You’ve probably been in the car and passed a cornfield or a field of row after row of beans. I encourage you to consider a different way of planting your garden! It’s called interplanting! This gardening style ditches the monoculture tradition (planting only one species of plant together). Interplanting a garden can give you pleasing results in the garden.
Interplanting, in a way, mimics how plants would grow in nature, a variety of plants thriving side by side.
Tips for Interplanting a Garden:
- Fill in extra space as you harvest and pull out plants. Fill those empty spots with warm weather crops to up your growing game. For example, as your Spring greens go to seed replace them with herbs or strawberries.
- Group plantings that require different nutrients as to not deplete the soil. Tomatoes are heavy nitrogen feeders, so it’s best to avoid planting another heavy nitrogen feeder nearby.
- Interplanting different varieties together can help reduce pests, which makes gardening more enjoyable! This is also known as companion planting. Find out more about companion planting here!
- Planting groups of plants that bloom at various times will keep the pollinators coming to your garden.
- Interplant tall plants with shade loving varieties.
- Avoid group plantings that share the same pests. For example, plant beans next to cucumbers. If you planted two bean varieties together they would fall prey to the bean beetle.
What are examples of interplanting in the garden?
You want a good mixture of plants that benefit each other, fill gaps in plantings, and that don’t compete. Think about the different heights of the plants. The aromatic smells, like onions, herbs, flowers. And consider plant space. For example, carrots will grow below the surface with small fern like greens above. Carrots are perfect planted next to plants that don’t have a large root system and are larger above ground.
Examples of interplanting beds below:
In bed #1, we have plants that are different heights and nutrient feeders.
We have strawberries, along with onions which will deter pests from the strawberries. Echinacea attract pollinators. Beets are added just because…I wanted to add a root crop in this bed and it was the perfect spot for beets.
Garden Bed #2:
This bed is a hodge podge of plants. Carrots are on one end of the bed. In the middle, we have kale and onions with herbs to be added soon. The other end, we have more onions and bok choy.
This bed has space for more plants. Adding more plants will provide some shade, keeping the soil from drying out so fast.
This is a smaller bed. We have spinach wrapping around the border of the bed. Planted more to the inside are carrots.
This garden was a planned herb spot, but jalapeno peppers were added as an after thought. Herbs and peppers go great together, which is another way to figure out your interplantings! Plant foods you like to eat together. A salsa garden might include tomatoes, cilantro, and onions. Plant a theme garden and enjoy your favorite dish!
Thanks for stopping by! Leave us a comment if you’ll be interplanting. Have you ever planted a theme garden?
Helpful tools we use in the Garden:
- hand trowel