Question:

Can I plant deep rooting vegetables with shallow rooted crops?

Deeps and Shallows

Deep rooted crops aren't necessarily the deep thinkers of the horticultural world, just as shallow rooted crops don't necessarily wear push-up bras and chew gum. You can learn how to plant a garden that will show off both types. Actually, if you learn how to garden with crop rotation, you can group shallow root plants (cabbage, together, since they may be subject to the same diseases, in flat soil raised beds.

Deep root crops such as tomatoes and broccoli will follow carrots into beds with more soil depth--just be sure to aerate the soil in your soil preparation. Shallow root plants such as radishes and lettuce need nutrient-rich soil preparation but require more water near the surface, so plant deep rooted and shallow rooted plants in different beds.

If you only have one container for gardening raised beds, change the soil preparation year after year to alternate between deep root and shallow root plants. You may want to build your own raised bed garden that you can alter by taking away stones or removing soil--some commercial raised garden beds are designed for different soil depths.

Whatever you do, don't assume your radishes can't be reflective or that your broccoli is smarter. You may have a planting revolt on your hands if you do!

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Susan Sayour