1) INTERPLANT: this is a technique that can be planted once or used with succession planting (tip #2). If planting your garden at one time companion planting can be used. Companion planting is when planting certain plants next to each other so that they gain mutual benefit in some way. An example of this is to plant basil next to trellised tomatoes. As the tomatoes grow up, lower leaves can be pruned, while basil is pinched to become bushy.
2) SUCCESSION: when one plant has come to the end of it’s life span, then something else can be planted in the space that was created. An example of succession planting: when spinach is harvested by the roots, lettuce can then be planted. Since lettuce will go to seed (or bolt) in heat, this space can then be planted with beets for fall harvest. Depending on your plant choices and your location, 2-3 crops can come from the same space.
3) VERTICAL: Trellises to grow plants up are great for vining and climbing plants like beans, peas, cucumbers, and certain types of small melons. I’ve made trellises in an upside-down “V” shape so that vining plants will cover the ground with shade, which then will extend the harvest of plants that like cooler temperatures and less sunlight, such as lettuce.
4) DESIGN DIFFERENT: think outside the box of your plot… or better said, is think different inside the box. Now that the plot is designed using a vertical element such as trellising, how about not thinking in the mono-cropped pattern of rows? When using a design such as the keyhole garden, you eliminate most of the pathways and increase growing space. The way to create a keyhole is plan out a circle in the center of the plot, then one pathway going into the garden. In this way you can sit in the middle of the garden and reach all the way around you. Scale the circle to allow for 3-4 feet from the edge of the circle to the edge of the garden plot to assure you can read all areas of your garden.
More information on raised bed gardening
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