) banannas and various herbs, as well as cherry tomatos, as well as the nasturtiums and other edible fruits, yes, sounds like a lot, looks like a mess, but is interesting to see peoples reaction, one gal went nuts when she started looking around, she left with two huge bags of stuff and a giant smile on her face after rooting around in the weeds for a hour or so, then theres those who frown because they cant see the (food) forrest through the weeds, really quite interesting, some just dont get it, oh welll.
    So
    Companion planting good!

      1. try a row of Butter Lettuce…I see onions and peas both like it. And Butter lettuce grows upright, doesn’t take much room, grows quickly.

    1. Sure DaisyK
      Blame the messenger :) I jest, but you will not have a complete failure. The onions will do just fine.

    2. DaisyK, I believe that the companion planting is more of a guide for potential ‘better’ results. I don’t think you’ll lose your onions or peas or anything like that. I guess you can report back a few months from now and let us know ;)

      1. Ken,

        I was just giving you a bad time.

        Actually, the onions are planted around the edges of the pea planter, supposedly to discourage bugs. I have done that before with good results.

        1. I don’t know if it makes a difference, but they are green onions (scallions). I have also planted green onions around the tomato and pepper planters, with good results. Somebody told me it helps keep the bugs away.

  4. Farmers used to plant peas or beans between the rows of corn. Served at least four purposes. The legumes (peas/beans/vetch/clover, etc) fixed natural nitrogen from the air into the soil as a nutrient retarded weed growth that would need to be dealt with, had the added bonus of being able to harvest edible fruit for the table while the corn was growing to maturity and harvest, plus the residual vines and fruit makes good fodder for your meat animals.

    1. Dennis
      Interplanting is regaining in popularity, used a lot in no till or strip till operations, quite often a legume like clover is under-sown to a corn crop then soybeans follow into the corn stubble and clover, then corn follows the soybeans again and reduces the nitrogen requirements on the corn, other covers are used as well, vetch, annual rye, daikon. The Daikon is one that a lot of guys sre underseeding to the soybeans as the daikon winter kills and as a result the soil is nicely aerated come spring and is also a scavenger crop for nutrients tat are then released into the upper layers of soil as it decomposes.

    2. Dennis;
      I believe you missed the entire point of planting Beans between the Corn rows
      Doing so allows the Farmers to produce both Ethanol Gas AND Methane Gas. :-)

      1. NRP,
        Really? They were doing it when I was a kid, 60+ years ago, long before the politicians decided to ruin combustion engines.
        Oh,Oh!!!! Now I get it!!!…….You mean engine destroying grain alcohol and cow farts, you sly devil.😂

      2. NRP,,,DENNIS,,,, been my experience ,, one qt of corn alcohol will turn into 10 gallons of real gas ,,,,atleast it did when we had the still ,,,,,,,trouble with beans ,never found a way to do that,,,,

  5. I haven’t ever tried companion planting before. But am planning on it this with our new raised beds. Have been doing a lot of reading and saving info for it. Excited to have the raised beds since I will put on a drip and hopefully have a better garden this year.

    1. Ranchers Wife;
      I have gone to 100% Raised Bed Gardening.
      For the Homestead Gardener tis the only way to go.

    1. kevinH that is this years garden experiment after last years wildly successful butter nut squash planting. I found something Deer/Voles will not eat! Even accidently mowing a chunk of it failed to slow that mutant squash down!

      1. NH
        It does not matter what type of squash it is, I can’t seem to give it away to anyone – they see me coming with the various colors and run for their bunkers.

        1. Hermit us can I assume you do not have chickens then? Farmers before Purina Critter Chow used to grow squash, turnips and such for animal feed as well as keeping the farmer fed :-).

          My chickens never run from feedings :-)

          I listen to folks here busy with very expensive electric powered freeze driers packaging foods when the pre electricity (And probably Post EMP) farmers grew food that kept well.

          I love options

          1. NH
            Did turnips for hogs in the past but not for chickens.

            Now you’ve done it, disparaging the freeze drier crowd. I am aiming for about five years for food stored this way as a backup to the yearly production – success or failure.

            I have rabbits now but I think I may switch to chickens next year. Doing it all for two people can be difficult – should have had twelve children like the olden days to work the farm.

          2. hermit us – I hope you have better luck with chickens than I did. I don’t know what went wrong. I either planted them too deep or too close together.

