Try companion planting in your garden:

This garden staple benefits from the company of basil, onions, rosemary, sage, and parsley. Marigolds are often planted among tomatoes to ward off insects and nematodes. Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same family, but they should not be planted together.

Beans, peas, and vegetables from the cabbage family grow well with potatoes. They like squash as companions but not cucumbers and pumpkins. Potatoes have a number of enemies such as potato beetles. Grow basil and marigold with potatoes to repel these beetles and nematode worms. Sweet Alyssum can be grown as a ground cover because they attract insects that feed on some potato pests.

Grow spinach, lettuce and radishes around the peppers. They enjoy the light shade provided by the taller pepper plants and return the favor by suppressing weeds. Planting basil and chives with peppers is a good idea; they not only repel some of the pests that bother pepper plants but also improve the flavor of the peppers. Garlic, onions and leeks are good companions too. Peppers in jewel colors are a great addition to ornamental gardens where they do well in the company of Marigolds, Petunias and Geraniums.

These tasty vegetables are garden favorites, but they are equally popular with many garden pests as well. Plant some herbs like thyme and tarragon to keep off these insects. Spinach helps keep weeds in check as it flourishes in the shade of the eggplants. These veggies have high nitrogen requirement that can be met by planting beans near them, but select shorter varieties that will not hinder sunlight.

Good companions for carrots are lettuce and radish. Onions and leeks repel carrot flies, but while leeks can be grown in the same bed with carrots, onions should be grown in a separate bed nearby to avoid competition. Chives and marigolds are helpful too, but avoid planting dill and parsnips near carrots.

Dill, onions, garlic, celery, basil and sage are good companions for broccoli. These aromatic plants repel many pests and attract some of their predators. Onions and celery enhance the flavor of broccoli. The high calcium requirement of this vegetable can be met by growing beets and nasturtiums close to them. You can plant cucumbers, potatoes, bush beans, lettuce and radish with broccoli.

As with broccoli, dill is a great companion to cabbage as well as other cruciferous vegetables because the herb attracts wasps that prey on many cabbage pests. Planting celery and onions close to cabbage helps its growth while chamomile improves flavor.
Although cabbage does well with potatoes, other members of the nightshade family–peppers, tomatoes and eggplants–shouldn’t be grown with cabbage.

Beans are the best companions of cauliflower. Dill, celery and onions protect cauliflower, so do zinnias planted around it. Their blooms attract ladybugs that keep cauliflower pests in check. Avoid planting strawberries anywhere near cauliflower since they attract slugs that can do tremendous damage to the cauliflower heads.

You can grow beans, peas, carrots, beets and radishes with cucumbers. Plant a few nasturtiums with cucumbers to repel cucumber beetles. Marigolds and sunflowers also have a similar protective effect.

Squash prefer the same companions as cucumbers. Grow radishes, beets and carrots around them. Planting legumes in the same mount makes more nitrogen available to squash plants. Nasturtiums and marigolds can complete the picture.

Corn can be paired with almost any member of the legume family and the squash family to form the “three sisters” planting. That includes beans and peas as well as cucumbers and melons. Besides them, you can plant potatoes and lettuce with corn.

Carrots and tomatoes can be grown near asparagus patches, but avoid potatoes, onions and garlic. Marigolds and chrysanthemums, and herbs like basil, dill, and parsley protect the tender shoots from asparagus beetles. Tomatoes also have a protective effect since they contain solanine, which is toxic to these beetles.

Spinach likes a bit of shade that can be provided by slightly taller plants like beans, eggplant, cabbage, cauliflower, radishes and celery. Squash is good companion, so is onion.

You can grow lettuce, spinach and beans with strawberries, but avoid planting cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables nearby. Planting a border of thyme around the strawberry patch helps keep away worms.

Plant garlic and marigold among raspberry to prevent fungal diseases and damage caused by insect pests. Turnips can keep away Harlequin beetles. Avoid growing potatoes, tomatoes and blackberries anywhere near raspberries since they can transmit viral diseases.

Garlic is a traditional companion of roses as the herb repels insects that attack the roses. However, garlic chives and marigolds may be more attractive companions in an ornamental garden.

Some flowering plants make good companions for vegetables. You can plant them liberally to make your garden aesthetically appealing. Besides that, they will bring in beneficial insects that help with pollination and pest control. Many culinary herbs can do double duty in the vegetable garden since they are bee magnets. When they are planted with vegetables, their intense smells confuse insect pests and keep them away from their target plants.

