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A multi-purpose item is regularly a money saver, and that extends to growing. When one seed can lead to weeks and months of harvest, there’s better return on the investment in money, care and growing space than a one seed-one fruit harvest. Crop types where they are cut for harvest and returned to at a later date can make a big difference for small spaces, especially, such as overwintering green houses and raised beds or container gardens. So, let’s look at a few plants that are perfect for the fall growing season.
Today I’d like to take a look at a big, crazy garden beauty. As with many others, it tends to follow the ROT “grows together, goes together” and the “goes together, grows together” spin-off sometimes applied to inter-cropping, and tastes fabulous with many of the plants it can benefit most. In this case, there’s both the flower and leaf to consider, and although it would overgrow and out-compete some things that it pairs well with in the kitchen, it has many dandy uses in the yard.
Today I want to reintroduce you to a humble spring and fall fast crop, one that just doesn't get the widespread attention other companion plants enjoy. It is another that follows the ROT “grows together, goes together” and the “goes together, grows together” spin-off sometimes applied to companion plants, but its uses spread beyond same-dish, same-harvest-time ease of access.
Companion planting is something that was originally passed down from grandparents. Science has proven out some, such as Three Sisters and density-planting marigolds with or ahead of cabbages to decrease destructive nematodes. Science has disproved others along the way. In large part, science ignores the practice of guild planting, in particular, because of difficulties with harvest efficiency. However, there are plants and methods of integrating them that can improve harvests without undue inefficiency, whether using mechanized methods or hand harvesting techniques.
As a greenie, I take the order of reduce-reuse-recycle pretty seriously. I can only do so much when it comes to reducing the packaging things come in, but I seek endlessly for ways to reuse what would otherwise be trash.
Plastic is the bane of the environmentally conscious. Finding ways to save money is becoming a national sport. Combining the two with the ability to extend growing seasons is a recipe that can make almost anybody happy. One way to accomplish that is by combining reuse-it’s like soda bottles, old shirts, and Craigslist freebies to expand the growing season and protect vegetable gardens.
Grains are credited with the population booms of the human race. Once humans figured out how to grow and harvest increasing yields of high-calorie starches, our numbers started exploding. Once we perfected the chemicals and machines we needed to plant enormous blocks of the highest-use and highest-yield grains, we left by the wayside some of the more traditional grain crops.
How many seeds do I need to plant? How much seed is enough in a stockpile? They’re questions that come up here and there, they’re questions I get semi-regularly because I help people plant ecologically friendly gardens and plan permaculture plots, and unfortunately, they’re questions that don’t have particularly easy answers. There are just too many variables for a one-size-fits all answer, even per person. But there are some things that can be considered so that each individual can start to make their plans. Since harvests are in full swing and winter seedling plantings are around the corner, it’s a good time to start keeping track of some of those factors.