Ivydene Gardens Companion Planting: Biodynamics in your Garden

The maintenance treatment of fruit trees, berries and shrubs.

While the annual seeks its nutrients in the surface layer of the soil, the tree grows its two root systems – one with feeder roots near the surface, the other sending mechanically supporting and feeder roots into the deeper layers or subsoil.

A tree dislikes standing moisture in the root area, which hinders the even development of a spreading root system. The soil should be prepared by deep subsoiling in order to break any hardpan and establish water and air circulation. A plant root absorbs oxygen to the total of its own root volume per day.

In the first year of a garden, rotovating and grading is to be done prior to any planting (use a rotovator or double dig in a garden, then apply 3” thick layer of cow manure or spent mushroom compost before rotovating or double digging again). Sow mustard or phacalia as a cover crop in the spring before rotovating this in the autumn to provide more humus, so that the roots of the new trees/shrubs can grow faster. Trees/shrubs do not like raw manure or raw organic matter.

When planting in the early spring of the second year, the narrow hole - just deep enough to hold the tree/shrub and its initial root development – should be filled with a mixture of the soil and very well rotted compost. Be sure that the soil is tightly pressed around the plant, so that it does not wobble in its hole. The soil level round the base should be the same as the rest of the ground level to prevent rotting of the bark and roots. The grafting scar should be 2” above ground level. A supporting post at 45 degrees may be used to stop it coming out of its hole by being tied at no more than 18” high (use a rubber tie in a figure of eight, which can be loosened at the end of the first year). This post must be removed after 2 years.

The relationship between rootstock and graft occurs for roses, fruit bushes, fruit trees and some shrubs/trees. It is advisable to use the new small fruit trees with East Malling rootstocks to overcome the possibility of either a fast growing and a strongly pushing root with a slow growing variety grafted onto it or the other way round.


Suggested planting distances in feet

Trees per acre




Cherry, sour



Cherry, sweet
















Feet between rows

Feet apart in rows














Clover, nasturtium and alfalfa can be sown as a cover crop under the fruit tree/shrub orchard during the interim phase of the young growth when the trees do not as yet shelter the soil. Mow this in September and leave the mown bits as a mulch. Nasturtiums are disagreeable to aphids.

Berries and grapes require a dressing of 30 lbs of 2 year-old cow manure/compost per plant each spring.



The root system is a replica of the tree crown. On naturally grown trees, the individual root “branch” supplies the tree branch directly above it, the sap carrying vessels leading straight up to that branch. On grafted trees this anatomical correspondence is less evident. The feeder roots are right underneath the crown drip and from there on outward. No feeder roots are near the trunk. Any application of compost, mulch, irrigation, should be applied in a space from 2 feet inside to 2 feet outside of the crown drip. All these measures should stay away at least 2 feet from the trunk in older, and 1 foot in younger, trees.

The pruning of a young tree/shrub – in the first two or three years - shapes it for a lifetime. The idea of this pruning is

• to stimulate growth,

• to form a balance between vegetative growth (shoots) and fruit growth,

• to allow the light to enter to all parts of the branches.

Branches should not criss-cross and shade each other; they should be removed. The pyramid-shaped pattern which opens upward and outward has its advantages.

New growth of fruit tree/shrub from one season is to be cut to about 7 buds from the base of the growth. The last outermost bud should be underneath the shoot.

Water shoots or suckers coming out from the root must be pulled off that root, not cut off. Vertical water shoots in the crown indicate that the plant has not been properly pruned or that the plant is undernourished. These must be cut off, well rotted compost applied to between 2 feet and 4 feet radius round the base and mustard seed sown from the trunk to 4 feet radius to provide shade and allow rain penetration to the roots.

Apples and pears should be pruned in January, Peaches in June, stone fruits (Cherry, Plum, Greengage) after the fruit has been picked.

During January the following tree/shrub care can be carried out on all those plants:-

• Remove all dead wood

• Removal of suckers

• Removal of all dead and loose bark, moss and lichen by brushing with a soft wire brush. This will remove a lot of insect pests and their hiding places.

The book “The biodynamic treatment of fruit trees berries and shrubs” by Ehrenfried E. Pfeiffer describes the added benefits of the biodynamic preparations and their uses in this area to add to this organic method.