Some ornamentals and herbs that help your vegetables:

Pot marigolds (Calendula) as well as French and Mexican marigolds (Tagetes spp.) are great additions to veggie and ornamental gardens. They control nematodes and repel whiteflies and other insect pests. Grow them in thick patches all over the garden except near beans and cabbage.

Sweet Alyssum:
These low-growing plants spread along the soil to form thick mats that suppress weed growth. Their fragrant flowers attract bees to the garden.

These tall plants with sunny flowers can offer shade to tender plants and support to weak-stemmed plants, besides attracting pollinators and repelling nematodes.

Chrysanthemums contain substances that are toxic to many insects. They are particularly effective against Japanese beetles and root nematodes.

Dahlias bear striking flowers and come year after year from their underground tubers, but what makes them most useful in the veggie garden is their ability to repel nematodes.

This attractive plant with pretty flowers does extra work by repelling Japanese beetles, beet leafhoppers and cabbage worms. Plant several of them in different spots.

These small plants with grass-like leaves and pretty flowers look equally good in ornamental and vegetable gardens where they help keep away aphids and other harmful pests. They are great with cruciferous vegetables, tomatoes and carrots, but should be kept away from beans and peas.

Dill is cherished by organic gardeners because they are great companions for both cabbage family and squash family. Their large flowerheads attract predatory wasps and other insects that can keep pest populations under control. They attract tomato hornworm; hence shouldn’t be planted near tomatoes, peppers and potatoes.

Garlic is one of the most pungent members of the Allium family that include onions, leeks and chives. They are all excellent for keeping away harmful insects while their flowers attract bees and other nectar loving pollinators.

This enemy of carrot flies and cabbage moths should be planted wherever you grow these veggies. This herb is a great companion for tomato plants too.

Basil (Ocimum basilicum):
These aromatic plants repel thrips, flies, mosquitoes and other insect pests. They are a must if you want to grow flavorful peppers and tomatoes.

This stunning plant repels almost all types of harmful insects, but attracts pollinators with its flowers.

10 House Plants to Benefit Your Health!

House plants add greenery to your house as well as benefit you in many different ways! As humans we breath in oxygen and release carbon dioxide. This is the perfect case for house plants! They use the carbon dioxide we release and turn it into oxygen for us to use. House plants can often remove toxins from the air as well as release water into the air, providing us with humidity. Here are some of the most beneficial plants for us!
  1. Aloe Vera

    Not only is the gel inside of Aloe Vera helpful in healing wounds & sunburns the plant alone is able to help clear the air of pollutants found in chemical cleaning products. When the amount of harmful chemicals in the air becomes excessive the plants’ leaves will display brown spots.   

  2. Rubber plant

    A rubber plant is  a good plant for cleaning the air in your house. This plant is one of the easiest to grow, as it grows in areas of dim lighting. 

  3. English Ivy

    A study conducted by a NASA scientist listed English Ivy as the number one best air-filtering houseplant. This plant is most effective in absorbing formaldehyde from the air.  The plant is easy to take care of and effective.

  4. Peace lily

    Peace lilies are an effective plant for removing a number of toxins from the air. As well as the added benefits this plant house beautiful white flowers and indicated when it needs water. The leaves on this plant will begin to wilt, almost like the plant is laying down. Once it is watered the leaves will stand up again.                                                   

  5. Snake Plant

    A Snake Plant is the perfect addition to your bedroom, as this plant absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night. All plants release oxygen, but generally just in the day time. A Snake Plant is one of the plants for uses very little water and doesn’t need much sunlight. 

  6.  Bamboo Palm

    The Bamboo Palm is also on NASA’s list of top effective clean-air plants. This plant helps remove benzene and trichloroethylene from the air. Palms need to be well water and be placed in a spot with indirect light.

  7. Philodendron

    There are many different types of Philodendron. You many of heard of a couple called a Spilt-Leaf Philodendron or a Heart-Shape Philodendron. This plant is similar to English Ivy in the way that it helps absorb Formaldehyde from the air. These plants are easy to take care of, they don’t like to dry out and prefer some sunlight. 

  8. Spider Plant

    The Spider Plant is one of the most popular house plants. This plant is on the NASA list as well, as it absorbs many different types of pollutants. These pollutants include Benzene, Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide and Xylene. 

