You can control weeds in pathways by laying down cardboard, newspaper or other light-excluding materials, or sow the pathways to grass or clover and mow (or scythe) them every now and then. Other good reasons to convert from rows to an intensive garden system: Less effort. Interspersing crops with different root depths, plant heights and growth rates also means you can grow more in a given space. Personally, I figure the less time and effort it takes to grow food, the more time there is to enjoy it! Go permanent. (To keep such records digitally, try the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Vegetable Garden Planner.). He asserts that this flexible, ecological methodology is as important for soil fertility as it is for his economic success. Crops that root deeply such as parsnips, carrots and tomatoes, can be intercropped with shallow vegetables such as broccoli, lettuce and potatoes.Fast growing plants, like spinach, can be tucked in around slow maturing plants like corn. My eyes glaze over when I see equations and complicated charts in a gardening book, and Bartholomew’s and Jeavons’ books aren’t short on either. Care and Cultivation of Permanent Garden Beds, Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. Intensive Vegetable Gardening - A Total No Dig Plan. Regarding water conservation, plants growing in the ground usually need less irrigation than plants in containers or raised beds do, because soil-bound plants benefit from capillary flow of water from the subsoil. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Grow calorie-efficient root crops, such as potatoes, in about 30 percent of the growing area. Space crops tightly in a hexagonal planting pattern. 5. By rotating the location, heavy feeding plants will get a new more vital area, and the area they depleted the year before will support plants with different requirements. Aug 6, 2020 - Explore Traylynn's board "Intensive Gardening" on Pinterest. Beauty and productivity harmonize in an intensively planted garden when you add flowers and natural, structural elements. 8. Already a Member? You can stagger the crops by planting them several weeks apart. Capitalize on vertical space by growing vining crops on supports. Order John Jeavons’ book How to Grow More Vegetables, which details the complete biointensive growing system. See “10 Tenets of Biointensive Gardening” later in this article for the skinny on this system. Over many years of intensive gardening, I have learned (as have many gardeners before me) that layering on mulches saves a lot of labor, and that minimal cultivation of beds works just fine. Or, do you … Order Mel Bartholomew’s book All New Square Foot Gardening for more information. Similarly, a 1998 study by Ohio State University found no significant yield difference between beans and beets grown in beds that had been cultivated only on the surface and beds that had been double-dug. It incorporates multiple beds. These crops can be planted while the tomatoes or vines are young, and many will be ready for eating before the tomato even sets fruit. Also, soils that receive less disruption have more beneficial nematodes, earthworms, soil mites and other microorganisms wriggling and crawling about. Loosen soil in raised-bed planting sites by “double-digging” to a depth of 2 feet. 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. If you have a limited amount of garden space that gets enough sun, or there are other reasons you can't go larger, then the intensive vegetable gardening principles may be the right choice for you. Alan Chadwick and John Jeavons are popular proponents of biointensive gardening methods, and a number of the techniques stem from French intensive gardening. Building and preparing an organic garden using natural No Dig Gardening methods Easy steps for building a vegetable garden. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. By John Yeoman | Submitted On February 13, 2011. Using mulch to keep the soil covered is effective at smothering germinating weed seeds. It's so easy—all you need are a few materials and a vision for your future garden. Much of the garden area is taken by the space between the rows. Raised beds — constructed with sides to allow the soil to be built up higher than the natural soil level — allow for good drainage on low-lying land and warm up quickly in spring. 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. For example, companion-planting charts of the “tomatoes love basil” variety are largely myth, though the value of planting to cycle nutrients to different crop families and attract beneficial insects is well-established (go to Maintain Healthy Soil With Crop Rotation for more). This results in even more yield without adding more garden space. Despite such differing approaches, both sets of techniques deliver high-yielding food gardens thanks to four common features, all of which I recommend. 3. High-density mixed planting. Raised beds are not the answer for all gardeners lacking space. Improved soil conditions 3. Suggestions? Permanent garden beds. More traditional gardens consist of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely apart. Achieve staggered harvests with succession planting. In fact, in very hot areas it is better not to have them raised as the soil will heat up too much. The system you choose should take into account your location, … How To Grow Lettuce In A Rain Gutter Plant salad greens in rain gutters. They advocate r… Leaf lettuce can be planted on either side of radishes and onions, and will be harvested before mid summer. 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. 1. 4. 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). Unless you plan on canning large amounts of tomatoes, however, that won't really be an issue. Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! Blend the best principles of biointensive gardening and square-foot gardening to devise a customized, highly productive intensive gardening system. Add no fertilizer; rely on the compost in the growing medium for nutrients. It allows more weeds to flourish, and limits what can be produced per square foot. Soil, climate, weather, water availability, composting materials, pests and diseases vary depending on where you live, so learn from local experts and look for information written for your region. 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). 10. International Subscribers - Click Here His primary goal is to grow food sustainably, using as few inputs from outside of the system as possible. Linda A. Gilkeson holds a doctorate in entomology and has been educating gardeners through workshops and writing for more than 20 years. Raised beds are growing areas whose surface is “raised” above the surrounding area. 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. I love this article. Even intensive beds that are very small will grow a huge yield of produce. Compost can be virtually free if made from waste materials, such as grass clippings, leaves, manure, spoiled hay, and any waste from your garden, the grocery store or the food industry. This helps to shade the soil as the weather heats up, reducing the amount of water needed. What's the easiest way to grow more vegetables with little labour - and fewer pests? Higher yields 2. Intensive planting suppresses weeds, as the leaves of nearby plants quickly fill in and shade the soil. Square-foot gardening calls for purchasing a large amount of peat moss, which isn’t a renewable material. Be cheap. Older and less mobile folks could benefit from raised beds because they’re higher up and easier to work in. The organic matter in compost also increases soil’s water-holding capacity and improves its texture. Consider growth rate above and below ground when interplanting flowers and vegetables. If you can use tomato cages, for example, then you can plant your tomatoes about 18-20 inches apart instead of 2-3 feet apart. Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat And Pork, Natural Cold Storage: Fresh Food in Winter, Keeping Crops Cool During Hot Weather: 13 Ways to Beat the Heat, Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price. A con of Bartholomew’s system is that it relies so heavily on buying the ingredients to make your growing medium. Year-round gardening is my ultimate goal. 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. 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. I did buy the CD of past issues when I first ordered my subscription. Check out “10 Tenets of Square-Foot Gardening” below for more on this method. Can I also view this on the internet?I really enjoy reading Motherearthnews, so would appreciate it if I could read past issues. Don’t despair; get creative. 7. Ignore the bewildering number of gardening rules and myths floating around the Internet and other sources. It will give you more area to plant while still producing full or nearly full crops from your garden plants. 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. Intensive gardening is a strategic way to plan your garden beds to maximize the number of plants produced. The use of intensive vegetable gardening methods can increase the yield per square foot by a great amount. The Ohio State University Extension has listed several benefits of gardening in a raised bed. Use soil (if you have it). The Pros of Intensive Gardening. One of my problems is compost: I just don't generate enough to create any. Create a “closed,” interrelated growing system in which enough organic matter is produced by your “mini-farm” to sustain the soil within the system. See more ideas about Veggie garden, Backyard garden, Vegetable garden. Close planting will reduce the weeds, as they will be crowded out eventually. It requires more planning so that the plants don't crowd each other too much. The space you have available and the ease with which you can transport materials will also influence your gardening decisions. 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. With imagination and determination, you can find ways to grow vegetables … Sow open-pollinated seeds to preserve genetic diversity. You can even try square-foot gardening in wooden boxes on a balcony. 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. 4. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. Sow only the number of seeds needed in each square to avoid wasting seed. Creating nutrients and organic matter by making compost out of other ingredients, such as fall leaves and newspapers mixed with food scraps, may make more sense. 2. More food—less space. Double digging the beds, by removing the top 10 inches of soil and loosening the soil below with a garden fork, will allow better aeration and water tranport. Essentially, you crowd them together. Reliance on compost. Well said. Intensive Planting Techniques are practiced with several goals in mind: they minimize soil compaction, allow you to plant in challenging or difficult locations, solve drainage issues, eliminate the need for tilling, increase vegetable and herb production, and conserve water. I often leave crop residues on the soil as a mulch and plant right through it. When vegetables are planted intensively they shade and cool the ground below and require less watering, less weeding, less mulching — in other words, less drudgery for the gardener. The principles of include going vertical, by the use of trellises and cages for large plants that ordinarily would sprawl everywhere. account? The goal is to have the plants just, or almost, touching by time of harvest. 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. An intensive garden mini- mizes wasted space. Intensive Vegetable Production refers to a system of marketing and producing vegetable crops in which great attention is placed on detail and optimization of resources such as land, capital, labor, equipment, transportation to market and management time. Include flowers, herbs and vegetables for variety. http://theperpetualpantry.com/quick-reference-chart-vegetables/. (Such crops provide a significant amount of dietary calories as well as a significant amount of carbonaceous material for composting.) Already a Member but Compost on-site and use compost to amend and build your soil. The Multi-Bed Garden Plan. (Connect with nearby gardeners on MOTHER EARTH NEWS' new Facebook pages for each state and province.) 2. … Jeavons’ biointensive gardening system is based on developing fertile soil in permanent garden beds that you initially dig to a depth of 2 feet. Prompt succession planting. It also reduces disease and insect infestations that could become severe if the same areas are used each year for something like tomatoes. This not only saves space for planting, it also keeps the fruit cleaner. Rain gutters provide an ideal space … A few of these benefits are: 1. The soil must be very loamy and fertile. He prescribes raised beds of only 6 inches deep for most crops, filled with an artificial mix of peat moss, vermiculite and compost. Cultivate in small, raised garden boxes that are at least 6 inches deep, separated into a 1-by-1-foot grid pattern (often 16 squares per box). 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. 1. 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. As soon as you pull out one food plant, you drop in another - of a different species. She gardens in British Columbia and is the author of several gardening books, most recently Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest. A raised bed is simply when the level of the soil is higher than the surrounding ground. Canadian Subscribers - Click Here Practice low-maintenance gardening, with no digging, tilling, soil prep, soil testing or cultivating. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). Calorie-dense crops such as potatoes are emphasized in order to achieve this in a small area. It will give you more area to plant while still producing full or nearly full crops from your garden plants. Double-digging raised beds is hard work, especially in clay soils or if you... You must have the right tools to double dig. 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. The initial labor and cost... Trellis and Vertical Growing. 1. 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. don't have an online Since these books hit the shelves, millions of gardeners have experimented with and embraced the gardening techniques advocated within. I saw no difference between the double-dug bed and the rest of the garden throughout that summer or in later years. I've used it in my in ground garden for years. 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. The French intensive gardening method also helps with diversifying space, as it frequently utilizes additional gardening techniques like interplanting and companion planting. 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. Most of us prefer to have a continuous supply of fresh tomatoes during the growing season anyway. 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. 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. Determinate tomatoes, those that ripen a large crop all at once, generally produce better if left to sprawl. Creating minimal disturbance has led to a bountiful garden with less work on my part. 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. 10. The space you save by going vertical with these large plants can then be used for interplanting, another principle of intensive vegetable gardening. With time and experience, and based on the region and circumstances, every gardener tailors his or her system to what works best. It also makes soil compaction a nonissue, because you walk on permanent pathways and never on your growing areas. 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