Some useful addresses:-

The Biodynamic Preparations are available from Bio-dynamic Supplies, Lorieneen, Bridge of Muchalls, Stonehaven, Aberdeen, Scotland AB39 3RU.

The annually produced catalogue for mail order vegetable, herb and flower seeds from Stormy Hall Seeds, Bottom Village, Danby, Whitby, North Yorks. YO21 2NJ.

Biodynamically grown herb plants and seeds from Poyntzfield Herb Nursery, Black Isle, by Dingwall, Ross & Cromarty, Scotland. IV7 8LX

The Biodynamic Agricultural Association publishes a journal, Star and Furrow, twice a year in summer and winter; it contains articles both of a philosophical and practical nature, accounts of conferences and meetings, book reviews, correspondence from members and notes of work being carried out in other countries. It also covers subjects related to agriculture including nutrition.

Groups exist in various areas of the United Kingdom for the purposes of study, discussion and practical application of the biodynamic methods recommended.

Books on biodynamic gardening, farming and related subjects from the Biodynamic Agricultural Association, Painswick Inn Project, Gloucester Street, Stroud. GL5 1QG. Tel: 01453 759501. email: bdaa@biodynamic.freeserve.co.uk


Some recommended supplementary reading from John Soper’s book Bio-Dynamic Gardening for gardeners:-



Agriculture - R. Steiner. Translated by Catherine Creeger and Malcolm Gardner. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. (USA) 1993

With this remarkable series of lectures, Rudolf Steiner founded biodynamic agriculture. They contain profound insights into farming, the plant and animal world, the nature of organic chemistry and the influences of heavenly bodies.

Biodynamic Gardening by K. Castelliz. Biodynamic Agricultural Association.

A short booklet with very practical hints by a life-long practitioner.

Bio-dynamic Gardening by John Soper. Biodynamic Agricultural Association 1996. ISBN 0 285 63279 5

This book enables you to practice bio-dynamics in your own garden. It explains the principles, including the use of special preparations that enhance the fertility of the soil, how to work with the cosmic influences when sowing and planting, how to cope with pests and diseases and what companion plants to choose for effective results. It covers fruit and vegetables, herbs and special features, and includes advice on crop rotation, green manuring and mulching. It offers special guidance on composting and preparation of the soil, and suggests varieties that are particularly recommended for flavour and productiveness.

Biodynamic Greenhouse Management by H. Grotzke. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. 1988

Full of practical tips on soil blends, light, sanitation and cuttings.

Biodynamic Sprays by H. Koepf. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. (USA)

This introductory booklet describes how the biodynamic sprays are made, how they influence cultivation, and how they are to be used. It is a good reference for anyone working with the biodynamic sprays and preparations.

Companion Plants and How to Use Them by H. Philbrick and R. Gregg. The Devon Adair Company, Old Greenwich, Conn. (USA) 1991

An essential guide for gardeners wishing to make use of the beneficial and avoiding harmful plant combinations.

Culture and Horticulture by W. Storl. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. (USA)

Layman and gardener alike will thoroughly enjoy this book and benefit from a deeper philosophical and practical understanding of horticulture.

Elements of Plant Protection by Louis. L. Pyenson. John Wiley & Sons Inc, New York

Valuable information about pests and diseases

Gardening for Health & Nutrition by J & H. Philbrick. Anthroposophic Press (USA) 1988

A detailed introduction to biodynamic gardening by the author of Companion Plants.

Grow a Garden and be Self-Sufficient by E. Pfeiffer and E. Riese. Mercury Press (USA) 1999

The 'classic' introduction to biodynamic gardening by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer who for many years was the driving force behind biodynamics in the U.S. This book is full of practical suggestions which are as relevant today as when it was first published during the war.

Handbook on Composting and the Preparations by G. Corrin. Biodynamic Agricultural Association 1999

A basic introduction to biodynamic composting for farm and garden.

Life to the Land - Guidelines for biodynamic husbandry by K. Castellitz. Lanthorn Press 1999

Filled with experiences gleaned from a life-times work with the Preparations.