  9. Red- Edge Dracaena

    This vibrant house plant can grow to massive heights, making it ideal for filling in a large area. A Dracaena is also removes a list of toxins from the air including Xylene, Trichloroethylene, and Formaldehyde. This plant grows best in direct sunlight with moderate water. 

  10. Golden Pothos

    The Golden Pothos is an effective plant for removing Formaldehyde from the air. This is  hanging plant, a perfect addition to a living room or dinning room. 



At our store: The Greenhouse At Cliffside we constantly have new house plants coming in. If you are looking for a special one, we can always bring it in.

Fungus On Plants! Let’s Talk Rust, Black Knot, & Leaf Curl!

RUST, BLACK KNow & Leaf curl! What to look for and how to treat them!

In this blog I will explain what to look for when dealing with Rust, Black Knot & leaf Curl. Also, how to treat and prevent these fungal diseases from coming back year to year. Millions of fungal diseases attack plants each year, these diseases spread through spores in the air. Whether you have a newly planted plant or a 100 year old plant, they are all just as susceptible to fungal diseases.


When you think of Rust you’ll tend to think of a rusty old nail. This is reddish-orange stuff  that forms on iron or steel when it reacts with oxygen and moisture. Rust also effects plants, it isn’t only one simple fungal disease, rust, is comprised up of multiple fungal diseases.

What To Look For

The first signs of rust are tiny spots or specks on your leaves, these spots can range anywhere from orange to rusty-brown, brownish-yellow, purple and red. If theses spots are leaf untreated the spots will become bigger and form a bump, similar to a pimple

This is the beginning stage of rust, the leaves will appear as though they are dying before turning orange/reddish.

This is rust in it’s worst stage. At this stage pimple or wart like bumps form on the leaves.

This is the rust in it’s middle form before going into the pimple stage.







how is rust spread

When the pimple or wart like bumps on the leaves burst open, tiny spores are released. These spores carry the fungal disease rust and are spread from the wind or water. As the spores spread in the wind they attach onto new plants.

prevent rust from forming

Because rust is spread in the wind preventative measures should be taken. Rust enjoy hot, humid environments so avoid over watering your plants and make sure not to top water. This is when water is left on the leaves.

Treatment for rust
  • Prune or pick effective leaves. Be sure to not prune the whole plant if effected.
  • Once finished pruning make sure to disinfect your tools will a mild bleach and soap solution.
  • Make sure to rake up any fallen leaves or effected part of the plant. These parts should be thrown away or burned as compost will not kill the spores.
  • If your plant still needs some help apply a copper fungicide or sulphur dust to the affected parts of the plant.


Black knot is a fungal disease that effected many different types of trees. This fungus can be present in natural areas or landscaped areas. Some trees are able to withstand many knots (galls) where as, some are unable to withstand any. These knots can cause leaves to wilt, leaves to die, shoot death as well as bench death.

What to look for

Black knot looks like its name indicates, knobby swollen black growths called galls grow parallel along the length of stems and branches. In the beginning of summer new growths will appear to be covered in a velvety olive green coloured spore. By the end of the summer, these green coloured spored will have matured and turning black and hard.  It is possible to may not notice black knot on your tree until winter because they stand out again the white snow and blue sky. On a single tree only a few galls could exist or as many as a canopy full of galls. Large rough black galls that are often cracked can occur on the main trunk of the tree and may ooze sticky liquid.

The canopy of a tree full of galls.

A close up of a gall on a branch.

A large black gall on the trunk of a tree.






How is Black Knot Spread

The fungus overwinters in the galls. During wet periods in the spring, spores are expelled and windblown to infect young green shoots or wounded branches. Once the spore attaches itself to the new tree is begins to immediately infect the tree with the fungus. The fungus contains parasites that causes the tree to release chemicals calling for excessive cell growth and enlargement of the tissues resulting is a large black gall. A gall is comprised of fungal tissue and plant.

Preventing black knot

A simple way to prevent black knot is to not plant any plants around other infected plants. If others are infected where you’d like to plant, read the treatment below.

Treatment for Black Knot
  • Pruning a black knot or simply cutting down the infected tree is one of the easiest solutions.
  • Apply a fungicide containing one of the following ingredients: captan, chlorothalonil, thiophanate-methyl, or lime sulphur.
  • For complete instructions on how to prune a gall look at this website:

Leaf Curl

Leaf curl is as the name indicates is the curling of the leaves on the plant. This is an other airborne fungal disease which is hard to prevent.

