Companion planting has been around for centuries, a method that many organic gardeners use to try to protect certain vulnerable crops from insect predation, for instance, using marigolds to deter beetles and carrot fly.
Or — less believably — to improve the flavours of certain vegetables, such as planting basil among tomatoes.
But you can use an amped-up form of companion planting — succession interplanting — to double the output of each of your garden beds by pairing up plants that will grow together in close quarters without interfering with each other and then following with a full second crop for fall and winter. It is possible to get as many as four crops per bed in a single growing season.
You won’t end up with nice rows of identical plants like you see in magazines, those mini-mono-crops. But the esthetic loss is diversity’s gain and it’s not so hard on your soil.
If you have a lot of space, try some or all of these mixed bed plans. If space is tight, try one to start and see how it works for you.
There are no tomatoes in this plan. Grow them in a separate bed with plenty of space around them. Some plants can’t be crowded and few are more likely to disappoint when things don’t go their way than tomatoes.