Crop Rotation on Organic Farms

A Glossary of Intercropping Terms

SARE Outreach
Charles L. Mohler, Sue Ellen Johnson | 2009 | 154 pages

Alley cropping: Growing annual crops in tilled strips between rows of a tree or shrub crop.

Biostrips: Permanent sod strips, usually of high botanical diversity, maintained to provide food and habitat for beneficial organisms and disrupt dispersal of pests.

Companion planting: A general term essentially synonymous with intercropping but often used to refer to the planting of non-crop or ornamental species with vegetables for attraction of beneficial insects.

Insectary planting: Planting strips or patches in a field with species that attract beneficial insects.

Interplanting: Intercropping.

Interseeding: Planting a direct-seeded crop into another crop, either at planting of the first crop or later, after it is established.

Living mulch: Permanent sod strips of perennial grasses or legumes between rows or beds.

Monoculture: A field with a single crop in it, or pertaining to such a field.

Nurse crop: A fast-growing crop that suppresses weeds while a slow-growing crop establishes.

Overseeding, oversowing:  Planting a direct-seeded crop or cover crop into an already established crop, usually by surface sowing of the seeds.

Parasitoid: An insect that lays its eggs in or on another arthropod. The larvae develop inside the host, eventually killing it.

Polyculture: A field (or cropping system) with multiple, interacting crops, or pertaining to such a field or cropping system.

Relay (inter)cropping: Planting a second crop into an already established crop. Usually the first crop is harvested before the second matures.

Smother crop: An interseeded crop sown with the intent of smothering weeds; sometimes also applied to a weed-suppressive cover crop grown alone.

Underseeding, undersowing: Overseeding or oversowing.