Monoculture Vs Polyculture
Monoculture vs Polyculture is a big topic in farming circles today. If you look at nature you can see that it is natural for different plants to work together and benefit each other. The most well know human designed polyculture or guild is the Three Sisters, the Native Americans used this guild to produce corn, beans, and squash. The corn acts like a trellis for the beans and the squash act as a ground cover. Using this method they could produce more with less space, work less, and grow more nutrient dense foods.
If you’re not familiar with Polyculture, you should check out Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farms. He does a ton of great work with multiple species on his farm in Virginia. He is known as the world’s most innovative farmers and he has several great books out on Pastured Poultry and You Can Farm: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Start & Succeed in a Farming Enterprise.
Monoculture Vs Polyculture Videos:
A video of my Polyculture Container Garden in my front yard. The plumeria is from a cutting and it’s doing awesome. The Kumquat I bought at Costco a few years ago and I had originally planted it in the ground but I had to move it last year so it didn’t produce any fruit but this year it looks like there will be a bunch! and then there is my crazy productive aloe Vera that I use for sunburns and smoothies.
If you live in the city you might not have a lot of space to garden but if your creative and plant multiple species in the same container you can obtain a greater yield for the amount of space you have to work with. The plants will benefit tremendously by working together, some plants will offer shade to the soil and help reduce the amount evaporation. Some plants will provide a structure for climbing vines to grow on like corn and beans.