nancygene
Full Member
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:23 pm

Question on how to make the most of my garden space

I am interested in knowing which veggie plants to inter-plant to save garden space. For instance, I know that I can grow zucchini and cukes on a slanted trellis and grow lettuce underneath the trellis to save space. Or, I can plant something close to my table onions or radishes and as I pull up the radishes or onions, it will aerate the longer growing veggies. However, I am unsure of which plants I can do this with. I hope I explained well enough for someone to understand what I am asking. I would like to know if there is a list out there somewhere that will tell me which plants I can use this method on in order to save space in my garden?
Thanks in advance.

Hieron
Full Member
Posts: 32
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2013 2:43 pm
Location: Cincinnati, OH (6a)

Hi Nancy - I'll see if I can't give you a couple ideas!

I think bush beans interplant well with a lot of stuff. You can plant them right along the edge of your beds or as a border between other crops, and as long as you don't shade out a sun-loving crop (so don't make an East-facing bean wall lol!) they do fine.

I've also read about the three sisters...if you've never heard of it, it's something Native Americans were doing when Europeans first came to North America. The idea is that the beans feed the corn, the corn provides structure for the beans, and the squash sprawls on the ground and shades out weeds. I probably won't do the squash, but I'm going to try interplanting pole beans with corn this year and see how it works out.

I also have a note written down to plant carrots with tomatoes...I can't remember why, though, haha.

Other than that, in a general sense its a good idea to interplant things that are different in terms of days till harvest, root depth/spread, nutrient requirements, size, etc.

Anyway, if you'd like to do your own research I would google "companion planting"; that'll get you some good info both on what to grow together and what NOT to grow together. I would put a link in here for you but I read through so many of them that I couldn't tell you which is "best" or anything. Those search terms will get you tons of info though; give it a shot! GL!

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

"Carrots Love Tomatoes" is the title of a companion planting book. Because one is a root crop and one is fruiting, they aren't competing with each other for the same nutrients or the same space. I plant a row of carrots along the outside of the tomato bed.

For me succession planting is the name of the game in my small garden. I plant my broccoli transplants very early (soon! :) ) right in front of where the tomatoes will go. Plant the small tomato transplants right behind them. By the time the tomato plants are getting big and need the space, the broccoli is about done and can be pulled. At the end of summer you can plant lettuce and spinach again, amongst the tomatoes. While it is still hot, the tomatoes provide shade for the greens, and then the tomatoes are done and the greens will keep going for awhile.

Lettuce and spinach and peas go in early and get done early and then you can plant squash where they were. Garlic and onions get planted in the fall and harvested middle of the next summer. By then you can plant broccoli seed in the spot where they were. By the time the broccoli is getting big, it will be cool enouogh for it to make heads.

Herbs get mixed in and interplanted with everything. Helps keep bugs away.

There can't really be a list because there's a million different combinations and it depends on what you want to grow, your climate, etc. Have fun!
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Some plants that I have grown together

Peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, things that need a lot of space.
When they are young, you can still plant things under and between them that will be harvested in 50 days or less. Lettuce, radish, spinach. You can do that until the bigger plants grow out an need the space.

I try to put plants that have the least plant spacing requirements in the garden and I do not plant in rows. Plant in wide rows instead. It wastes space to have rows in a garden you can reach across.

Zigzag the planting alternating a top and bottom plant. Or mix all the seeds and broadcast across the wide row.

Plant spinach, lettuce, Asian greens, and green onions. Alteranate with root crops like radish, turnips, beets.

You can also maximize your space by growing more plants that you use often and especially those that will give you more than one harvest. You can choose to have a lot of one thing like tomatoes or a few of more things.

It also helps to think outside of the box. You can grow a lot of things in containers and along fences and even in your front yard that will fit in between landscaping.

People plant herbs along the walkways and in pots near the entry.

Some HOA's do not allow a garden in the front yard. But there are ways to work in some plants that are aesthetically acceptable.

Plant edible flowers in the front yard.

tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, kale, swiss chard, herbs will give you multiple harvests. I plant these in containers or areas outside the garden because they are big plants, take up a lot of space, some are relatively long lived, and cast shadows.

Use a fence or trellis. A trellis can run vertical or vertical and overhead. Overhead trellises provide shade for plants in summer if you need it. and it makes good use of small spaces. You could also still use the space under the trellis.

On trellises and fences I put squash, tomatoes beans, peas, cucumbers.

Hedge of Asparagus

Plant three sisters corn, beans, squash and the fourth sister sunflowers at the edge of the corn.

I have 16 citrus trees in pots. They stay dwarfed. I don't get a lot of fruit but they don't take up all my yard that way.

Herbs do fine in containers and you can plant multiple herbs in one container as long as they like the same conditions.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
Cola82
Green Thumb
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:05 pm
Location: McMinnville, Oregon, Zone 8b

I read that planting basil with tomatoes and peppers enhances the flavor of all three, and though that seems to be contradicted by this wikipedia article, it does say that the planting basil and tomatoes together increases your tomato yield.

