Pruning Clematis

Westerplatte clematis

Westerplatte Clematis                          (Photo by Carlotta Lucas)

When to prune a clematis.

Pruning group A (or 1)
A” is for After bloom

When and how to prune: Don’t prune until after the flowers are finished. Flower buds were formed the previous year, so pruning before they flower means no flowers that year.

Includes: Species that bloom in early spring, such as C. montana, C. armandii, or C. macropetala

Pruning Group B (or 2)  
“B” is for Before bloom

When and how to prune: In spring, cut back to a set of live buds, about a third down from the top. Hard-prune (to about 12 inches) for the first two years after planting to develop a strong root system.

Includes: Species that bloom in late spring/early summer, including most large-flowering types.

Pruning Group C (or 3)
“C” is for Cut back hard

When and how to prune: In early spring, cut every stem to 12 to 18 inches or so.

Includes: Species that bloom in summer/early fall: C. viticella, C. tangutica, C. virginiana, C. texensis, C. crispa

Organic Gardening
Article By Therese Ciesinski

Letter to the Editor

Check out Heirloom Garden                         
We enjoyed reading John Darling’s Feb. 2 [Daily Tidings] story about the soon-to-open Ashland Creek Park and his mention of the many other Ashland parks adopted by other community organizations and individuals. I’d like to add one other community garden to that list, which is the Heirloom Garden at North Mountain Park.

Inspired by gardens from the late 1800s, this particular garden was largely designed by Ashland Garden Club members in the late 1990s, and is solely maintained year-round by our members. According to Linda Chesney, Stewardship Coordinator at North Mountain Park, “The Heirloom Garden is really the front door of the entire park as its entrance is right on the Mountain Avenue entrance.”

Like other service organizations, AGC serves our community in other ways, including but not limited to the following:

  • At club meetings from October to May, we offer free programs open to the public about various aspects of gardening.
  • We fund both a high school and SOU scholarship (with money raised from our annual plant sale in May).
  • We do all floral arrangements for the annual Feast of Will (with all flowers donated by club members from their gardens).
  • We participate in gardening and environmental programs at the regional, state and national levels.

Anyone wanting more information can check out our website at And we’re always looking for new members!

Susan Zane, President
Ashland Garden Club

Published in the Daily Tidings 2/10/2015

Companion Planting

The theory of companion planting is by placing beneficial plants together they help each other grow.
Some ways companion plants help each other are:

  • Taller plants can provide shade for sun-sensitive shorter plants.
  • Vining plants cover the ground below taller plants for weed control, or to support vining plants.
  • Companion plants discourage pest, for instance onions repel some pests,
    while other companions, like marigolds, lure pest away from desirable plants.
  • Companion planting can attract beneficial insects to the garden, and improve flavor to some fruits and vegetables.

Below is a beginner’s guide to companion planting.   20141016_171506

Plant near: most garden crops
Keep away from: rue
Comments: improves the flavor and growth of garden crops, especially tomatoes and lettuce. Repels mosquitoes

Beans, Bush
Plant near: beets, cabbage, carrots, catnip, cauliflower, corn, cucumbers, marigolds, potatoes, savory, strawberries.
Keep away from: fennel, garlic, leeks, onions, shallots.
Comments: potatoes and marigolds repel Mexican bean beetles. Catnip repels flea beetles.

Beans, Pole
Plant near: corn, marigolds, potatoes, radishes.
Keep away from:
beets, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, onions, shallots
same as for bush beans.

Plant near: broccoli, brussel sprouts, bush beans, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, kohlrabi, onions
Keep away from:
mustard, pole beans

Plant near:  squash, strawberries, tomatoes
Keep away from:  
Spreads by seed!!
repels tomato worms. Improves flavor and growth of companions.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts
Plant near: beets, buckwheat, calendula, carrots, chamomile, dill, hyssop, marigolds, mints, nasturtiums, onions, rosemary, sage, thyme, wormwood.
Keep away from: strawberries
Comments: marigolds repel cabbage moths. Nasturtiums repel aphids.

