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I've planted up 5 or 6 squash plants in a 2x1m raised bed. They're still little plants as yet, which leaves quite a lot of soil bare!
What could I intercrop with them? Would beetroot / carrots be quick enough, or would they get shaded out? Just wondering as the carrots and beet I've sown so far this year are stubbornly not doing much , despite making repeat sowings etc.
I've a salad bed elsewhere and I'm not planning on a '3 sisters' crop tho might stick some beans in there, depending on how many of the current ones the slugs get...
I honestly think that, with a bed that size and that many squash plants, nothing else would stand a chance. Once the weather sorts itself out (assuming that it will!) the squash will romp away and there will definitely be no bare soil and you probably won't even be able to make out where the edge of the bed is! Do you like radishes? They might be fast enough
I used the '3 sisters' method a few times and it worked well, but decided not to grow sweetcorn this year (last year's crop was dire due to the drought), so I'm trying tomatoes (Ferline) instead with Borlotti beans this year in the squash bed. Whatever you try, the squash will soon cover everything, so either a fast-gowing salad (beetroot might just make it) or something which will grow tall or find it's own way to light - beans being perfect for that!
I'd go with radishes. They'll be up, matured and eaten before the squash suffocates them.
Three sisters (beans, squash and corn) are the classic, since the beans climb the corn, and provide a good balance with the squash. 5-6 plants in a 2x1m might be a bit tight, be sure to feed well with nourishing compost, they thrive on it! Nettle tea is also good (soak nettles in water for a couple weeks, then use it to water the plants). Radishes are super fast in my garden, and squash slow, so I'd go for those, and some carrots. Carrots bring up more nutrients to the top soil, so that should benefit the squash as well. In general, I just try to interplant as much as possible, because that's the way they seem to like it. No momocrops for me!
French beans always work well, lettuces also appreciate the shade and benefit from the heavy watering you have to give the squashes. Also try growng the sqaushes on top of the compost heap
Great, thanks guys! Haven't grown squash in any quantity, so wasn't sure how fast they would become triffids. At least the ones in the raised bed are beating the slugs (so far)...
I'll stick some beans in (won't do the soil any harm) and maybe a bit of salad or beetroot in a corner as an experiment. Very much hope the weather sorts itself out soon after that lovely 'hurricane'!
I do it the other way around. I put the squash at the edges and then let them go over the plot and put the stems inbetween things and up the paths. They are there for some time and seem to get along. Here's how I store my butternuts in the garage. Works really well and the last one was eaten just a couple of weeks ago (it had fallen onto hubby's workbench and he hadn't noticed - it was a bonus!)