Your Garden is Stacked, Dude
Posted: May 15 2013
"It can't be my garden you're talking about; my garden is tiny and only allows for about four rows of produce!"
"Ah - you're right. Sorry. You ARE still planting your garden in rows and totally wasting the potential of your garden plot's soil!!"
Let us explain.
If you're an avid gardener, you will have heard of the Three Sisters first nations stacked gardening technique. If you haven't heard of this, sit back and let your traditional row planting mindset be transformed. According to tradition, these sisters would plant the corn first. When the corn would start to grow, they would plant beans and squash. The beans would use the corn as a trellis and pull nitrogen up to the top of the soil where it had been depleted by the corn. The squash would then cover the ground to help prevent weeds from growing and to retain moisture. These plants worked together to create something bigger than what each individual plant could accomplish.
Just think about the potential that's out there if you use this method! For example, one could plant tubers such as potatoes, jicama, and yucca. At the same time you could plant a ground cover that also produced something edible such as strawberries, cranberries, or lingonberries. Then add the mid-range plant (12-18") -- more berries, insectory plants, pollinator-attracting plants, or edible flowers that will also beautify the garden. The same concept could accommodate varying sizes of shrubs and trees as well!
It's time to be thinking about your garden. Maybe you should mix things up this year, you row-planter, you -- and maybe quite literally!