Cabbage and Cauliflower
Plant near: broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, chard, spinach, tomatoes.
Keep away from: strawberries
Comments: tomatoes and celery repel cabbage worms.

Plant near: corn
Keep away from:

Plant near: cabbage, chives, early potatoes, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, rosemary, sage, salsify, wormwood.
Keep away from:
Comments: onions, leeks, and wormwood repel carrot flies

Plant near: apples, berries, carrots, grapes, peas, roses, tomatoes.
Keep away from:
Comments: Deters aphids and Japanese beetles. Improves flavor & growth of companions.

Plant near: beans, cucumbers, early potatoes, melons, peas, pumpkins, soybeans, squash.
Keep away from:
Comments: soybeans deter chinch bugs.

Plant near: beans, cabbage, corn, early potatoes, radishes, sunflowers.
Keep away from: late potatoes
Comments: Radishes deter cucumber beetles. Cucumbers encourage blight in late potatoes.

Plant near: broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cucumber, lettuce, onions
Keep away from: carrots
Comments: Improves flavor and growth of cabbage family plants.

Plant near: green beans, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes
Keep away from:
Comments: green beans deter Colorado potato beetles.

Plant near: cabbage, cane fruits, fruit trees, roses, tomatoes
Keep away from: peas, beans
Comments: deters Japanese beetles and aphids. A garlic oil spray deters onion flies, aphids, and ermine moths. A garlic tea helps repel late potato blight.

Plant near:
aromatic herbs, buckwheat, cabbage family, marigolds, nasturtiums
Keep away from:
pole beans, strawberries

Plant near:
cabbage/cauliflower companions (except tomatoes)
Keep away from:
fennel, pole beans, tomatoes
kohlrabi stunts tomatoes

Plant near: beets, carrotsparsnips, radishes, strawberries
Keep away from: cabbage family
Comments: lettuce tenderizes summer radishes.

Plant near:
all garden crops
Keep away from:
stimulates vegetable growth and deters bean beetles, aphids, potato bugs, squash bugs, nematodes, and maggots.

Plant near:
all garden crops
Keep away from:
stimulates vegetable growth.

Plant near:
alfalfa cover crops, fruit trees, grapes, legumes
Keep away from:
stimulates growth of companion plants.

Plant near:
apples, beans, cabbage family, greenhouse crops, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, squash
Keep away from:
repels aphids, potato bugs, squash bugs, striped pumpkin beetles, and Mexican bean beetles and destroys white flies in greenhouses.

Plant near:
beets, cabbage family, carrots, chamomile, lettuce, parsnips
Keep away from:
beans, peas
deters most pests, especially maggots.

Plant near:
all garden crops
Keep away from:
deters many insect pests.

Plant near:
corn, roses, tomatoes
Keep away from:

Plant near:
onions, radishes, wormwood
Keep away from:
onions and wormwood help keep root maggots from parsnips.

Plant near:
beans, carrots, corn, cucumbers, early potatoes, radishes, turnips
Keep away from:
garlic leeks, onions, shallots

Plant near:
basil, carrots, eggplant, onions, parsley, tomatoes
Keep away from:
fennel, kohlrabi

Plant near:
basil, beans, cabbage family, corn, eggplant, flax, hemp, marigolds, peas, squash
Keep away from:
apples, birch, cherries, cucumbers, pumpkins, raspberries, sunflowers, tomatoes, walnuts
Basil deters potato beetles. Marigolds (dug into crop soil) deter nematodes,hemp deters phytophthora infestans

Plant near:
chervil, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, peas, nasturtiums, root crops
Keep away from:
radishes deter cucumber beetles. Chervil makes radishes hot. Lettuce helps make radishes tender. Nasturtiums improve radishes’ flavor.

Plant near:
beans, cabbage, carrots
Keep away from:
repels bean beetles, cabbage moths, and carrot flies.

Plant near:
cabbage family, carrots, tomatoes
Keep away from:
deters cabbage moths and carrot flies. Invigorates tomato plants.