What to look for 

Leaf curl is a distinctive and easily noticeable disease. Signs of leaf curl appear as soon as leaf buds start to emerge. When the leaves emerge they will have a red colour to them and a twisted shape. As the leafs continue to develop they become increasingly distorted. When fully grown the leafs may look thick and rubbery compared to normal leafs. With the leafs continually becoming attached by leaf curl they will change from normal green to red and purple, ultimately a whitish bloom covers each leaf. The bark of the plant is variety effected, as well as the fruit, but it may fall of do to limited strength in the plant.

The leaves of a plant effected by leaf curl.

The later stage of leaf curl where the leaf begins to change colours.







How is left curl spread

The fungus survives winter by attaching onto the bark and buds of  a plant. As the temperature begins to warm up the rainwater washes the spores into the buds where is attacks the leafs.

Preventing leaf curl

The most effective way of preventing leaf curl is to plant your tree under your overhanging roof. In the winter wrap your tree with burlap or a material similar to avoid winter rainwater from forming and building up on the buds.

treatment for leaf curl
  • Spray the trees in the winter well before budding with a copper-based mixture and/ or a lime sulphur mixture.
  • If your plant has leaf curl one year, it doesn’t mean it will the next year as well. Let leaf curl run its course.

If you are unsure of which fungal disease your plant has send us a photo or bring in your plant for us to identify. We will be able to tell you which fungus your plant has and give you a fungicide to treat such diease. 


How To…Water Your Plants In The Heat!

When it comes to watering plants in the extreme heat it can be tricky! Here’s a few tips on how to make sure your plants are getting enough water in the heat.
  1.  Water your plants deeply. This means give your plants a good soak the morning before the heat wave, or if your unable to do so, give your plants a good water the night before.
  2. Water your plants in the morning or later a night, this allows less water to evaporate from the soil and for the water that does get onto the leaves to dry off to avoid damage.
  3. Water well established planted once to twice a week. You can gauge if you’ve given the plant enough water by making sure the soil is moist 1 inch down from the surface.
  4. Irrigate slowly. You can achieve this by either  a dripper system or by taking your time with the hose. The slower/ longer the water is on for the deeper into the soil it seeps. Deep watering encourages deeper root systems and protects your plant against drought.
  5. Watch your plants leaves. If your plants leaves are wilting during the day, but in the morning seem fine, your plant has sufficient amount of water. If your plants leaves continue to stay wilted into the morning, your plant may be over watered. You can test this by sticking a finger in the soil to determine how moist the soil is.
  6. Be sure to water your lawn at least every three days. This will prevent your lawn from drying out and becoming yellow.

Powdery Mildew..How To Combat It!

The photo on the right  shows what powdery mildew looks like on the leaf of a plant. It can look similar like a silvery  residue. There are many different species of the fungal disease; powdery mildew. Like most diseases each species effects a different type of plant. Unlike, most fungal disease powdery mildew does not require moisture to infect your plant. This disease survives in warmth, meaning it can infect plants under a wide variety of circumstances.

Identifying powdery mildew.

Plants infected with this disease will first appear to have tiny cooking flour spread onto the leafs, stems and sometimes fruit.  These spots start out as small as a pencil lead and can take over a whole leaf/plant.  Mildew usually only effects the tops of leaves, and will target younger leaves first, turning them yellow and causing them to fall off. As the mildew continues to effect the plant, entire leaf  will be completely  covered in mildew.

Cause of Mildew

Powered Mildew is everywhere, because it is a fungi it has spores. These spores spread through the wind, insects and  splashing water. Most commonly mildew is prone to grow in areas of high humidity, crowed planting, and areas with poor air circulation. A very common cause of powdery mildew is top watering. This is when you water with a hose or watering can hitting the leaves of the plant. Plants, should be watered at he base.

Treatment Of Mildew

  • Remove and destroy ALL effected plant parts.
  • Thin out your plants, by pruning to improve air circulation.
  • DO NOT fertilize till powered mildew has been combatted, as the spores will target new growth.
  • DO NOT top water plants.
  • Apply a fungicide. Make sure the fungicide is appropriate for powered mildew and the particular plant you are using it on.
  • If you don’t want to use a fungicide, 1 teaspoon of baking soda in 1 quart of water will do the trick.

Our fungicide Spray