Tire gardening. Move to the second bed and remove the top layer of soil. May 27, 2018 - Learn how to maximize what you can produce in your vegetable garden with these intensive methods. To grow all the vegetables you want, you may have to use transplants instead of direct seeding, which will increase your costs. All trellises or climbing supports should be installed while plants still are small to avoid disturbing the roots of course! More traditional gardens consist of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely apart. For some people, a small-sized garden is preferable to a larger one. If you only used intensive spacing and double digging but didn’t compost, you wouldn’t be able to replenish your soil nutrients at the rate they were being used. Wooden posts should be treated with a preservative or they may last only one season. Growing plants closer together demands particular attention to pest control, fertilization and training of plants. (I guess it really just depends on how long your arms are!). Better yet, use mulches (mulch, MULCH!!) Schedule plantings so no area of the garden remains empty for long. We may also earn a commission from purchases made at other retailers linked from our site. Backyard gardeners can easily employ intensive gardening methods to increase both the variety and yield of crops they grow. By the time the tomato plants are bearing, the lettuce or radishes will be harvested. Use small tools like onion hoes, or pull weeds by hand. The BEST thing in the world I have found are cattle panels. Here are the principles and methods of intensive vegetable gardening: Soil improvement: The soil is well-prepared before planting. Planning an Intensive Garden The purpose of gardening intensively is to harvest as much produce as possible from a given space. . I cover various intensive and non-intensive gardening methods in-depth in my new book Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening. They are cheap and they aren’t hard to move around either! Since these beds will be in place a number of years, building up and loosening it’s soil when first establishing the beds is important. Your email address will not be published. The site for planting is cleared of all weeds and debris then 3 to 4 inches of organic matter is spread over the site and dug or tilled into the soil. For some gardeners a small garden is not practical. Intensive inter-cropping, along with companion planting, will provide the maximum amount of food production, and will reduce your garden size, water and nutrient requirements, and allow you to grow the healthiest plants. This is a good option for gardeners with sandy soil that would dry too quickly if formed in raised beds. Six to 15 hours of physical labor are required to make each bed. . Biointensive sustainable garden plants include any plants you can plant in your garden. The spacing should be whatever the seed packet recommends for spacing between plants. To do this it requires great understanding of your microclimate, crop selection (especially cold-hardy crops like these ones) and careful garden planning.Because there’s always lots to do in a year-round garden I wanted to share this guide. Making plants share space means the individual plants may yield less, but the total garden yield will be greater because the space is being used more efficiently. For example, if the seed packet says to thin lettuce so plants stand six inches apart in rows two feet apart, ignore the row spacing, and thin all lettuce plants to stand six inches apart. allows them to fix nitrogen in the soil and increase this macro-nutrients availability for The gardener can concentrate soil improvement efforts in a smaller area, and, with careful management, small gardens can produce sufficient vegetables for fresh eating during the growing season, and perhaps extra produce for preserving. Space plants by thinning or transplanting so they are evenly spaced in the beds. Anything you can throw in a compost pile, you can use for mulch. A variety of material including wood or concrete blocks can be used for the sides. I once bought four ton of top soil and it took me two growing seasons to get it balanced in a way that would allow ANYTHING to grow in it! That was a boon! You can make permanent raised beds for disabled gardeners, just raise them somewhat higher for easy reaching. Smaller gardens also require careful management. For example, in the Southwest, Native Americans gave us the concept of the “Three Sisters” planting of corn, beans and squash. Instead of placing seedlings in rows, intensive gardening involves utilizing space-saving techniques in order to efficiently grow in a concentrated area. No need to till the path ways. Succession planting demands careful attention to days-to-maturity for each vegetable you plant, and attention to soil fertility to keep the intensively planted vegetables growing well. The difference is how they are grown. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. DON’T make the same mistake I did! Intensive gardening is a strategic way to plan your garden beds to maximize the number of plants produced. The pea plants will be finished bearing about the time the melon or squash needs the trellis. Once you’ve decided their location, plant smaller, fast-growing vegetables around them. Be warned! For successful inter-planting combinations, plan your garden around the largest, longest-growing vegetable staples like tomatoes or winter squash. They advocate r… The benefits can include greater yields per square foot, and more attractive vegetable plantings. Longer poles made of bamboo can be arranged in teepees to support climbing vegetables like pole beans. Woods treated with these materials are greenish in color. Comparing 2 Popular Intensive Gardening Methods. Plastic and string meshes can be disposed of, plants and all, at clean-up time. Redwood or western red cedar of at least two-inch thickness are long-lasting, or you may use pressure-treated wood. To prevent excessive drying and washing of soil, mulch (mulch, MULCH!!) Problems in intensive gardening. Old railroad ties have been creosote-treated, and may contain enough residue to cause plant injury. Do not bum scraps or use sawdust in the garden. A good rule is to install the sturdiest trellis you can afford. If you are interested in preserving, a smaller garden may not provide enough produce for winter use. Harvest To Table "The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson. Alan Chadwick and John Jeavons are popular proponents of biointensive gardening methods, and a number of the techniques stem from French intensive gardening. Back at the first bed, loosen the second, deeper layer of soil. I tried this in Arizona, for instance… BAD idea! Take the Self Reliant PathCome Homestead with Us! The practice of intensive gardening is not ... example, carrots and radish are commonly planted together in the same row. I had always mixed in compost before but see now that this deeper preparation works magic. Inter-plant lettuce with pole beans; the lettuce will be slower to bolt when growing in the partial shade provided by the taller beans. Raised beds are growing areas whose surface is “raised” above the surrounding area. Root crops like beets and carrots also will thrive in the looser soils of beds. A higher percentage of the available growing space is used, there is less room for weeds to grow, and water can be used more efficiently. Raised beds can be free-standing or built with more permanent sides to help hold the soil in place. A nonprofit farming cooperative in the South Bronx, New York, La Finca del Sur is led by Latina and black women. Or some of the lettuce can be removed in May to make room to sow seed of winter squash. Crowded plants yield poorly and are more subject to diseases. Also, not all types of vegetables grow well in bed culture. Developing fruit can be supported with slings made from used stockings or rags. Always handle it with gloves, and wear a mask while sawing it to avoid absorbing any of the preservative residues. Good gardening practices such as watering, fertilizing, crop rotation, composting, and sanitation are especially important in an intensive garden… An edible forest in Mexico City, Mexico with 45 tree varieties, a seed bank, and a large section of bio-intensive gardening, Huerto Tlatelolco was created with the objective of building the local community. In this style of gardening, the beds are very large, allowing gardeners to walk in the beds, rather than along established pathways, to perform garden maintenance. Removing dead plants from chicken wire fencing is frustrating and futile. If the trellis is part of your landscaping it should be aesthetically pleasing, too. Whether raised or not, the advantage of beds is that vegetable plants can be grown more closely together. Raised beds warm faster and dry earlier in the spring, allowing earlier spring planting. Certain wood preservatives can damage growing plants. The Multi-Bed Garden Plan. Raised beds can be temporary or permanent. Carrots grow especially well this way. An intensive garden minimizes wasted space. Grow crops that are richer in calories. A common error in inter-planting is crowding vegetable plants. Year-round gardening is my ultimate goal. Here is a photo of my Uncle’s garden from this spring. And it takes forEVER to stop leaching out into your soil! These include sweet potatoes, potatoes, parsnips, and leeks. For example, in one square foot you can grow 16 radishes, nine beets or one cabbage plant. We know how to solve every food, clean energy, and sensible shelter problem in every climate; we have already invented and tested every necessary technique and technical device, and have access to all the biological material that we could ever use. La Finca del Sur. Consider the eventual harvest size of the vegetables you inter-plant, and space them so that at maturity they will just be touching each other. Herbal Resources – many ways to learn about herbs! You also can organize your garden into beds, but not actually raise them. For example, by planting lettuce or spinach every two