Crop ‘til you drop
If you are anything like me at this time of the year one of the biggest issues you have is trying to squeeze what seems an infinite amount of crops into a finite space. There is a practice developed by the ancient Aztecs which they referred to as milpa but is now known as the Three Sisters. Corn, Squash and Climbing Beans. It is an ingenuous method of utilising space by planting three crops in the same bed that have qualities that are mutually beneficial. The squash rambles over the ground, shading and covering the soil to prevent water loss, the beans fix nitrogen to their roots and when dug back through when the crop is finished will provide food for the soil and therefore your next crop and finally, the corn acts as a support for the climbing beans. Plant your corn first and space them a little further apart than you would normally, then follow up a few weeks later when the corn has germinated and is growing well, planting your beans and squash. This way the corn gets a good head start and stops it getting squashed by the squash.