            CD in Oklahoma

          3. CD
            You have to plant them ‘head up’. Many bulbs are like that too – you got to do more learning. ;)

  6. Thanks for the guidelines Ken.

    Lots of good advice on this site and our season on the left coast is going strong at present time.

  7. Thanks Ken
    This will come in handy when planting my garden this year. Hopefully soon if this nice weather continues.

  8. I never had much luck with companion planting based on Ken’s or similar lists.

    My luck changed when I began to pay attention to the pH and tilth of the soil. All vegetables like a well-drained and somewhat loose soil which doesn’t compact and is deep enough to support good drainage and healthy roots. 50 plus yards of composted manure, plain compost, mulch and 6 years later my current garden beds have a deep layer (12-16 inches) of rich non compacted soil to grow in.
    Some vegetables prefer more acidic soil while others prefer more neutral to alkaline soil. My experience shows me that most vegetables prefer somewhere between slightly acidic to moderately alkaline (somewhere between 6 and 7.5 where 7 is neutral). Some vegetables tolerate both acidic and alkaline but will produce better when grown in soil closest to their preference. That’s the only guide I use regarding companion planting. If the plants prefer the same or similar soil pH then they are ok to plant together or in succession and this includes most of the vegetables we grow. If they are not compatible in this regard then I don’t plant them near each other and don’t generally plant them in succession with their opposites. For example potatoes and beans are opposites. While beans fix nitrogen in the soil, they don’t produce as well when planting in the same soil I plant potatoes in. Beans apparently prefer slightly acidic to moderately alkaline while potatoes prefer more acidic. I add enough organic materials to my soil to boost the nitrogen and don’t need to plant beans for that purpose. I plant beans to eat and prefer the higher yield by growing them in a soil medium they prefer. I add soil amendments accordingly to the soil for whatever vegetables I’m planting.
    A lot of our soil amendments and mulch tend to acidify the soil over time (pine straw, sulfur, lots of organic matter, Ammonium sulfate, raw and composted animal manures) therefore we also add an appropriate amount of other amendments to help alleviate that and keep the pH balanced as best as we can (lime, bone meal, wood ashes, crushed eggshells, ground oyster shells). It is a constant balancing act. I grow potatoes and eggplants in separate beds away from the main garden because of this since they like a more acidic environment than all the other stuff. Anyway… that’s my 2 cents. Just saying.

  9. Here is what we use in our garden to date (In no particular order).

    We’re not totally organic because we use some synthetic fertilizer, in small amounts, but we’re closer to it than most gardeners, including government certified organic gardeners.

    Bone meal – alkaline – tilled in, pre-planting.
    Wood Ashes; hard wood only, pecan / oak – alkaline – tilled in, pre-planting.
    Composted Horse Manure – tilled in, pre-planting and mulch.
    Compost; regular, from rotted vegetable matter – tilled in and mulch.
    Potting soil – top layer mulch and around plants when setting them out.
    Chicken manure, raw – acidic – tilled or mixed in with compost into centers between rows.
    Elemental Sulfur – acidic – tilled in, pre-planting.
    Ag Lime – alkaline – tilled in, pre-planting
    Oak leaves, whole – acidic – mulch – Oak leaves chopped – compost, tilled in centers between rows and mulch.
    Pine needles, whole – acidic – mulch
    Alfalfa hay; mulch
    Rice straw – mulch
    Grass clippings, compost, tilled in centers between rows and mulch.
    Wet garbage (coffee grounds, chopped vegetable/fruit peels, chopped vegetable waste etc.) – composted into centers between rows. Chickens get first dibs though on the vegetable waste.
    Fish heads, raw, chopped; shrimp heads, raw, chopped; fresh shrimp shells & crab waste crushed plus fresh fish offal and whole junk fish cut up in small pieces. Buried under row prior to planting or composted into centers between rows. (Do not use shrimp-crawfish-crab shells/waste from a shrimp or crawfish or crab boil – contains too much salt.)
    Crushed pecan shells, composted then tilled in between rows.
    Crushed egg shells. Compost tilled in centers between rows.
    Crushed oyster shells. Tilled in centers between rows.
    8-8-8 NPK fertilizer, small amounts tilled in, pre-planting and side dress.
    13-13-13 NPK fertilizer, small amounts tilled in, pre-planting and side dress.
    Ammonium nitrate – side dress occasionally with very small amounts.
    Magnesium sulfate (Epsom Salts) – side dress
    Ammonium sulfate – side dress occasionally
    Miracle-Grow all-purpose plant food. Added every two weeks during watering.
    Muriate of Potash (Potassium Chloride) – tilled in pre-planting.
    Azomite – Crushed volcanic rock – tilled in pre-planting.