Organic Growing Media, Research into the use of compost for potting mix nutrition by W. Brinton and D. Tresemer. Woods End Laboratory (USA) 1988.

Stella Natura by S. Wildfeurer. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. (USA)

A sowing and planting calendar published annually in the USA, filled with fascinating articles on biodynamics

Studying the Agriculture Course by J. Soper. Biodynamic Agricultural Association 1991

Notes and experiences gained through many years of working with the lectures.

The Biodynamic Treatment of Fruit Trees, Berries and Shrubs by E. Pfeiffer. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. (USA). ISBN 0-938250-11-6

Basic principles and practical guidance on growing top and soft fruit. Describes measures to take in order to develop a pest-free orchard without the use of chemicals.

The Diagnosis of Mineral Deficiences in Plants by Visual Symptoms by T. Wallace. Chemical Publishing Co. Inc, New York. 1953

Details on deficiency symptoms.

The Ever Changing Garden by A. Klingborg. Lanthorn Press 1988

A history of garden design from a biodynamic perspective, filled with beautiful paintings and drawings.

Weeds and What They Tell by E. Pfeiffer. Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association Inc. (USA)

This booklet presents one small segment of Pfeiffer's knowledge of living plants: how they grow, what they reveal about their surroundings and how their powers may be harvested for the benefit of those who can appreciate and use them.

Working with the Stars - A Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar by M. Thun.
Floris Books.

The well known calendar published annually.



Site design and content copyright ©December 2006 Chris Garnons-Williams. Page structure amended September 2012. May 2017 Template created May 2017 for all pages.

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Companion Introduction

Site Map
Franck's Veg Garden
Vegetable Garden
Katie Thear Veg Garden
Riotte Veg Garden
Create Companion Garden

Companion Plant A
Companion Plant B
Companion Plant C
Companion Plant D
Companion Plant E
Companion Plant F
Companion Plant G
Companion Plant H
Companion Plant I
Companion Plant J
Companion Plant K
Companion Plant L
Companion Plant M
Companion Plant N
Companion Plant O
Companion Plant P
Companion Plant Q
Companion Plant R
Companion Plant S
Companion Plant T
Companion Plant UV
Companion Plant W
Companion Plant XYZ

Pest Control

Companion References
Companion Library AG
Companion Library GW

Biodynamics Introduction
Preparation Use
Cropping Sequence



Explanation of Structure of this Website with User Guidelines Page for those photo galleries with Photos
(of either ones I have taken myself or others which have been loaned only for use on this website from external sources)


Choose 1 of these different Plant selection Methods:-

1. Choose a plant from 1 of 53 flower colours in the Colour Wheel Gallery.

2. Choose a plant from 1 of 12 flower colours in each month of the year from 12 Bloom Colours per Month Index Gallery.

3. Choose a plant from 1 of 6 flower colours per month for each type of plant:-
Deciduous Shrub
Deciduous Tree
Evergreen Perennial
Evergreen Shrub
Evergreen Tree
Herbaceous Perennial
Odds and Sods
Soft Fruit
Top Fruit
Wild Flower

4. Choose a plant from its Flower Shape:-
Shape, Form

Flower Shape

5. Choose a plant from its foliage:-

6. There are 6 Plant Selection Levels including Bee Pollinated Plants for Hay Fever Sufferers in
Plants Topic.


7. When I do not have my own or ones from mail-order nursery photos , then from March 2016, if you want to start from the uppermost design levels through to your choice of cultivated and wildflower plants to change your Plant Selection Process then use the following galleries:-

  • Create and input all plants known by Amateur Gardening inserted into their Sanders' Encyclopaedia from their edition published in 1960 (originally published by them in 1895) into these
    • Stage 1 - Garden Style Index Gallery,
    • Stage 2 - Infill Plants Index Gallery being the only gallery from these 7 with photos (from Wikimedia Commons) ,
    • Stage 3 - All Plants Index Gallery with each plant species in its own Plant Type Page followed by choice from Stage 4a, 4b, 4c and/or 4d REMEMBERING THE CONSTRAINTS ON THE SELECTION FROM THE CHOICES MADE IN STAGES 1 AND 2
    • Stage 4a - 12 Bloom Colours per Month Index Gallery,
    • Stage 4b - 12 Foliage Colours per Month Index Gallery with
    • Stage 4c - Cultivation, Position, Use Index Gallery and
    • Stage 4d - Shape, Form Index Gallery
    • Unfortunately, if you want to have 100's of choices on selection of plants from 1000's of 1200 pixels wide by up to 16,300 pixels in length webpages, which you can jump to from almost any of the pages in these 7 galleries above, you have to put up with those links to those choices being on
      • the left topic menu table,
      • the header of the middle data table and on
      • the page/index menu table on the right of every page of those galleries.


