What is intercropping?

Gardens & Landscapes September 14, 2008 Print Friendly and PDF
Intercropping involves planting different vegetables side by side to take advantage of the different times of maturity, heights, spreads, or rooting depths. A classic example of intercropping involves corn and beans. A few weeks after sowing corn seeds, pole beans are planted close to the corn rows to use the corn stalks for support. As another example, set tomato transplants between lettuce plants; the lettuce matures and is harvested before the tomato plants grow very large. Also, try sowing radish seeds with carrot seeds. The radishes germinate quickly, marking the row of slowly sprouting carrots. Radishes are harvested within a few weeks, long before they interfere with the carrots. Many other intercropping ideas will develop from your own gardening experience. Remember, however, that yields of certain vegetables may be reduced when crowded. Intercropping is one of several ways to increase the harvest from a very small garden plot. 

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