Home » companion planting » Greens, Roots, Beans, Fruits

Greens, Roots, Beans, Fruits

As a kid, I learned at least one rhyme about beans and (musical) fruits, but I just came across another that might be a little more practical as an adult:

greens, roots, beans, fruits

It refers to crop rotation, or the idea that you shouldn’t plant the same veggies in the same spot season after season or year after year. This little rhyme helps keep you straight about the order of what should follow what.

Greens: lettuces, spinach, kale, mustard greens, chard, herbs, etc. followed by …

Roots: beets, carrots, turnips, potatoes (I know, it’s a tuber; just go with it), followed by …

Beans: beans (go figure), peas, peanuts, and other legumes, followed by …

Fruits: Tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, corn, melons, cucumbers, followed by greens … and so on and so on.

I found it as I was researching what I should plant in the potato bed after I harvest them (hopefully early next week!!1!11!) So, this handy rhyme tells me I would benefit from next planting some kind of legume in the potato bed. To that end, I’m going to do a whole mess of some fast maturing bush beans, Heavy Hitter variety, which are 54 days to harvest.

And then after that … well, I’m not 100% sure. See, I think I’ll have some broccoli starts by then to put in around mid-September, which I’ll coddle and cover into the colder months. But the one thing this rhyme doesn’t account for is brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower. Are they greens or fruits? They’re heavy feeders, so I think in the spirit of the intention, they should probably be classified as fruits, in which case I’m golden! I’ll put some lettuce there in the spring and I’ll have completed one cycle of the rhyme. Let’s look:

Roots: Potatoes (harvest July 2015)

Beans: Bush beans (harvest September 2015)

Fruits: Broccoli (harvest late October/early November 2015)

Greens: Lettuce (harvest spring 2016)

I’ll be applying this plan around the garden, along with various intercropping strategies, like planting peas (beans) with carrots (roots), for tomatoes (fruits) with basil and lettuce (greens), etc. Three cheers for mnemonic devices.

Also, totally unrelated,  here is a poorly-lit, fuzzy picture of a cocktail in a Griffin beaker (genius!) from TownHall, a fabu restaurant committed to non-GMO foods here in Cleveland (Ohio City to be specific).

Beaker aside, what’s most notable is that it is garnished with a sprig of thyme. All of you herb gardeners out there, if you’re like me, you love thyme and use it fresh, and also dry it for the winter. Yet, you still end up with WAY too much thyme.  Solution: Throw it in a drink. To help you with inspiration, this was a cocktail featuring rhubarb simple syrup, pineapple juice and vanilla vodka. Yum and fun!

Also seen around Cleveland:


Your guess is as good as mine.


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