    1. CrabbeNebulae;
      Holy Moly…….
      See I just toss some seeds and plants and let-er-go.
      Must be my amazing personality that makes things grow so well, and my singing to the plants??????

        1. hermit us;
          Actually BS = Bull Manure and/or Cow Manure Plus Horse and maybe a little chicken Manure… HAHAHA

          1. Just a note, I tried steer and horse manure from the ranchers out here and wound up with a gallon pail of grubs. Now i buy sterilized steer manure. Unfortunately they are mixing in to much forest product and not enough manure.

          2. Old Lady,,,
            Pile it up and compost it with other stuff, is way safer to use on garden after composting it anyway,

          3. NRP

            Your garden is not the only thing over your way full of BS!

          4. stand my ground;
            Really?
            You actually posted that in an open forum?
            Great way to get ignored by someone that actually gives a darn about this BOLG and hopefully contributes useful knowledge.
            But this is not the first time you have mouthed off with an inappropriate comment.
            Have fun. Bye.

          5. NRP I hope your tongue in cheek over SMG’s comment :-)

            Ken barely leaves the site to go fishing and some sort of chicken screeching starts?

            Keep it light friends, there is Real Problems out there to worry about.

          6. NRP,

            Gotta agree with NH Michael. I took stand my ground’s comment to be good natured ribbing, not fightin’ words. We all put out a little BS here.

          7. NRP
            That was suppose to be an attempt at humor. I was not trying to hurt your feelings. I apologize. I’ll be a LOT more careful with my comments toward you in the future

    2. CrabbeNebulae,
      As.for garden ash, why do you suggest hardwood only? We use all ash from the wood stove.
      Just asking

      1. @ Joe C

        I’ve read that hardwood ashes have a higher nutrient and liming value than softwoods. I suppose any wood ashes would work but I wouldn’t use ashes from treated lumber or plywood though.

        Also, I use my pecan/oak ashes for other things besides the potash/liming value for the garden.
        I use it for nixtamalizing my field corn when I make hominy. Pine doesn’t work well for that. I also make my own charcoal from the pecan and oak and any softwoods in the pile usually burn to ash quickly rather than become charcoal.

  10. Companion planting works real well for me. Tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, basil and marigolds all do well together. I planted vining cukes with sunflowers this year and they seem to like each other. Blue lake pole beans with summer squash and corn, and another section with corn and kabocha pumpkins and red butternut (and other assorted winter squashes). I tend to grow my zipper peas by themselves.

    I have a whole other section of the yard devoted to medicinal herbs, garlic and onions and plant them near fruit trees in a sort of permaculture way. This has been very successful. I highly recommend bocking #4 comfrey plants (I get mine from coe’s comfrey) for compost, fodder and medicinal value. Yay gardening!

  11. What about plant rotation?
    Seems like we’ve planted garlic in the same spots.for years. The first couple years it was great, now it seems to be dwindling. Not sure if it’s the cloves or what?? But the past over cloves left in the garden seem to come up.

  12. Well since we’re talking about gardening…..
    It’s been a past week of poo for me.
    Cleaning up dog bombs in the back yard, from ALL winter.
    More horse poo on the hay fields.
    Rabbit poo on the non-tilled (yet) garden.
    My life this past week has gone to nuthin’ but $ hit. 😒

  13. Gone for the past 2 days. Just returned home and was wondering while away. Has anyone planted sugar boots? If so how do you process them?

        1. Naw,,,
          I knew what yall were talking about…
          😎👍🏻
          Have grown them but were part of a cover crop mix so didnt do anything with them

          1. Nailbanger and me
            Lol
            Without me reading glasses
            I read sugar boobs. 🤓
            And I still new what me was saying.

    1. Me,
      I have been looking into growing sugar beets here also. Used to be a big farm crop when GW sugar was local, but gone now many years. look around online, I have found several sites for processing them. Pretty much shred them, boil them, and then press. Juice is then evaporated with heating until the saturated solution starts to form crystals. (that’s how the big sugar companies basically do it. Try looking at GW and Amalgamated Sugar companies websites, they have a description of their processes) Looks easy enough. Just gotta find the time to try it. Good luck.