I like reading and that is shown by the index in my Library, where I provide lists of books to take you between designing, maintaining or building a garden and the hierarchy of books on plants taking you from

There are other pages on Plants which bloom in each month of the year in this website:-




Before reaching for the pesticides, here are a few alternative natural, non-toxic methods of slug control:  

• Watering Schedule - Far and away the best course of action against slugs in your garden is a simple adjustment in the watering schedule. Slugs are most active at night and are most efficient in damp conditions. Avoid watering your garden in the evening if you have a slug problem. Water in the morning - the surface soil will be dry by evening. Studies show this can reduce slug damage by 80%.


• Seaweed - If you have access to seaweed, it's well worth the effort to gather. Seaweed is not only a good soil amendment for the garden, it's a natural repellent for slugs. Mulch with seaweed around the base of plants or perimeter of bed. Pile it on 3" to 4" thick - when it dries it will shrink to just an inch or so deep. Seaweed is salty and slugs avoid salt. Push the seaweed away from plant stems so it's not in direct contact. During hot weather, seaweed will dry and become very rough which also deters the slugs.


• Copper - Small strips of copper can be placed around flower pots or raised beds as obstructions for slugs to crawl over. Cut 2" strips of thin copper and wrap around the lower part of flower pots, like a ribbon. Or set the strips in the soil on edge, making a "fence" for the slugs to climb. Check to make sure no vegetation hangs over the copper which might provide a 'bridge' for the slugs. Copper barriers also work well around wood barrels used as planters.
A non-toxic copper-based metallic mesh Slug Shield is available which can be wrapped around the stem of plants and acts as a barrier to slugs. When slugs come in contact with the mesh they receive an electric-like shock. The mesh also serves as a physical barrier. These slug shields are reusable, long-lasting and weather-proof.


• Diatomaceous Earth - Diatomaceous earth (Also known as "Insect Dust") is the sharp, jagged skeletal remains of microscopic creatures. It lacerates soft-bodied pests, causing them to dehydrate. A powdery granular material, it can be sprinkled around garden beds or individual plants, and can be mixed with water to make a foliar spray.
Diatomaceous earth is less effective when wet, so use during dry weather. Wear protective gear when applying, as it can irritate eyes and lungs. Be sure to buy natural or agricultural grade diatomaceous earth, not pool grade which has smoother edges and is far less effective. Click for more information or to purchase Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth.


• Electronic "slug fence" - An electronic slug fence is a non-toxic, safe method for keeping slugs out of garden or flower beds. The Slugs Away fence is a 24-foot long, 5" ribbon-like barrier that runs off a 9 volt battery. When a slug or snail comes in contact with the fence, it receives a mild static sensation that is undetectable to animals and humans. This does not kill the slug, it cause it to look elsewhere for forage. The battery will power the fence for about 8 months before needing to be replaced. Extension kits are availabe for increased coverage. The electronic fence will repel slugs and snails, but is harmless to people and pets.


• Lava Rock - Like diatomaceous earth, the abrasive surface of lava rock will be avoided by slugs. Lava rock can be used as a barrier around plantings, but should be left mostly above soil level, otherwise dirt or vegetation soon forms a bridge for slugs to cross.

• Salt - If all else fails, go out at night with the salt shaker and a flashlight. Look at the plants which have been getting the most damage and inspect the leaves, including the undersides. Sprinkle a bit of salt on the slug and it will kill it quickly. Not particularly pleasant, but use as a last resort. (Note: some sources caution the use of salt, as it adds a toxic element to the soil. This has not been our experience, especially as very little salt is used.)

