Seed has been ordered, dreams of planting and tending to the garden are happening! While we patiently wait to get our gardens started this spring, it is a great time to solidify your plans. Are you planning on planting more this year to potentially combat low sources? Are you supplementing from sources such as farmers markets or CSA’s? Whatever your intentions are there are methods to use to increase the success and enjoyment of gardening!
I planted red clover and oats a week ago in my garden to get a living root growing as soon as possible, feed the soil organisms, warm up the soil, add diversity, and fix some nitrogen. I’m also getting my plans ready for where to plant my veggies. I try to use every area of my garden for production to maximize the space I have and it provides benefits to my plants. Having long rows of a single crop with walkways between is how I grew up gardening but I’ve learned about companion cropping. This provides benefits including nutrients, pest control, weed control (how much fun is it to pull weeds?), and vigor of plants. I also utilize the square foot planting method to utilize the space I have effectively which significantly reduces weeding.
The soil health principles can absolutely be followed in a garden setting while providing benefits to your plants and your management.
So how do we know which species to plant next to others? Some plants get along better with each other than others, a great resources available is The Happy DIY Home in their article The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Companion Cropping found at
My garden is covered all winter and below the residue, the oats are starting to emerge. The residue has protected my soils over the winter and during the spring rains. Having something growing early will warm up the soils faster than if nothing was growing. Now lets get some heat and plant our earlies!