Image: adapted from Urban Farmer website–Zone 8 vegetable planting schedule
The garden which is pleasing to the eye and which makes the heart glad, is the garden in which are growing side by side flowers of every hue, form and perfume, and the joyous contrast of color is what makes for charm and beauty. So is it with trees. An orchard full of fruit trees is a delight; so is a plantation planted with many species of shrubs. It is just the diversity and variety that constitutes its charm; each flower, each tree, each fruit, beside being beautiful in itself, brings out by contrast the qualities of the others, and shows to advantage the special loveliness of each and all.‘Abdu’l-Baha, Paris Talks #15 Beauty and Harmony in Diversity
May 2021, Christine Muller
Diversity is highly important in our gardens, not only because you don’t want to eat zucchini every day, as delicious as they are. Different plant species help each other grow. For example, legumes—the bean family—fix nitrogen and make it available to surrounding plants. Some plants attract beneficial insects and some deter pests. Each plant species requires specific nutrients from the soil, therefore different species don’t compete for nutrients. You can also maximize your space by growing a root vegetable and lettuce together with peas or beans that are taller. Adding a cover crop such as clover helps support the diverse microorganisms living in the soil that are essential for plant life. Planting some flowers in your vegetable garden attracts pollinators and makes your garden beautiful. A diverse garden is much more resilient to pests, diseases, and drought. Also, there are always years when some plants grow successfully and others give a poor or no harvest. With many different species growing, there will always be some that thrive!
For more information about the planting schedule for your time zone, visit the Vegetable Planting Schedules page on the Urban Farmer (usfeeds.com) website.