• Beer - Slugs are attracted to beer. Set a small amount of beer in a shallow wide jar buried in the soil up to its neck. Slugs will crawl in and drown. Take the jar lid and prop it up with a small stick so rain won't dilute the beer. Leave space for slugs to enter the trap.

• Overturned Flowerpots, Grapefruit Halves, Board on Ground - Overturned flowerpots, with a stone placed under the rim to tilt it up a bit, will attract slugs. Leave overnight, and you'll find the slugs inside in the morning. Grapefruit halves work the same way, with the added advantage of the scent of the fruit as bait.
Another trap method, perhaps the simplest of all, is to set a wide board on the ground by the affected area. Slugs will hide under the board by day. Simply flip the board over during the day to reveal the culprits. Black plastic sheeting also works the same way.


• Garlic-based slug repellents
Laboratory tests at the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne (UK) revealed that a highly refined garlic product (ECOguard produced by ECOspray Ltd, a British company that makes organic pesticides) was an effective slug killer. Look for garlic-based slug deterrents which will be emerging under various brand names, as well as ECOguard.

• Coffee grounds; new caffeine-based slug/snail poisons - Coffee grounds scattered on top of the soil will deter slugs. The horticultural side effects of using strong grounds such as espresso on the garden, however, are less certain. When using coffee grounds, moderation is advised.
A study in June 2002 reported in the journal Nature found that slugs and snails are killed when sprayed with a caffeine solution, and that spraying plants with this solution prevents slugs from eating them. The percentage of caffeine required in a spray (1 - 2%) is greater than what is found in a cup of coffee (.05 - 07%), so homemade sprays are not as effective. Look for new commercial sprays which are caffeine-based.

Case Studies

...A, B, C, D, E,
...F, G, H, I, J, K,
...L, M, N, O, P, Q,
...R, S, T, U, V, W,
...X, Y, Z
...Pest Control
...using Plants

Garden Construction
Garden Design
...How to Use the Colour Wheel Concepts for Selection of Flowers, Foliage and Flower Shape
...RHS Mixed Borders
......Bedding Plants
......Her Perennials
......Other Plants Garden Maintenance
Offbeat Glossary
...Poisonous Plants
...Soil Nutrients
Tool Shed
Useful Data


Topic - Plant Photo Galleries
Plant with Photo Index of Ivydene Gardens
A 1, Photos
B 1, Photos
C 1, Photos
D 1, Photos
E 1, Photos
F 1, Photos
G 1, Photos
H 1, Photos
I 1, Photos
J 1, Photos
K 1, Photos
L 1, Photos
M 1, Photos
N 1, Photos
O 1, Photos
P 1, Photos
Q 1, Photos
R 1, Photos
S 1, Photos
T 1, Photos
U 1, Photos
V 1, Photos
W 1, Photos
X 1 Photos
Y 1, Photos
Z 1 Photos
Articles/Items in Ivydene Gardens
Flower Shape and Plant Use of
Evergreen Perennial
Herbaceous Perennial

...by Flower Shape

...Allium/ Anemone
...Colchicum/ Crocus
...Hippeastrum/ Lily
...Late Summer
Deciduous Shrub
...Shrubs - Decid
Deciduous Tree
...Trees - Decid
Evergreen Perennial
...P-Evergreen A-L
...P-Evergreen M-Z
...Flower Shape
Evergreen Shrub
...Shrubs - Evgr
...Heather Shrub
Evergreen Tree
...Trees - Evgr

...P -Herbaceous
...Flower Shape
...RHS Wisley
......Mixed Border
......Other Borders
Odds and Sods
...RHS Wisley A-F
...RHS Wisley G-R
...RHS Wisley S-Z
...Rose Use
...Other Roses A-F
...Other Roses G-R
...Other Roses S-Z
Soft Fruit
Top Fruit


Wild Flower
with its
flower colour page,
Site Map page in its flower colour
NOTE Gallery
...Blue Note
...Brown Note
...Cream Note
...Green Note
...Mauve Note
...Multi-Cols Note
...Orange Note
...Pink A-G Note
...Pink H-Z Note
...Purple Note
...Red Note
...White A-D Note
...White E-P Note
...White Q-Z Note
...Yellow A-G Note
...Yellow H-Z Note
...Shrub/Tree Note
Wildflower Plants