Something to consider.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Basil does help tomatoes. I don't know about peppers. I try to separate members of the same family peppers, tomatoes and eggplant because they have the same pests and diseases. If one gets attacked they all do. I give them a few feet and a lot of onions or marigolds between them. :P

Most references will say if disease or pests are a problem, you should rotate your plants and not plant any member of the same family in the same place.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
Cola82
Green Thumb
Posts: 381
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 6:05 pm
Location: McMinnville, Oregon, Zone 8b

The link I posted also mentions another page of helpful weeds, too. It looks like nasturtium is a good non-edible to plant with just about anything to help with pests.

imafan26
Mod
Posts: 11261
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2013 1:32 pm
Location: hawaii, zone 12a 587 ft elev.

Actually nasturtiums are edible herbs. The leaves, flowers and seeds are edible. They are very peppery and I don't like them myself. The leaves can be added to salads for a peppery bite. flowers are used to decorate salads and are also peppery. The seeds are pickled or made into salad dressing.

https://www.garden.org/ediblelandscaping ... ust_edible

Nasturtiums, onions, marigolds and fennel are the workhorses of the companion plants.

Marigolds and nasturtiums are trap plants.

Fennel and dill (especially the flowers attract beneficial insects). They also trap aphids. You do have to be careful where to plant fennel. (It is a loner. Plant it in a corner by itself outside of the vegetable garden. Usually near a kennel is good as it deters fleas too).

Dill and tomatoes should be separated by about 10 ft.

Onions don't like beans peas or parsley.

Dill and fennel don't like to be near any of their relatives.

Nasturtiums onions and beans are better separated. The same kind of aphids (black aphids) attack them.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25303
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

We are talking about companion planting now, what things benefit each other by being grown together. It is slightly different from the original question about saving space (because OP might or might not have any interest in growing the "companion" crop).

But if you are interested in companion planting, besides the books and books out there on the topic, our own dear gixxerific did a nice little summary awhile back:

https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/v ... hp?t=20541
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

nancygene
Full Member
Posts: 52
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 11:23 pm

Thanks so much for all the replies. I have printed out the list that rainbowgardner suggested from gixxerific which was posted here in the forum. I loved all the suggestions and I am sure most will fit right into my scheme of things. thanks again.

User avatar
Gary350
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4917
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:59 pm
Location: TN. 50 years of gardening experience.

I save space by planting several different ways.

I plant 2 rows of bush beans side by side like it is 1 row.

I plants tomatos in rows very close together mostly so they will shade them self from the hot summer sun.

Squash are large plants so they are planted in single rows but very close together.

I plant peppers are planted very close together in singles rows too.

You need to consider some plants are early spring crops, some of mid summer crops, some late summer and some are fall crop, and some are winter crops, some need full sun and some don't.

I have learned from experience that 70% of my bean crop comes from the first harvest, 20% from second harvest and 10% from 3rd harvest so I pull the beans up after the first harvest and plant a new crop of beans this gives me 40% more beans for the whole summer crop.

I plant carrots and peas in the snow sprinkle seeds in rows about 20" wide. I also plans peas in the fall too.

I plant onions and garlic in raised beds 24" wide or rows 24" wide 5 rows in that width.

Corn does not do well in a small crop so I plant 7 rows 15 ft long with rows 12" apart seeds are 6" apart. This is 217 plants in a 7x15 space with full sun all day.

User avatar
gixxerific
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 5889
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 9:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

Not sure if it has been mentioned or not. But don't forget about putting plants in pots. I have done onions, potatoes, carrots, garlic, tomatoes, greens etc in pots.

Another thing to think about is stuffing some of those fancy colored greens or maybe eve some very compact dwarf tomatoes in with your flower beds.

Oh yeah neighbors are great to unload your extras on as well. :lol:

User avatar
jal_ut
Super Green Thumb
Posts: 7480
Joined: Mon Jan 19, 2009 3:20 am
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Question on how to make the most of my garden space

I have the luxury of having plenty of space, so I plant in rows 30 inches apart for most things then am able to run the tiller between rows once or twice to get weeds.

Now to your problem: If you are not using a tiller like I do for weeding, you can put your rows much closer than 30 inches on many varieties.

Wide rows. Make your rows as wide as your rake. Sprinkle on some seed then rake it to cover it. This works very well with turnips, radish, beets, carrots etc.

Lettuce and cabbage, plant seed in a small plot like 16 inches square, then later when it is about two inches tall transplant it to beds and space the plants accordingly depending on the type of growth habit.

About the 3 sisters, corn, beans and squash. Traditionally this planting was made with winter type squash and varieties that were going for dry on the corn and beans. Harvest would be about the time of the first frost.

It is worthwhile to note that plants close together compete with each other for water, nutrients and sunshine. One needs to be cautious to avoid too much competition.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Return to “Vegetable Gardening Forum”