      1. Miner Jim and the great thing about Sugar Beet production the greens are good food for man AND Beast and the chickens and cows seem to love the pressed remains of the beets. Happy chickens lay lot’s of eggs.

      2. Minerjim and me
        Had been looking into stuff to grow for multi use, had looked at sugar beets as it is a low grower but to get sugar is pretty complicated,
        Sorgum is a much easier crop
        Works in good as a cover crop
        High biomass, decent forrage, nematocidal properties as well plus a sorghum press is easy to get and operate if you want sugar from it, through research i found out that it was actually more widely grown for sugar than sugar cane in the US back in the olden days, Might be a good option?
        Mo

        1. Nailbanger can you feed the remainder to animals? I would suspect pigs and chickens could but I do not know. I know pressed seed cake from Rape seed (Also known as Canola) is a high protein feed stock for animals.

          Interesting idea Nailbanger

        2. Nailbanger,
          Good point on sorghum, which I looked into for sugar also. Probably a better crop to grow if you are looking for added nutrients. Kind of ‘iffy’ to grow here for some reason. ( I am considered ‘desert’ where I am, but with irrigation) Sugar beets can produce between 12-20 percent sugar, which is way lower than cane which you have over there. Thing about beets is that animals love the top forage ( deer too), and for that reason you see sugar beet seed in some of these game seed mixes. Agree that processing sorghum might be easier if you have a sorghum mill, which I hear in certain parts of the country can be had cheap, but nothing around here. I just wanted to try it to see if I could get sugar from beets on my own, learning experience.

          1. Minerjim
            The folks at lehmans can connect you with some Amish folks who make old school animal run sorgum roller, works pretty good, saw it set up with a horse walking it, basicly looks like a mechanical walker, has an over arm that you connect to a simple harnes on the horse and it goes round and round as you feed sorgum stocks into the machine, pretty simple actually, couple kids could do the same thing as the horse.
            They also make a hand cranked one, has reduction gears for the feed,
            NHM
            Wasnt thinking about the grain for animal feed, only for human feed, the stocks and tops are good fodder like hay or can be chopped for silage for cows and hogs, i think poultry is the only thing that has trouble with the grain…

          2. At the risk of being redundant (WHAT ME Redundant LOL) I figure every extra USE you get out of an hard won crop is an extra blessing.

            Growing Sugar Beets after SHTF for example is hard work, planting, weeding, fertilizing, watering, harvesting and then not using the tops as human and animal feed, shredding cooking and squeezing the sap out and using the beet shreds for animal feed, boiling down the sap for crude sugar and all that.

            Thus I tend to look at the process and seek extra blessing from my work. That might be why I use Chicken Tractors :-)

          3. NB, you said “I think poultry is the only thing that has trouble with the grain…” Is there a problem with the grain? Chickens I know go crazy for it.

          4. Nailbanger, NHM,
            Trying to get away from having to buy more equipment. I do have a crusher/destemmer for the grapes, but that is not heavy enough. Manual grinder for apples/pears/ other food I have. Figure I can give it a try with a small batch this year if I get time. ( what?24K seeds/lb I’ll plant way less than that.). If I get more than I can handle, I’ll call around to the “boutique distillers” in the area, they might take the rest for rum. I’ll feed the tops to the neighbor’s chickens, might take the left over mash to the other neighbor’s cows and goats. Beets are no harder to grow than potatoes, it all farms about the same. After SHTF, sugar might be good for barter. just a thought.

          5. LAUREN,,,,,chickens only need to have a supply of corse grit so to handle grain ,,

        3. Nailbanger, NHM,
          I also hear that sorghum can be used to make a very nice whiskey, if you are into that sort of thing. I know Cane goes into making rum, as do beets if you can’t grow cane where you are at. Either way all could be used to ferment and make alcohol in a SHTF situation.

          1. Looked up Sorghum for animal feed. Seems the waxy bran covering the grain has to be crushed or cooked off for animal feed aside from Gizzard Birds types like Chickens. :-)

            So that said if you are using a Sorghum Mill the residue should feed critters very well .

            BTW I prefer Rum to Whiskey anyway…

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