Topic - Flower/Foliage Colour
Colour Wheel Galleries

Following your choice using Garden Style then that changes your Plant Selection Process
Garden Style
...Infill Plants
...12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
...12 Foliage Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index
...Cultivation, Position, Use Index
...Shape, Form

you could use these Flower Colour Wheels with number of colours
All Flowers 53

All Flowers per Month 12
with its
Explanation of
Structure of this Website with

...User Guidelines
All Bee-Pollinated Flowers per Month 12
Rock Garden and Alpine Flower Colour Wheel with number of colours
Rock Plant Flowers 53

...Rock Plant Photos

these Foliage Colour Wheels structures, which I have done but until I can take the photos and I am certain of the plant label's validity, these may not progress much further
All Foliage 212

All Spring Foliage 212
All Summer Foliage 212
All Autumn Foliage 212
All Winter Foliage 212

Flower Colour Wheel without photos, but with links to photos
12 Bloom Colours per Month Index
...All Plants Index


Topic - Wildlife on Plant Photo Gallery
Usage of Plants
by Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis and Butterfly

Egg, Caterpillar, Chrysalis and Butterfly usage of
Plant A-C
Plant C-M
Plant N-W
Butterfly usage of Plant

followed by all the Wild Flower Family Pages:-


(o)Adder's Tongue
(o)Bog Myrtle
(o)Cornel (Dogwood)
(o)Crucifer (Cabbage/Mustard) 1
(o)Crucifer (Cabbage/Mustard) 2
(o)Daisy Cudweeds
(o)Daisy Chamomiles
(o)Daisy Thistle
(o)Daisy Catsears (o)Daisy Hawkweeds
(o)Daisy Hawksbeards
(o)Dock Bistorts
(o)Dock Sorrels


(o)Filmy Fern
(o)Royal Fern
(o)Figwort - Mulleins
(o)Figwort - Speedwells
(o)Grass 1
(o)Grass 2
(o)Grass 3
(o)Grass Soft Bromes 1
(o)Grass Soft Bromes 2
(o)Grass Soft Bromes 3 (o)Hazel
(o)Jacobs Ladder
(o)Lily Garlic
(o)Marsh Pennywort
(o)Melon (Gourd/Cucumber)


(o)Orchid 1
(o)Orchid 2
(o)Orchid 3
(o)Orchid 4
(o)Peaflower Clover 1
(o)Peaflower Clover 2
(o)Peaflower Clover 3
(o)Peaflower Vetches/Peas
(o)Pink 1
(o)Pink 2
Rannock Rush
(o)Rose 1
(o)Rose 2
(o)Rose 3
(o)Rose 4
(o)Rush Woodrushes
(o)Saint Johns Wort
Saltmarsh Grasses


(o)Sea Lavender
(o)Sedge Rush-like
(o)Sedges Carex 1
(o)Sedges Carex 2
(o)Sedges Carex 3
(o)Sedges Carex 4
Tassel Pondweed
(o)Thyme 1
(o)Thyme 2
(o)Umbellifer 1
(o)Umbellifer 2
(o)Water Fern
(o)Water Milfoil
(o)Water Plantain
(o)Water Starwort


It is worth remembering that especially with roses that the colour of the petals of the flower may change - The following photos are of Rosa 'Lincolnshire Poacher' which I took on the same day in R.V. Roger's Nursery Field:-


Closed Bud


Opening Bud


Juvenile Flower


Older Juvenile Flower


Middle-aged Flower - Flower Colour in Season in its
Rose Description Page is
"Buff Yellow, with a very slight pink tint at the edges in May-October."


Mature Flower


Juvenile Flower and Dying Flower


Form of Rose Bush

There are 720 roses in the Rose Galleries; many of which have the above series of pictures in their respective Rose Description Page.

So one might avoid the disappointment that the 2 elephants had when their trunks were entwined instead of them each carrying their trunk using their own trunk, and your disappointment of buying a rose to discover that the colour you bought it for is only the case when it has its juvenile flowers; if you look at all the photos of the roses in the respective Rose Description Page!!!!