" Blog da Horta Biológica: Intercropping Guidelines For Organic Farming

Intercropping Guidelines For Organic Farming

The month of May is the time for many farm chores, from sowing to harvesting, and crop protection against pests and diseases. Precisely to avoid pests and prevent possible diseases, today we are talking about intercropping. 

Intercropping is one of the principles of organic farming and is practiced for several reasons. Let's see what they are:

  • The cultivation area must have diversified crops in order to assure a varied production, which contributes to the enrichment of organic matter in the soil.
  • The diversity of crops attracts "garden friends" (insects and other little creatures) that contribute to avoid the use of pesticides, thus obtaining foods of high nutritional value.
  • In addition to promoting biodiversity, intercropping prevents soil depletion, which often happens in monoculture fields.
  • Some plants benefit from each other through their proximity, in some cases due to the diversified use of soil resources without competition between them, in other cases due to the repellent effect of pests through the smells and substances they produce. 

Although intercropping has all these benefits, it is very important to know which crops benefit from each other's proximity and which ones should be grown at a distance. See, in our table, the favorable and unfavorable associations so you can better organize your kitchen garden. 

There are also some plants that protect the garden in general and, therefore, it is a good idea to plant them around the beds.

Lavender - Repels various pests.
Garlic - Repels aphids and prevents fungi.
Rue - Repels cats and ants.
Marigold - Keeps away most of garden pests.
Monks cress - Works as a pest trap for both garden and orchard.
Coriander - Keeps away mites and aphids.
Lemon balm - Repels various insects.
Pennyroyal mint - Keeps away rats and ants.
Sage - Repels various pests.
Savory - Repels various pests.

With this precious information we hope you will be able to protect your crops in the most natural way possible, taking into account the environment and health.

Enjoy your crops!

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