Forum (sort of) Friday: Interplanting

Forum (sort of) Friday: Interplanting

On Friday’s, we like to highlight some of the better—or more interesting—aspects of the no-till discussion we’ve encountered from the last week. It doesn’t necessarily have to be from the forum, but hey, we’re suckers for alliteration (i.e. #shoutoutSaturday on Instagram). We love bringing the conversations being had on other parts of the interweb and even in-person to the .com. This week’s From the Forum discussion comes from our Instagram, which exploded over the topic of Interplanting. Here are just some of the responses…


Interplanting. What are your thoughts, how do you use it?
We have certain crops and situations where we like to use #interplanting to maximize bed space and photosynthesis, but it can also be a risky practice as one crop can just flat out shade the other into oblivion if ill-timed.
So I’m curious: What are some of the ways you utilize interplanting?

  1. republicadojardim

    We use to plant arugula in the interspaces of lettuce. Harvesting them at 20 days we feel it actually helps the development of the lettuces!

  2. jsage202

    In our greenhouse we have two rows alternating sweet peppers and basil in each bed, with one row of ginger down the middle.

  3. advfarmer

    We also plant our carrots in between rows of alliums. Seems to help with carrot fly. We are planning to experiment with more this season.

  4. bdafarm

    This year we have one tunnel in a cucumber, celery, head lettuce trio per bed and two tunnels in tomato, head lettuce and basil trio per bed. They are doing extremely well so far.

  5. green_mountain_girls_farm

    Onions with our sweet potatoes!

  6. dellicarpinifarm

    I have experimented quite a lot with interplanting and companion planting. I had some amazing results with potatoes planted in the same row with cabbages. It was symbiotic. The roots of the cabbage grew all around the tubers and the potatoes flourished. Harvest was difficult. Now I only plant root crops with root crops Etc. The carrot allium combination is excellent. I've shied away from it more and more. I'm more inclined to plant something in proximity with something else or in stretches alternating in a row not intermixed. One of my favorites is alternating strips of basil in a tomato row. Tomatoes/Eggplant/Peppers is another good one.

  7. wurafa

    Tomatoes + coriander is good for insect control, carrots + collard greens was exceptional, leeks + lettuce, capsicum + sunflower, n we are finding that radish is everybody’s friend 😂

  8. fermedesmontsverts

    Carrots and onion. Leek moths do not like carrots. I forget what pests the onions repel from the carrots but it seems to work like a charm. One row of onions between 2 rows of carrots on each side.

  9. thepreservationfarm

    4 rows of Carrots in between outer row of bush beans worked really well for me last year. By the time I was cutting out the beans, the carrots were ready to be harvested!

  10. fieldstonefarmer

    Radishes and salad turnips in kale/collards/broccoli! Lettuce in peas! Basically I'll do anything quick with anything long so that we are maximizing space and keeping soil covered longer. Radishes and lettuce are the go-to easy things to pop in anywhere. Looking to experiment with more!

  11. radicurls

    We used to do carrots and radishes in the spring in the greenhouse. radishes are such a quick harvest and they’re gone by the time the carrot tops are getting big. i don’t do it anymore because i don’t care for radishes. but it worked really well!

  12. ericajallen

    @dellicarpinifarm tomatoes and basil combos are my favorite too! We are in Florida so, it helps to shade the basil just a little, and both are thriving!

  13. buddingmoonfarm

    Cilantro, dill, and sweet alyssum in with the brassicas. Nasturtiums and borrage with the cukes.

  14. thegratefulfarmmama

    @fieldstonefarmer same!

  15. identityhigh

    I don't do rows anymore and every bed is a mixed bed. Wide row concept from "The Joy of Gardening" by Dick Raymond. He's a tiller method teacher with wide mixed rows for weed suppression and rhizosphere diversity. I've adopted cover crops to do this as well.

  16. theoriginalhortbabe

    @fermedesmontsverts The onions and also garlic repel the Carrot Rust Fly.

  17. spodosoul

    @republicadojardim i just planted these together! Thanks for the tip, very excited!

  18. wicker762

    @identityhigh I'm a fan of no rows, planting in blocks (mostly) for many years. So many benefits....and more productive.

  19. babzloves3

    Companion planting been done for years. I don’t understand why it seems like it’s a new process for people. It works amazing!!

  20. reavisfamilyfarms

    I love companion planting, beets or carrots and kohlrabi... lettuce with corn in the middle, then when the lettuce comes out, plant green beans in their spot, the corn stalks seem to help support the green beans with winds... Cilantro, Peppers, Basil, Tomatoes... I grow radishes and nasturtium with early squash seems to help with bugs, but I grow radishes under anything that grows tall....I could go on and on :)

  21. identityhigh

    @wicker762 indeed. Fewer regulations imposed on nature seems to be working for me over fine tuning every space in the plot🌿🌿🌿

  22. christianthaog

    Sweet alyssum inside a romaine field to attract beneficial insects 👍

  23. lucasahe

    I grow lettuce inside my pea teepees all summer

  24. republicadojardim

    @spodosoul 👊🏼

  25. tanjasgarten

    Just did today: a small leek variety called Nipper that was overwintered just got new neighbors between the rows, Paris Market Atlas carrots (small, round variety). I've had excellent results broadcasting this variety with French Breakfast radishes as well. The radishes are harvested just when the carrots need more room. Chervil is also a great groundcover, seems to love the onion family.

  26. farmatglenbrook

    Tomatoes, basil, marigolds! Carrots & radish... want to do more than though

  27. fermedesmontsverts

    @theoriginalhortbabe yes. That’s it the rust fly.

  28. harbear.h

    3 sisters. Corn, beans, and squash.

  29. gr0wing_r00ts

    Arugula and broccoli go well together. Also I learned cilantro next to any brassica will keep it from bolting here in SoCal

  30. kimallsupauthor

    Early peas followed by tomatoes in the same trellis

  31. oliviaschmelsen

    So much potential for intercropping with herbs for (delicious) natural pest control!

  32. fannyhatstand

    Similar to companion planting - the old classics of onions next to carrot next to peas. Eventually the carrots are the only thing left to get big after harvesting the earlier crops. North/ south lines so both sides get sun.

  33. sissiboo_organics

    Beets and or basil with tomatoes.

  34. lauramontuorowilton

    Pea plants are supported by my beach plum hedges. Symbiosis!

  35. sighman_crookers

    I inter plant a lot but have learnt the hard way that parsley is not a friend to many other plants!

  36. breamcreekmarketgarden

    Lettuce in tomato and broccolini rows. Coriander seeds in leek dibble holes. Just trying parsnips carrots and beets in one row....

  37. notillgrowers

    @buddingmoonfarm Nasturtiums with cukes was a combo that thrived for us last year and seem to completely deter the cucumber beetle. As in, we had cucumber beetles in the garden, just not on the cucumbers.

1 day ago

Here’s my take: what I don’t like about interplanting is that it is not at all appealing to my record keeping systematic self. I know what to expect out of a bed of just lettuce, or well germinated carrots, or onions. I know how to harvest a bed, straight up, and prep it for the next planting. BUT, what we are discovering is that there are some—dare I say—permaculture or polyculture techniques that, though they aren’t easily represented in the spreadsheet, actually do have benefits with regards to maximizing space, improving production capacity, reducing interventions, building soil, etc. It also makes for a more flexible and adaptable cropping system (see: Singing Frogs Farmer to Farmer episode). For the sake of continuing the conversation, we created a thread about interplanting in the Growers Community. We want to know, what have been your experiences with intercropping? Have you had some spectacular failures? What has worked?

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