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Plant together, or apart?

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Plant together, or apart?

Post  mabehr on 5/31/2017, 5:21 pm

Hi, I'm new to SFG.  Just got the raised beds up, and I'm trying to get seeds and seedlings in the ground ASAP.
Is it better to have like plants together, or mix them up?  For instance, if I have four raised beds, and I want to grow carrots (C), Lettuce (L), Peppers (P), and Onions (O), would it be better to put each in its own 4x4, or interlace them?

C C C C   L L L L   P P P P   O O O O
C C C C   L L L L   P P P P   O O O O
C C C C   L L L L   P P P P   O O O O
C C C C   L L L L   P P P P   O O O O

vs

C L P O   C L P O   C L P O   C L P O
L P O C   L P O C   L P O C   L P O C
P O C L   P O C L   P O C L   P O C L
O C L P   O C L P   O C L P   O C L P

I'm sure there are things like height to consider, etc, but as a general rule, is one considered to be "better" than the other?
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Re: Plant together, or apart?

Post  Robbomb116 on 5/31/2017, 5:56 pm

Mel reccomends a a checkerboard approach (your "apart").  He lists two reasons of I remember correctly. One being that he likes the way it looks. The second being to minimize diseases.  If all of your tomato plants are together and one gets a disease, they are more likely to infect the others than if they were apart.

That being said, there is an argument for "together" as well.  In particular, planting brassicas (cabbage family plants - cabbage, broccoli,  kale  ect.) Together allows you to provide protection for these plants from the dreaded white cabbage butterfly more easily by covering a whole box for example. Brassicas you want to keep covered to help with the cabbage buuterflies, while flowing things like peppers and eggplants would generally not want to be covered as you want the bees to pollinate them.  Keeping things together makes this easier.

I myself use "together" for the above mentioned reason and because I prefer the look of it.

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Re: Plant together, or apart?

Post  mabehr on 5/31/2017, 6:59 pm

@Robbomb116 wrote:Mel reccomends a a checkerboard approach (your "apart").  He lists two reasons of I remember correctly. One being that he likes the way it looks. The second being to minimize diseases.  If all of your tomato plants are together and one gets a disease, they are more likely to infect the others than if they were apart.

That being said, there is an argument for "together" as well.  In particular, planting brassicas (cabbage family plants - cabbage, broccoli,  kale  ect.) Together allows you to provide protection for these plants from the dreaded white cabbage butterfly more easily by covering a whole box for example. Brassicas you want to keep covered to help with the cabbage buuterflies, while flowing things like peppers and eggplants would generally not want to be covered as you want the bees to pollinate them.  Keeping things together makes this easier.

I myself use "together" for the above mentioned reason and because I prefer the look of it.
Thanks!  That's what I was leaning towards.  It's a little more work to plan out, so thanks for confirming that its "Mel's way."  I'm sure I've got a lot to learn.
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Re: Plant together, or apart?

Post  yolos on 5/31/2017, 7:10 pm

I like to put like plants together.  A lot of plants like different watering amounts and different fertilizer amounts.  Therefore, if you put like plants together that makes it easier to water and fertilize.
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Re: Plant together, or apart?

Post  sanderson on 6/1/2017, 3:35 am

I also plant in like groups - ease of care, watering needs, cover needs, sun/shade needs, etc.

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Re: Plant together, or apart?

Post  trolleydriver on 6/1/2017, 7:46 am

I'm a checkerboard planter for such things as lettuce, beets, carrots, kale, chard. However, next to a trellis I have a row of tomatoes and in front of that row a row of peppers. Then in each of two 4x4 beds I have two rows of garlic together.  I could have used one bed for all of the garlic. I have one 4x4 bed dedicated to everbearing strawberries.  So on final analysis I do both "together and apart" depending on what I am growing. The beauty of SFG is that it allows for many ways. Perhaps when starting out and with few beds and few squares a checkerboard approach is best.  Then as we get more beds it's possible to start dedicating whole beds to specific crops for ease of protection and maintenance. 

Suppose you had several 4x4 beds, each containing a "together" crop but a different crop in each bed. Then if you took an aerial shot of the garden it would look like a checkerboard garden on a larger scale than within just one bed.  The best of both worlds.  Very Happy

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Re: Plant together, or apart?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 6/1/2017, 9:17 pm

I am a Together person.  I do intersperse the roots. (Turnips, beets, carrots, radishes) amongst themselves, but they are multi/SQ.  

I keep "leaves" (lettuces, spinaches, Chards, kales) together.  Actually, everything else is together.    Grouped.

And this year I have a random bed that had a volunteer potato come up, so it will get some squashes by default.

Whatever works!cheers
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