Garden / June 15, 2018 / .
Companion planting is often touted for the benefit of cutting down on pest infestations, but it also serves well to conserve space. Shade tolerant plants will benefit from being planted next to taller crops. Basil likes a respite from hot sun and does well next to tomatoes. Lettuce will keep producing all summer if shaded by almost any taller plant. Early harvested vegetables, like spinach, radishes and peas, can be planted with slower growing crops like broccoli or peppers, which will not take over the space until the spring harvested vegetables are gone.
Another great thing about container gardening is your ability as the gardener to chase the sun if necessary, as containers can be moved throughout the day. If you have no time to be moving containers whilst life carries on around you, no problem, plant for the amount of sun you have. While it is true that many plants will demand a minimum of 6 hours of direct sun per day there are several shade vegetables that will tolerate or thrive in partial shade and dappled sunlight.
Fertile soil that retains nutrients and water is one of the keys to success with intensive planting, which is a fancy way of saying planting a lot in a little area. America’s intensive-growing tradition has two fathers: John Jeavons and Mel Bartholomew. In his classic 1974 book, How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, Jeavons introduced Americans to French intensive-gardening techniques, notably deep soil preparation through double-dug beds and intensive crop-planting patterns. Seven years later, Bartholomew offered a new way to think about these patterns in a classic book of his own
Crop Rotation is a great tool for keeping pests and diseases out of the vegetable garden. Rotating your vegetables so they grow in different areas of the garden each year is an excellent way to cut down on diseases and insect pests that over winter in the soil. This really is not possible in small vegetable gardens. You will just have to be vigilant about not letting problems get out of hand. If a large scale problem should occur, such as squash beetles or septoria leaf spot on tomatoes, seriously consider not growing the crop for a year. It will be a sacrifice, but one year without is better than several years of a disappointing crop.