These gardening methods can be used to produce higher yields in your garden, or these
methods can be used to keep pests away and prevent diseases among your plants. I have used
all these methods in my garden, and over the years I have seen pests go down and the production of my crops
go up. Also, my veggies have gotten juicier and more flavorful.
Interplanting is also referred to as intercropping. It is planting fast growing crops by slow growing crops
to use avaliable space or space you’re not using to grow more plants. Therefore,
producing higher yields in your garden. This could be good for small space gardeners that want to grow more
crops. The most widely used example of interplanting is broccoli and lettuce. Lettuce is fast growing and broccoli
grows slower than the lettuce. If you have extra space you could plant lettuce in between your fast growing crops
because you will harvest it before the others. Intercropping can be done by using flowers, herbs, and vegetables.
With the right mix of plants intercropping can make your garden beautiful and can repel pests.
I always plant basil by my tomatoes because the basil will prevent hornworms from coming around.
If you search around and study a bit more you will find more mixtures of plants that go together. Here is more on interplanting veggies.
Succession planting is when you plant different plants in the same area after one is harvested. It is also
when you plant the same crop in different areas in a sequence at different times. That might have been confusing
so here is an example. An example of succession planting would be if you plant five carrots in one area of your garden.
Ten days later you plant another five carrots in a different area. After another ten days you plant five more carrots in
a different area. You would do this because when it comes time to harvest you will have a constant supply of carrots to harvest.
The oppsite of this would be to plant the carrots all together and you will have to harvest the carrots all at once. Another
example would be if a crop is done and has been harvested you would plant another crop in the same area. This would cause higher
crop production in your garden.
Trap cropping is when you use trap crops to distract pests from your main crops. Trap crops are less valuable
plants. Some include mustard, tobacco, alfalfa, and there is many more. Pests will feed on the trap crop instead of eating away your main crop.
For example, you just planted corn. Pests will destroy the corn because it’s the only crop avaliable. Now you plant
milkweed flowers by the corn. Pest aren’t going to feed on the corn. When the milkweed flower is infected you can use your hands or certain tools to pull it out the ground. Read our article on important tools for your garden.
This method is used when two crops benefit each other when planted together. Sometimes you won’t notice that you
companion planted. If you plant Marigolds then you decide to plant cucumbers near it. The marigolds will keep pest away from the
cucumber and you didn’t even know ! Another example would be if you plant sunflowers near cucumbers. The cucumbers will keep
moisture in the soil and the sunflowers will shade the cucumbers from the sun. Remember that not all plants like being planted
by each other and they do each other no good. So do some research and find which vegetables match.
Crop rotation is when you grow different crops in the same area season after season. Sometimes no crop is grown at all in that same area.
You shouldn’t grow crops in the same area every season because the crop will use up all of that soils nutrients, which is required for that
plants growth. This will lead to decreased yields over the years. Also, pests will start to make that area their home and it will be harder to control them.
Planting different crops in the same area season after season helps to replenish nutrients in the soil. For example, planting soybeans helps to
replenish nutrients. Sometimes planting nothing in that area helps because it will give the soil time to rest and get all it’s nutrients back.
Remember that not all crops can be planted after one another. Some may attract pests and take up nutrients that the previous crop was using. This article will provide more information on crop rotation.
All of these methods are beneficial to your garden. Some mainly prevent pests and others produce higher yields. Sometimes you will be
using more than one of these methods in your garden and not even know it. For example, you are planting corn and squash. You have a
little space left so you decide to maximise that space and plant some beans in between. The beans will fix the nitrogen in the air, so plants can use
it. Therefore, the squash and corn will be able to use that nitrogen to grow. The squash will provide protection to all three because it has thorns
to keep those bigger pests away. The corn will provide support for the beans to grow. You would have used interplanting because you decided to plant the
beans in between the corn and squash, and you would have used companion planting because the squash, corn, and beans are all benefiting from each other.
I hope you now have new knowledge about gardening. You can continue learning by reading our next our article on improving your soil naturally.