Put the clippings back on the garden beds as a nitrogen-rich mulch. So if you would like to grow more in the same space, then you should consider applying these principles to your garden area. (Connect with nearby gardeners on MOTHER EARTH NEWS' new Facebook pages for each state and province.) Ease of pest control 5. Adding plenty of compost is fundamental to intensive gardening. If digging beds, turning compost or setting up growing boxes works for you, carry on — just don’t think any of it is a strict requirement for a bountiful garden. Solar Gardening: Growing Vegetables Year-Round the American Intensive Way: Poisson, Leandre, Poisson, Gretchen Vogel, Wimbiscus, Robin: 9780930031695: Books - Amazon.ca By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only). Produce food in a way that, compared with conventional farming, greatly reduces the use of resources, and places a focus on diversity, soil building and achieving high yields. The organic matter in compost also increases soil’s water-holding capacity and improves its texture. Combine crops, flowers, steppingstones and a seat, and you’ll have a backyard retreat along with plenty to eat. 5. Jeavons’ biointensive gardening system is based on developing fertile soil in permanent garden beds that you initially dig to a depth of 2 feet. Unlike a single row garden that takes up lots of space, you can plant vegetables tightly in a little square foot garden bed or a horse trough converted into a raised bed. 3. It requires more planning so that the plants don't crowd each other too much. This is expensive and means you aren’t using and improving the soil already on your property. Whether you grow food on a spacious homestead or are digging into your first urban garden, ditching the plant-by-rows approach and instead adopting intensive gardening techniques can help you grow a more productive garden that’s also more efficient to manage. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! Interspersing crops with different root depths, plant heights and growth rates also means you can grow more in a given space. Blend the best principles of biointensive gardening and square-foot gardening to devise a customized, highly productive intensive gardening system. It allows more weeds to flourish, and limits what can be produced per square foot. It also makes soil compaction a nonissue, because you walk on permanent pathways and never on your growing areas. Posted on August 13, 2012 by Peggy Layton. Raised beds are growing areas whose surface is “raised” above the surrounding area. Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. Capitalize on vertical space by growing vining crops on supports. Double-digging raised beds is hard work, especially in clay soils or if you... You must have the right tools to double dig. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. The space you save by going vertical with these large plants can then be used for interplanting, another principle of intensive vegetable gardening. They advocate r… The use of intensive vegetable gardening methods can increase the yield per square foot by a great amount. For novice gardeners, Bartholomew’s method of marking off beds in 1-foot squares may be particularly helpful as a way to visualize how densely one can plant. I did buy the CD of past issues when I first ordered my subscription. 7. Root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets might also work if your site gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Permanent, intensive beds in the vegetable garden is a centuries-old practice that has stood the test of time because it is so effective. That’s hard to argue with! High-density mixed planting. Are you interested in gardening, but you have limited space? If you do it right, you can grow more food in less space and put an impressive dent in your household’s fresh-food needs. Adapt to local conditions. 9. (See Bartholomew’s book for the prescribed numbers. How do I rid my garden of squash bugs from year to year? Once these plants are harvested, a new crop can be sown for harvesting in fall. Whether permanent beds should be raised, however, depends on the site and on personal preference. Check out “10 Tenets of Square-Foot Gardening” below for more on this method. This not only saves space for planting, it also keeps the fruit cleaner. 10. These methods will produce far more per square foot. Sow only the number of seeds needed in each square to avoid wasting seed. Perhaps the ultimate in cheap fertilizer is “pee-cycling,” which merits wider acceptance for its effectiveness. This means that two or more vegetable crops are grown in the same space in one gardening … It's so easy—all you need are a few materials and a vision for your future garden. Use synergistic planting (also called “companion planting”) so that plants grown together enhance each other. Add no fertilizer; rely on the compost in the growing medium for nutrients. Roots are another source of organic matter, so instead of pulling plants when clearing a bed, I cut them at the soil line and leave the roots to decompose. Gardens on well-drained soil, however, may fare better and need less water if the beds are not raised — and, of course, you won’t have the job and expense of building sides for your beds. He provides detailed instructions on crop planning, making compost, companion planting, crop rotation, growing crops that serve a dual purpose as food and compost-heap fodder, and more. With fertile soil and dense planting, any garden can be highly productive — but as these two intensive-gardening approaches show, you can achieve this productivity via different means. He prescribes raised beds of only 6 inches deep for most crops, filled with an artificial