Interplanting sounds fancy, but it just means planting different things together. Like, instead of planting only corn, you planted spinach in between the corn stalks. And the corn shades heat-hating spinach from the hot summer sun.
That would be the planned version.
Mine and TL’s version of interplanting is better categorized as “Oh Look, A Hole!” Properly space tomato seedlings have a lot of acreage between them. I should toss in some…Lettuce! Sprinkle, sprinkle.
I’m going to go into the how and why of some pairings, but before I bore you with all of that, here’s the simple answer:
Fling them around and tuck them in any space you like. Almost any crop (cabbages, carrots, corn, tomatoes, onion, parsnips), can have these three planted in and among them.
Now for the technical stuff….
There are three different rationales for interplanting…speed, direction, and physical benefits
- speed–pairing a fast producing crop with a long season crop means you harvest number one, before crop two really gets going and needs the space.
- direction— One grows up, one grows down. Plenty of room for everybody.
- physical benefits–beans gotta climb, sunflowers have sturdy stalks.
Other known pairings:
- cabbage and onion
- swiss chard and peppers
- peas and carrots
You can work all that out in advance if you like, but for the “Oh Look, A Hole” type interplanting, just remember the radish, spinach, lettuce, and scallions!