Plant near:
corn, potatoes
Keep away from:
chokes weeds and enriches soil.

Plant near:
celery, cauliflower, eggplant, strawberries
Keep away from:

Plant near:
borage, bush beans, lettuce, pyrethrum, spinach
Keep away from:
cabbage family

Plant near:
Keep away from:
can provide a trellis and shelter for shade-loving cucumbers.

Swiss Chard
Plant near:
bush beans, kohlrabi, onions
Keep away from:
pole beans

Plant near:
all garden crops
Keep away from:
improves vegetables’ flavor and growth.

Plant near:
all garden crops
Keep away from:
deters cabbage moths.

Plant near:
asparagus, basil, cabbage family, carrots, gooseberries, mustard, parsley, onions, rosemary, sage, stinging nettles
Keep away from:
fennel, kohlrabi, potatoes, walnuts

Turnips and Rutabagas
Plant near:
Keep away from:
knotweed, mustard
mustard and knotweed inhibit the growth of turnips and rutabagas!

Powdery Mildew-Resistant Pumpkin & Squash

This list is reprinted from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

Powdery Mildew-resistant Pumpkin & Squash Varieties

Pumpkins – Large

18 Karat Gold R
Aladdin H
Gladiator H
Golden Condor M
Hercules H
King Midas S
Magician H
Magic Lantern H (BWS)
Merlin H (BWS)
SuperHerc H
Spartan SW

Winter Squash – Acorn
Autumn Delight R
Royal Ace H
Sweet Reba HM
Table Star R
Table Treat R
Taybelle PM R
Tip Top PMR J

Summer Squash – Yellow
Fancycrook HPS (crookneck)
Patriot II R (straightneck, TG)
Prelude II R (crookneck, TG)
Sunglo R (crookneck)
Sunray R,J, H (straightneck)
Success HM (straightneck)

Pumpkins – Medium

Charisma H
Hobbit H
Oktoberfest S
Scarecrow M
Pumpkins – Pie
Cannonball H
Harvest Princess M
Iron Man H (phyt)
Mystic Plus H
Prankster S
Pure Gold M
RockaFellow S
Touch of Autumn R, S, CW, CS

Winter Squash – Butternut
Betternut 401 S
Bugle R
Indian Brave NES
JWS 6823 PMR J
Metro PMR J
RB3106 r

Summer Squash – Zucchini
Ambassador HPS
Hurakan H (gray zucchini)
Judgment III (TG) SW
Justice II R (TG)
Lynx St
Payroll R, S, SW
Sebring (yellow zucchini) SW
Wildcat St

Pumpkins – Specialty

Bumpkin M (mini)
Gold Dust R (mini)
Hooligan (tricolor mini) CS
Gooligan (bicolor mini) CS
OneTooMany R (white/red
Sweet Lightning R (bicolor

Winter Squash – Specialty
Bush Delicata J, HPS
Celebration R (y/or acorn hybrid)
Harlequin R (gr/wht acorn hybrid)
MardiGras NES (gr/whtacorn hybrid)

All pumpkins and squash will develop powdery mildew symptoms if weather conditions favor the fungus. Resistant or tolerant varieties develop symptoms more slowly and maintain leaf coverage later in the season. For more information about controlling powdery mildew, see the New England Vegetable Management Guide, found online at

 All varieties should be trialed on a small scale to determine whether they are suitable for your growing conditions, and markets.

 Legend of seed sources: R Rupp Seeds, M Meyer Seed International, H Harris Moran Seed Co, J Johnny’s Selected Seeds, HM High Mowing Seeds, HPS Horticultural Products & Services, N New England Seeds, SW Seedway, St Stokes, S Siegers, CS Carolina Seeds.

This information is presented as a guide only. No endorsement is implied, and sources listed are not necessarily sole sources.

Comments: Phyt – also tolerant to Phytophthora. BWS – Highly susceptible to bacterial wilt.

TG transgenic virus resistance, not compatible with USDA Organic Certification.