weeks, you can harvest it all season with no gaps in production. The beds are also double dug, which means that the soil is worked to twice the usual depth. Disadvantages of Raised Beds. It incorporates multiple beds. “Intensive” gardeners must pay close attention to scheduling plantings to ensure that no part of a smaller garden is left unoccupied. This is by far my favorite part of gardening… trying new things!! Transpiration is higher in plants growing upright, so they may require extra water. Biointensive farming or gardening also aims to use less water and energy than traditional gardening methods, while sustaining and even building soil that’s healthy, vigorous and alive with many different kinds of microorganisms. To manage smaller gardens successfully, gardeners must use different growing methods. You can notice these intensive pronouns being ‘bold’ in the following examples. This technique made its way to America around 1966, thanks to Alan Chadwick who demonstrated this technique on an inhospitable hillside at the University of California’s Santa Cruz campus. Begin in the first bed by digging out the top layer of soil to the depth of a shovel and move the soil into a pile near the farthest bed. This may not seem excessive until you try to make 10 to 50 beds. I swore I would never use than evil stuff again… I’d use plain string first… that stuff is awful! A traditional example of this technique is growing beans and corn together. Trellising does have some disadvantages, however. This would actually deplete nutrients from your soil. With examples, you would get a better understanding of the entire concept. The goal of the method is long term sustainability on a closed system basis. Metal posts will last longer and are easier to install than wooden ones. No, you did NOT hear me say that! Amend soil with compost or organic matter before planting, use a starter fertilizer or compost tea for early spring plantings, and top dress vegetables at the proper stage of their growth. Building and installing trellises can involve time and expense. Planting crops that have a high yield per square foot makes better use of … You can use slings to support fruit as it develops. The number of ways different vegetables can be combined is limited only by your creativity. Properly amended raised beds will have soil loose and friable enough to be turned easily with a shovel. Two gardening authors and their systems of intensive vegetable gardening have been highly influential in North America for more than 30 … It’s simply a question of your preferences, your resources and your climate. If you get the soil from an unknown source I would strongly urge you to have it tested first. Plants can be arranged to take advantage of contrasts in texture and color, making a garden more visually interesting. Staggered plantings also work well with lettuce, radishes and other fast-yielding crops. FarmHomestead is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Some growing seasons can complicate trying to stagger plantings. You can see below an example of a garden layout allowing for access to beds with paths between rows. By Victoria Bailey Bio-intensive gardening is a system of producing food that concentrates on harvesting the largest amount of crops using the least amount of resources. It's so easy—all you need are a few materials and a vision for your future garden… Permanent raised beds have supported sides. The tragic reality is that very few sustainable systems are designed or applied by those who hold power, and the reason for this is obvious and simple: to let people arrange their own food, energy, and shelter is to lose economic and political control over them. Remember, it’s YOUR garden. You can see below in my spring planting how lush and closely planted everything is. I’ve even been known to plant lettuce under my corn so it has plenty of shade. Use care when handling treated wood. Privacy Policy, « Tomato Sauce—Basic, Herbed, or Vegetables Added. Intensive gardening in some spaces, row gardens in others, tight plots and spacious expanses of field crops… all have their place. Finish by smoothing the top of the bed with a rake. Remember that later planted succession crops mature faster than earlier planted ones because growing conditions, especially temperature and light intensity, usually are more favorable. How to Store Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash. Inter-planting can be defined as planting different crops in adjoining areas to take advantage of differences in growing habits, light requirements or nutrient needs. Raised beds are not the answer for all gardeners lacking space. Dump this into the first bed, breaking up any clods of clay. Biointensive agriculture is an organic agricultural system that focuses on achieving maximum yields from a minimum area of land, while simultaneously increasing biodiversity and sustaining the fertility of the soil. See below…. Follow the usual fertilization guidelines for each crop in the inter-planting. 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