Growing More Crops and Making More Money in the Same Space with Inter-planting – The Urban Farmer with Curtis Stone (FSFS91)

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Today it’s back to Kelowna and Green City Acres as Curtis and I take a look back at his experiences with inter-planting, planting multiple crops in the same space.

It’s something that he’s done for a few years now, and something that he’s doing again this year with his tomatoes.

We first started talking about this subject back in 2015 when we did an episode touching on the subject in Season One, then we hit on it again almost a year ago in Season Two.

Today we are going to take a look at what Curtis is doing now when it comes to inter-planting and how that’s changed since we first started talking about it two years ago.

It’s a technique that Curtis has a lot of experience with, but one that’s continually evolving as he uses it more.

It’s a technique that he uses because it allows him to earn a lot more in the same space over a given year.

For are going example he made an additional $1100 last year, by inter-planting Salanova lettuce in with his tomatoes. That’s an extra $1100 that most farmers wouldn’t capture.

That’s the benefit of inter-planting – getting multiple yields out of the same space over the same time period.

But be aware going in, this technique isn’t for everyone.

There are a lot of constraints and complications that come with inter-planting. And it’s a technique that doesn’t make sense if you have a lot of land.

Nonetheless, it’s a technique that can be a game-changer for those of you who do feel like you have a limited amount of land.

For you all, this is just another way to get more crops and more money, without adding land.

Notes on Inter-Planting

  • This strategy works well in the fall and the spring when a lot of the light makes it’s way to the greenhouse floor.
    • Playing off of sun angles.
  • Inter-plant among cool season greens – spinach, red russian kale, arugula, tatsoi.
  • Cut and come again crops work well in an inter-planted situation because there is less crop turnover and more harvesting which is easier in the space.
  • If space is tight, make the surface crop beds a little narrower to allow more walkway and room for the vertical crops.
  • Don’t worry so much about how tight different crops are stacked.
  • Plant the crops themselves at their normal density
  • Pro’s
    • Keep all space in constant production by stacking in space and time with light.
      • Getting production out of the space when tomatoes are producing.
      • If limited land, maximize what you have.
  • Con’s
    • Tight maneuvering in there for harvest, maintenance and planting.

Learn More from Curtis Stone:

Read The Urban Farmer book

Listen to The Urban Farmer audiobook


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