The Joys of Intercropping
Intercropping is an old technique that is coming back into popularity as gardeners are having to make the most use out of limited space. It allows you to diversify what you grow and it reduces pests and disease. Certain plants, known as companion plants, are beneficial to each other. For example, beans add nitrogen to the soil and increase micro-nutrients. Basil repels aphids, spider mites, mosquitos and flies. Placing crops that benefit one another will improve their yield.
It is also important to consider a plants life cycle; placing a plant that thrives in the spring next to one that doesn't mature until the fall will give both plants the space they need to grow.
Tall plants can provide shade for smaller plants.
Plants with deeper roots such as parsnips, carrots and tomatoes can be placed next to plants with shallow roots, such as broccoli, lettuce and potatoes.
These are all things to consider when deciding to plan an intercropped garden.
Below is a list of plants that grow well together, and plants that don't, to help get you started on your new intercropped garden!