Mixed cropping also known as inter-cropping or co-cultivation, is a type of agriculture that involves planting two or more of plants simultaneously in the same field.
Monocropping which is the planting of one crops on the field are lovely and easy to tend but they are susceptible to crop diseases, infestations and droughts.
The general believe is that planting two or more crops at once will allow the crops to work together.
Possible benefits of mixed cropping are:
* Maximising input and outgo of soil nutrients.
* It keep down weeds and insect pests.
* Its resist climate extremes (wet, dry, hot, cold).
* It suppress plant diseases
* It increases overall productivity
* Use scarce resources to the fullest
Classic example of mixed cropping is the “three sisters” of maize, beans, and curcurbits (squash and pumpkins).
The maize : Provides a stalk for the beans to climb on.
The beans: are nutrient-rich to offset that taken out by the maize.
The squash grows low to the ground to keep weeds down and water from evaporating from the soil in the heat.
Overall it appears that measurably good effects result when the right combination of crops are cropped