Interplanting two or more mutually beneficial crops in close proximity is one strategy for increasing biodiversity. In large-scale mechanized crop culture, this is called intercropping. It typically involves alternating rows or a number of rows of compatible field crops, like soybeans and corn. It also applies to sowing multiple forage crops, like alfalfa, bromegrass, and timothy, when these are grown together.
When interplanting is done on a smaller scale, it is often called companion planting. A classic example of companion planting is the inter-planting of corn with pole beans and vining squash or pumpkins. In this system, the beans provide nitrogen; the corn provides support for the beans and a "screen" against squash vine borer; the vin-ing squash provides a weed suppressive canopy and discourages corn-hungry raccoons.
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