Plant Companions

As you get down to sowing and planting in earnest you will obviously want to get the most out of your plot. Companion planting with flowers such as Marigolds, Nasturtiums and Herbs grown alongside vegetables, both deters pests and encourages beneficial insects and pollinators to the veg garden.

Maximise all your available growing space by intercropping - planting quick growing crops between rows of slower growing or taller crops. This maximises space, increases productivity and helps to keep the weeds down - it is an invaluable growing system for smaller plots.

Some plants are mutually beneficial to each other when grown closely together, for example Peas and Beans of all types absorb nitrogen from the air and release it back into the soil.

Nitrogen is necessary for leaf growth, so planting quick growing Lettuce and other leafy Salad crops close to or in between Pea and Bean crops makes good sense. The leafy Salads help keep weeds down between the Peas and Beans so they benefit too.

It makes complete sense to plant some faster growing vegetables between the rows of the slower maturing types. Some good growing partners include Dwarf French Beans with Sweetcorn, Beetroot between Brussels Sprouts or Cabbages, Spring Onions with Potatoes, Radish between Onions or Peas and Spinach or Salads with Sweetcorn or a mix of any of these.

Many Oriental Vegetables are fast growing and are ideal for intercropping. The quicker crops will all be harvested before the slower ones have reached a size where they cover the soil and stop the light reaching the smaller plants.