Plant growth, flowering phenologies, and yields of corn, beans and squash grown in pure stands and mixtures in Costa Rica.
Maize, beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) and squash (Cucurbita maxima) were grown in pure stands and mixtures for 3 seasons in Costa Rica. Vegetative biomass/plant in beans and maize was not affected by treatment (i.e. pure stand or mixture) while squash plants were significantly smaller in mixtures with maize than in pure stands. Bean plants initiated flowering later in mixtures with maize, but total bean flower production was not significantly affected by treatment. Squash plants produced significantly fewer flowers in mixtures, while maize flowering was not affected by treatment. Although intercropping significantly decreased yield/plant in maize and squash while significantly increasing it in beans, the total yield in terms of gross return/ha (e.g. as land equivalent ratio) was greater for all mixtures, except for the maize/squash intercrop, than their respective pure stands.