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5 examples of your mixed culture

08.04.2022  /  Reading time: 8 minutes

Mixed cultivation is the cultivation of different plant species that have a positive influence on each other. This is the opposite of monoculture and brings more variety to your vegetable patch. What can be a real mess for many when it comes to bed planning is nothing more than a child's play exercise with the tools in the Fryd app. In this article, we present five digital bed plans that you can use as inspiration for your own mixed cultivation in spring, summer, fall and winter.

This article contains:

  1. What is a mixed culture?
  2. Annabell's field beans (spring)
  3. Tini's Tomato Bite (Sommer)
  4. Marie's Milpa-Beet (Sommer)
  5. Marlene's Mangoldbeet (Herbst)
  6. Patrick's Old Varieties (Winter)

Quick Overview

Vary the following plant characteristics in your mixed culture:

  • Growth habit (bushy, climbing, ground-covering, etc.)
  • Rooting depth (shallow-rooted, deep-rooted)
  • Plant family
  • Nutrient requirements (strong, medium and weak growers)

What is a mixed culture?

There is a breathtaking variety of vegetable plants and each plant has its own individual characteristics. Some plants get on particularly well in the bed, support each other in their growth and can even protect each other from diseases and pests. Unfavorably chosen plant neighbors, on the other hand, can inhibit each other's growth and promote disease infestation.

The aim of mixed cultivation is therefore to combine favorable plants with each other. Further information on mixed cultivation in the vegetable patch can be found in the article on this topic. Here you will also find tips on how to plan your own mixed cultivation. Various aspects can be taken into account in a varied mixed culture. For example, the growth habit and root depth of the vegetable plants are just as much a part of the planning as the plant family and nutrient requirements. To get an overview of which plants go well together, you can find a mixed culture table here.


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Annabell's field beans (spring)

To ring in the season, motivated gardeners can start planting vegetable beds in spring. Cold-tolerant crops are suitable for this, as it may well get frosty again. Annabell has chosen a combination of broad beans (field beans), savory, carrots and nasturtium (not a climbing variety!) for her bed.

You can read about which varieties are suitable for early sowing and the advantages of these plant combinations in the article"Annabell's broad bean bed".

Field beans in mixed cultivation with carrots and herbs such as nasturtium and savory.

Fancy your own field bean patch? We have already packed all the varieties of Annabell's field bean bed into your shopping cart - all in 100% organic quality, of course. You can also edit the selection according to your wishes: Click here to go to the shopping cart!

Tini's Tomato Bite (Sommer)

For summer, you can take inspiration from Tini(Kassiolino) . Bush beans and celery also grow in her mixed crop with tomatoes. The whole thing is rounded off with herbs such as basil and savory.

In the article"Tini's tomato patch" you will find all the information you need on choosing varieties for this mixed crop. We also explain the advantages of planting them next to each other.

Different varieties of tomatoes grow here in combination with celery, bush beans and herbs such as basil and savory.

Would you like to try this mixed crop with tomatoes, celery and beans for yourself? We've already added all the varieties from Tini's tomato patch to your shopping cart - all 100% organic, of course. You can also edit the selection according to your wishes: Click here to go to the shopping cart!

Marie's Milpa-Beet (Sommer)

Another idea for summer is a mixed crop with history and tradition: the milpa bed, also known as the Aztec or Indian bed. It traditionally combines corn, beans and pumpkin. These three crops are also known as the "three sisters", as they complement each other very well.

Marie is part of the Fryd team and gardens in a community garden in Stuttgart. There she has already tried out the classic milpa bed herself. In addition to the classics, a milpa bed is also possible with zucchinis or melon instead of pumpkins. Another alternative is to create a milpa bed with potatoes. Instead of beans, you can choose other legumes such as peas. You can fill the gaps with herbs such as savory, parsley and oregano . Flowers such as borage and marigolds also fit well in this mixed crop.

You can find the digital bed plan with suitable varieties and information on the benefits of this mixed crop in the article on Marie's Milpa.

Pumpkins, zucchinis and corn grow together with various runner beans in this special milpa bed.

Fancy a mixed milpa crop? We've already added all the varieties from Marie's Milpa bed to your shopping cart - all 100% organic, of course. You can also edit the selection according to your wishes: Click here to go to the shopping cart!

Marlene's Mangoldbeet (Herbst)

Marlene from the Fryd team has shared her planting plan for the fall. She has been gardening organically in mixed crops on a piece of land for 5 years.

Even when the temperatures drop and the days get shorter, the bed can still be full! In addition to chard, leeks and carrots, Marlene's chard bed is filled with various cabbages such as radishes, kale and kale, as well as stubble turnips (far right). Various lettuces (lettuce and lamb's lettuce) are also planted here for fresh salad in the fall and variety in the bed.

You can find the planting plan for Marlene's chard bed here in the article. There are also tips on choosing varieties and information on planning this mixed crop.

Lush vegetable plants such as chard, cabbage and leek are combined here with lettuce, spinach or radishes.

No fall bed in your plan yet? We've already added all the varieties from Marlene's chard patch to your shopping cart - all 100% organic, of course. You can also edit the selection according to your wishes: Click here to go to the shopping cart!

Patrick's Old Varieties (Winter)

This mixed crop for the winter is all about old varieties. Patrick Kaiser, the founder of the Tatgut vegetable rarities initiative, is committed to the production and preservation of hardy varieties. You can find out more about "Old varieties" in our article in the magazine. There is also a podcast episode with Patrick Kaiser in which you can find out more about the initiative and old varieties.

It can get pretty cold towards the end of the season! That's why you need to choose cold-resistant crops, and cabbage is right at the top of the list. Patrick's winter bed is home to different types of cabbage: in addition to feather and palm cabbage, you'll also find Brussels sprouts here. These types of cabbage grow together in a mixed crop with spinach, barbara cabbage (winter cress) and various winter lettuces (lamb's lettuce and Asian lettuce) as undersown crops. Patrick has also planted parsnips and winter hedge onions.

You can find the sample bed plan for Patrick's winter bed with old varieties in a separate article. Here you will find tips from a professional on choosing varieties and crops and their advantages in this mixed crop.

Kale, palm kale and Brussels sprouts grow here in mixed cultivation with spinach and barbara cabbage. Lamb's lettuce and parsnips make a nice addition. The winter hedge onion grows slightly apart from the cabbage.

Fancy some old varieties? We've already added all the varieties from Patrick's Winterbeet to your shopping cart - all 100% organic, of course. You can also edit the selection according to your wishes: Click here to go to the shopping cart!


I hope we were able to give you some new inspiration for your mixed culture. You can find all the variety suggestions in this article in our Fryd online store. If you have any questions or comments, please write to us at [email protected] or share them in our community. Have fun trying them out!

Would you like to receive helpful gardening tips all year round and plan your own beds optimally? Then register here or download the Fryd app for Android or iOS.

Fryd - your digital bed planner

Cover image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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Author

Annabell

Annabell is studying agricultural biology at the University of Hohenheim. She also enjoys gardening in her private life, spends a lot of time in nature and loves to be creative.

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