Intensive planting was developed by French market farmers in the
late 1800s and enabled gardeners to grow more food in less
space. Despite the instructions on spacing written on plant
tags, Ms. Jabbour advises spacing plants closer together in a
grid pattern. When plants touch each other they form a “living
mulch” and shade the soil. This technique reduces water usage
and minimizes weed germination. She advocates regular
applications of aged organic matter keep the level of production
Ms. Jabbour states that
is the key to a nonstop harvest. When you plant in smaller
quantities there is no glut of produce all at one time.
For instance, you might plant one block of lettuce, then three
weeks later plant another block. You will have high
quality, fresh veggies ready for the table, nonstop.
IN VEGETABLE GARDENS
Basil between tomatoes
Bush beans between tomatoes. peppers
Cilantro between leeks
Lettuce under corn, pole beans or
Parsley between tomatoes
Spinach under pole beans or trellised
cucumbers, between leeks, turnips and Brassicas
Succession planting can help you outwit some insect pests by
avoiding their prime season. For example, holding off a
zucchini planting, until after squash vine borers have passed,
helps to ensure a larger harvest. Most salad crops can be sown
every few weeks for a nonstop harvest.
Her top five veggies for succession planting are: leaf
lettuce, arugula, bush beans, radishes and carrots.
Look for early, mid- and late-season varieties of your favorite
vegetables, including potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers,
broccoli and more.
Niki recommends interplanting as a great way to get more out of
your space without expanding your current garden. Interplanting
is combining two or more types of vegetables in the same garden
bed, at the same time, in order to maximize the growing area.
Plants with different growth rates and growing requirements
should be planted together.
She stated that you wouldn’t plant broccoli and kale together,
as both are nitrogen “pigs”, known as heavy feeders in garden
terms. However, kale and lettuce, a light feeder, would pair
well. Corn, another nitrogen lover, and soybeans, with their
ability to fixate or produce nitrogen, are good combination.
The “three sisters”: corn, squash and pole beans are a great
interplanting trio. The squash provides living mulch and corn
thrives with the nitrogen provided by pole beans. Interplanting
can be achieved in several ways: with alternating rows, mixed
beds or by adding an edge-friendly crop around the perimeter of
Ms. Jabbour further increases the productivity in her 2,000
square-foot garden by using A-frames and bamboo poles to support
plants vertically. This strategy increases yield and can reduce
the incidence of pests.
She will discuss ways to extend the seasons of growth and
increase productivity by growing plants at the right time and
utilizing covers. Mulch “blankets”, cold frames and mini hoop
tunnels are all employed in her garden. She lives by the credo
that you don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy fresh
vegetables from a year-round food factory. Plus, when winter
is still in the air, there is the added benefit of lifting the
door to the cold frame and smelling spring and new growth.
Niki Jabbour believes that there is an increased awareness among
families and young children as to the benefits of gardening. Her
advice to us is to keep trying “what’s new to you” vegetables
and experimenting with different growing techniques, many of
which she will share in her talk.
Veggie Gardener Blogspot