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Intercropping Lettuce and Corn

Planting a slow-growing and a fast-maturing crop together in a grid pattern is an efficient way to make the most of limited space. Lettuces can be grown among sweet corn plants and picked before the cobs mature.
Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

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Lark Sweet Corn is Tender Sweet Variety

Highlights:

Step 1: Measure and Mark Out Grid

Measure and mark out a grid of 18-inch squares. Use bamboo canes to mark the lines in the soil. This block arrangement is also ideal for maximizing the wind pollination of sweet corn.

Measure and Mark Out Growing Grid for Sweet Corn

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 2: Transplant Corn

Transplant one young corn plant in the corner of each square. Firm the soil around the base of each plant. Corn plants are tender, so they may have to be raised from seed under cover.

Transplant Young Corn Seedlings in Garden Grid

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 3: Add Lettuce Seed

Mix the lettuce seed with fine sand and scatter thinly in between the corn plants. Rake over carefully. The lettuces will mature in 8–12 weeks and fill the gaps in between the corn plants.

Mix Lettuce Seed with Sand to Scatter Over Soil

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Step 4: Thin Lettuce Seedlings

Thin the lettuce seedlings to 3–4 plants per square. Sweet corn takes at least 16 weeks to produce mature cobs, but the lettuce can be harvested long before the corn casts too much shade on them.

Thin Lettuce Seedlings Around Sweet Corn Crop

Courtesy of DK - Vegetable Gardening © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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Excerpted from Simple Steps: Vegetable Gardening

© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

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