Intercropping Vegetables was Ideal for My Backyard Vegetable Garden
I started intercropping on my second year of gardening. And since then I’ve never returned to growing just one crop at a time.
The space in my garden is being used more efficiently and I have a wider range of vegetables to choose from. Previously I had only tomatoes to reap. But since I added corn, cabbages and other vegetables, I can enjoy a bowl of salad fresh from my garden.
I’m no longer limited.
I guess the garden looks more attractive as well. It has more color than before. It’s a great conversation piece whenever I have friends over. They always state how striking the French marigold herb (which is yellow in color) looks great growing between the green leaves of the beans.
Getting information on intercropping is a challenge. And in my experience most sites do a poor job at educating their visitors about interplanting vegetables.
But what helped me a lot were the videos. They were informative enough and gave me ideas on how my garden should look after the vegetables are intercropped.
Here are 2 videos that are ideal for those of us who have small vegetable gardens:
I don’t think techniques like:
…are truly that important in a small vegetable garden. These terms are use mainly when large farms are indulging in the art. The only technique that matter to me as a backyard vegetable gardener is mixed interplanting.
I had no predetermined arrangement. All I did was identify which crops grew well together and which did not and I planted to suit. And the results I got were encouraging.
The Intercropping Advantage
Apart from the advantages stated above interplanting helps gardener like you and me:
Be more efficient with our land space. We already may be restricted on land space. So interplanting helps us produce as much as we could.
Vegetable plants help each other grow. (Once you grow plants that are companions and not competitors). For example the corn gives beans a pole to climb up on while the beans place nitrogen back into the soil for the corn to consume. The output of one crop is input for the other.
A garden that is intercropped encourages beneficial insects like (butterflies, ladybug, etc). This is important if your garden is organic.
Less pests will be able to thrive. The wide variety of vegetables and herbs may not suit certain pests. The host of scents confuses them. They’ll move along to another garden.
There’s more security. If you’re me and consider your garden an investment then you’ll agree that it should be diversified. (Don’t put all your eggs in one basket). Inter-plant instead. If one crop gets a disease it doesn’t mean the entire garden will be lost.
At present, if you’re not intercropping I recommend you begin. Don’t be worried if it’s something you never did before.