mix of peat moss, vermiculite and compost. International Subscribers - Click Here Intensive Vegetable Gardening-Gardening Advice for Small Spaces. As soon as you pull out one food plant, you drop in another - of a different species. After digging one bed, I decided to skip the rest and live with the consequences — except none seemed to crop up. Each year you should rotate the areas used for particular vegetables. Creating minimal disturbance has led to a bountiful garden with less work on my part. Intensive vegetable gardening means that you reduce the amount of space between your plants. How To Grow Lettuce In A Rain Gutter Plant salad greens in rain gutters. More traditional gardens consist of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely apart. Intensive gardening is a strategic way to plan your garden beds to maximize the number of plants produced. By John Yeoman | Submitted On February 13, 2011. Research has provided sound reasons why minimizing soil disturbance is a good idea: Reduced-tillage systems result in higher populations of beneficial fungi that move nutrients and water through the soil column. The purpose of gardening intensively is to har- vest the most produce possible from a given space. Consider growth rate above and below ground when interplanting flowers and vegetables. Choose High-yield Crops. Sign in with your online account. Prompt succession planting. Essentially, you crowd them together. Rows of lettuce in raised beds make a space-saving, productive addition to your patio. The space you have available and the ease with which you can transport materials will also influence your gardening decisions. Neither Bartholomew’s artificial planting medium nor Jeavons’ repeated double-digging takes full advantage of such hardworking critters. Don’t despair; get creative. http://theperpetualpantry.com/quick-reference-chart-vegetables/. The use of intensive vegetable gardening methods can increase the yield per square foot by a great amount. Older and less mobile folks could benefit from raised beds because they’re higher up and easier to work in. I’ve talked with hundreds of gardeners over the past few decades to glean some of the commonalities between successful gardening systems, and the resulting recommendations that follow here will help you grow a high-yield but low-maintenance, sustainable garden. (To keep such records digitally, try the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner.). In my experience, you can safely disregard most crop-rotation systems, because relatively few crops in a diverse food garden are likely to suffer from soilborne diseases or pests. Less soil compaction. The vining plants that are vertical will need more water than if sprawling however, so you will need to keep an eye on them. Intensive Gardening Method Raised Beds. Another principle is to make small beds, no more than 3-4 feet wide, and alternate rows of above ground and under ground vegetables. Gardens should be individualistic and fun. I saw no difference between the double-dug bed and the rest of the garden throughout that summer or in later years. Year-round gardening is my ultimate goal. 8. 4. The first time I read Bartholomew’s book, I was struck by how expensive following his system to the letter would be, from the cost of building beds to buying and hauling a large volume of bulky materials for the growing medium — which he calls “Mel’s mix.” To me, the beauty of gardening is that it transforms waste material into tasty, nourishing food at a considerably lower cost than buying it. 2. Plant dual-purpose, carbon-efficient crops — such as grains — in about 60 percent of the growing area. The 1-by-1-foot grid pattern, a trademark of square-foot gardening, can help intensive growers portion out and make the most of limited bed space. Because earthworms, plant roots and soil insects are so good at aerating soil, I’m happy to leave it to them. When you finish shifting the soil, you will have moved all of the soil in the bed sideways by 1 or 2 feet and down to a depth of 2 feet. This type of companion planting makes it possible to grow more in the same space. Achieve staggered harvests with succession planting. The soil in the beds should be tilled to at least an 8-12 inch depth. Follow these natural gardening instructions for success no matter where you live or the condition of your soil. … 9. Reducing the use of nonrenewable resources — whether it’s fossil fuels burned in transporting supplies, irrigation water from deep aquifers or even peat moss — is an important consideration and one that’s on many gardeners’ minds. 4. Mel Bartholomew’s book on “square-foot” gardening was first published in 1981, while John Jeavons’ first book on “biointensive” gardening came out in 1974. Care and Cultivation of Permanent Garden Beds, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Bartholomew’s aim with square-foot gardening is a simple, foolproof system that anyone can master (no companion planting, no crop rotation and no soil preparation). I quickly discovered, despite Jeavons’ cheery instructions, that this was a daunting amount of work. “Double-digging,” or digging and refilling trenches, is central to biointensive growing but may not be worth the work. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Apply no chemicals. Deep-rooted plants will also survive cold snaps and heat waves better than plants in containers and raised beds because their roots are subjected to less-extreme temperature swings. Here is a cool free reference chart for planting and growing vegetables. Planting crops that have a high yield per square foot makes better use of … Beauty and productivity harmonize in an intensively planted garden when you add flowers and natural, structural elements. Despite Bartholomew’s concern that improving soil takes too long, I’ve found that adding organic amendments, including balanced organic fertilizers if needed, can turn any soil into decent garden soil in its first few seasons. Relax and smile. It will give you more area to plant while still producing full or nearly full crops from your garden plants. Simply, group several different species closely together in the same plot. Most of us prefer to have a continuous supply of fresh tomatoes during the growing season anyway. 3. Intensive Vegetable Gardening You can maximize the productivity of the garden using intensive gardening techniques. Rain gutters provide an ideal space … Building and preparing an organic garden using natural No Dig Gardening methods Easy steps for building a vegetable garden. The goal here is to produce a lot of food in a very small area, by putting in some serious manual labor to produce perfect planting beds and intensive plantings. This can, however, require a slight shift from the “clean soil” garden aesthetic some value. Using mulch to keep the soil covered is effective at smothering germinating weed seeds. The principles of include going vertical, by the use of trellises and cages for large plants that ordinarily would sprawl everywhere. If you have a tiny urban garden, you aren’t likely to be able to grow a considerable amount of grain crops for supplying carbonaceous compostable materials, as Jeavons suggests doing. Multiple Cropping. For the rest of the season, I plant without cultivating, allowing easy interplanting by slipping in new plants between maturing crops. Weeding is, for most, a dreaded task, but it can be almost eliminated by smart planting. It incorporates multiple beds. Intensive Vegetable Gardening - A Total No Dig Plan. 2. Determinate tomatoes, those that ripen a large crop all at once, generally produce better if left to sprawl. If this is possible, please tell me how to do this. This garden plan is another exact layout. I’m on Bartholomew’s side in favoring simple, low-maintenance methods (after all, the energy of the gardener is a valuable resource, too), but gardeners can learn much from Jeavons about sustainable practices. The beds can be raised, but it's not required in order to use this method. A raised bed is simply when the level of the soil is higher than the surrounding ground. Intensively plant a prescribed number of each crop you choose to grow into each grid space, depending on plant size. Include flowers, herbs and vegetables for variety. Order Mel Bartholomew’s book All New Square Foot Gardening for more information. This upward movement of water can come from a depth of 2 to 8 feet, depending on the type of soil. Be sure to check the variety you plan to purchase to make sure which type it is. Reliance on compost. The system you choose should take into account your location, … You can stagger the crops by planting them several weeks apart. Both systems rely on the tried-and-true groundwork of all organic gardening: heavy doses of compost to supply balanced, slow-release nutrients needed to grow healthy crops. Be cheap. Unless you plan on canning large amounts of tomatoes, however, that won't really be an issue. Leaf lettuce can be planted on either side of radishes and onions, and will be harvested before mid summer. The Ohio State University Extension has listed several benefits of gardening in a raised bed. account? At MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. The initial labor and cost... Trellis and Vertical Growing. Two gardening authors and their systems of intensive vegetable gardening have been highly influential in North America for more than 30 years. 7. 4. Grow calorie-efficient root crops, such as potatoes, in about 30 percent of the growing area. Foot paths are only between the beds. Square-foot gardening calls for purchasing a large amount of peat moss, which isn’t a renewable material. 6. I know it’s all about “reading definitions” but it really helps if you understand these intensive vegetable gardening concepts before you try to do them. Don’t work too hard. What's the easiest way to grow more vegetables with little labour - and fewer pests? Setting up permanent beds and paths is such a popular layout here in the Pacific Northwest that I haven’t seen a garden arranged in rows for years. Two gardening authors and their systems of intensive vegetable gardening have been highly influential in North America for more than 30 years. In fact, in very hot areas it is better not to have them raised as the soil will heat up too much. I leave mulch on the soil for as much of the garden season as possible (weeds grow all winter in my Northwest climate), but I pull it back in spring to allow the soil to dry out and warm up. Other good reasons to convert from rows to an intensive garden system: Less effort. After you know what problems occur in your region, you know which crops to rotate. Order John Jeavons’ book How to Grow More Vegetables, which details the complete biointensive growing system. Well said. Create a “closed,” interrelated growing system in which enough organic matter is produced by your “mini-farm” to sustain the soil within the system. 10. They can be as tidy or as wild as you like, take little effort to maintain, and still produce an astonishing amount of food from a small area. While this method is reliant on assembling purchased components, it can work well in urban spaces, especially where soil contamination is a concern, where digging into the ground isn’t an option, or where people are especially picky about how a garden looks (perhaps because of ordinances for front lawns). 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