One of the widely practiced strategies used in gardening involves interplanting. Intercropping is a gardening strategy that involves planting or growing more than one crop at the same time and on the same piece of land. It means having more than one type of crop growing in the same space at the same time. It also means more vegetables coming from that space! One of the most efficient ways to interplant is by using a raised bed.
Planting in Raised Beds
This can be done with numerous types of vegetables and herbs and will help you make the most of your garden space. We’re using growing our tomatoes and peppers in the same beds this year. We plan to get lots of tomatoes and peppers from a small space.
Planting the Tomatoes Outdoors
We’ve already planted the tomatoes in the middle of the bed and put cages around them so that they grow more vertically. We put water containers with holes cut out of the bottom to keep them warm enough not to freeze during frosts that are sure to come. At night we remove the caps from the jugs and during the day we take them off so that the tomato plants can breathe. We want to get the tomato plants well established before we put in the pepper plants. For more information about planting tomatoes see my post on this blog: Healthy Tomato Plants from Seed
Planting Peppers Outdoors
Around these tomatoes, we’ll be planting peppers in staggered rows two rows on each side of the tomato plants. Although we were able to plant the tomatoes in the beds before the last frost, we will put the pepper plants into the garden after all danger of frost has passed because we have found that they are much more sensitive to cold than tomato plants are. We have two of these raised beds devoted to peppers and tomatoes. One will have sweet peppers in it and the other will have hot peppers in it. We keep the hot peppers separate from the sweet peppers because often the two types of peppers will cross making the sweet peppers taste hot like the hot pepper. There’s nothing more shocking than eating what you think is a sweet pepper when in fact, it has crossed with a habanero!
To learn more about how we grew our peppers from seeds, see my post on this blog: Pepper Plants from Seeds
There’s More Room for Even More!
Once we plant the peppers in the bed with the tomatoes, we’ll sprinkle basil and cilantro between the pepper plants and put marigolds at the corners of the beds. These aromatic herbs and flowers will help keep pests from damaging the pepper and tomato plants. Even weeds will have a hard time competing with these plants!
If you have any questions or any comments, please be sure to ask in the comments section below!