It allows more weeds to flourish, and limits what can be produced per square foot. given to a way of using garden space and soil nutrients to produce high yields of flavorful crops. (Connect with nearby gardeners on MOTHER EARTH NEWS' new Facebook pages for each state and province.) His primary goal is to grow food sustainably, using as few inputs from outside of the system as possible. Quickly replanting any gaps left after harvesting a particular crop lets you use every area of the garden throughout the year. If your yard provides partial shade, plant vegetables and herbs that tolerate those conditions (lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, chives, cilantro, parsley, and thyme). 6. Do you appreciate the rugged appeal of recycled tires in your garden? 8. Ease of working 4. Follow these natural gardening instructions for success no matter where you live or the condition of your soil. Using mulch to keep the soil covered is effective at smothering germinating weed seeds. Raised beds are not the answer for all gardeners lacking space. 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. Adding plenty of compost is fundamental to intensive gardening. I love this article. 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. Aug 6, 2020 - Explore Traylynn's board "Intensive Gardening" on Pinterest. Grow calorie-efficient root crops, such as potatoes, in about 30 percent of the growing area. 1. Ordinary hardware-store variety tools do not hold up to double digging. Jeavons’ biointensive gardening system is based on developing fertile soil in permanent garden beds that you initially dig to a depth of 2 feet. Essentially, you crowd them together. Adapt to local conditions. 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. Beauty and productivity harmonize in an intensively planted garden when you add flowers and natural, structural elements. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. 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). 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. Don’t despair; get creative. 10. Charles Dowding has also been running a dig vs no-dig experiment for 11-12 years and found that overall, no-dig produces more. Loosen soil in raised-bed planting sites by “double-digging” to a depth of 2 feet. Use synergistic planting (also called “companion planting”) so that plants grown together enhance each other. Survival Skills, Garden Planning, Seed Saving, Food Preservation, Natural Health – Dozens of courses, 100+ workshops, and interactive Q&As. Even intensive beds that are very small will grow a huge yield of produce. They don’t need to be elaborate, but recording when and what you plant, harvest dates, and notes on pest problems is a good idea so you have this information and can make well-informed adjustments when you plan next year’s garden. Building and preparing an organic garden using natural No Dig Gardening methods Easy steps for building a vegetable garden. Go permanent. 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. Rain gutters provide an ideal space … 9. Well said. The initial labor and cost... Trellis and Vertical Growing. I did buy the CD of past issues when I first ordered my subscription. 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. A raised bed is simply when the level of the soil is higher than the surrounding ground. Intensive planting suppresses weeds, as the leaves of nearby plants quickly fill in and shade the soil. var sc_project=6987103;var sc_invisible=1;var sc_security="b66b96b1"; from Intensive Vegetable Gardening to Vegetable Gardening Advice Home, from Intensive Vegetable Gardening back to Planning A Vegetable Garden. 8. 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). It also makes soil compaction a nonissue, because you walk on permanent pathways and never on your growing areas. Create a “closed,” interrelated growing system in which enough organic matter is produced by your “mini-farm” to sustain the soil within the system. 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. This garden plan is another exact layout. 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. 9. Simply, group several different species closely together in the same plot. 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. Generous applications of compost increase the nutrient- and water-holding capacity of sandy soils and improve the structure of clay soils. Without turning over the soil, I lightly fork compost and other amendments into the top couple of inches once a year, which takes me about 15 minutes for an 8-by-4-foot bed. 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. While this may go against everything you’ve ever learned about gardening, it works. Be cheap. account? Where I live, for example, the high risk of root disease in the onion family and for potatoes makes four-year crop rotations smart for these, but I don’t worry about allowing long rotations for other vegetables. For example, a row of bush beans, then a row of carrots, then another row of beans, and so on. International Subscribers - Click Here The use of these strategies will help contribute to the overall good health of the garden and create a small ecosystem that is sure to be enjoyed by both the gardener and beneficial insects. While it is often used with raised bed gardens, there is no reason it cannot be utilized in traditional in ground gardens as well. The use of intensive vegetable gardening methods can increase the yield per square foot by a great amount. See “10 Tenets of Biointensive Gardening” later in this article for the skinny on this system. Compost on-site and use compost to amend and build your soil. The organic matter in compost also increases soil’s water-holding capacity and improves its texture. 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. 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. 1. Melons, cucumbers, pole beans, peas, and other vining plants also will do well and save space by the use of trellises, fences, or cages. Intensive Vegetable Gardening - A Total No Dig Plan. 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. They advocate r… Another principle is to make small beds, no more than 3-4 feet wide, and alternate rows of above ground and under ground vegetables. Disadvantages of Raised Beds. Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST). Rows of lettuce in raised beds make a space-saving, productive addition to your patio. Posted on August 13, 2012 by Peggy Layton. A few of these benefits are: 1. Perhaps the ultimate in cheap fertilizer is “pee-cycling,” which merits wider acceptance for its effectiveness. 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. Solar Gardening: Growing Vegetables Year-Round the American Intensive Way: Poisson, Leandre, Poisson, Gretchen Vogel, Wimbiscus, Robin: 9780930031695: Books - Amazon.ca More traditional gardens consist of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely 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. 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. Foot paths are only between the beds. The vining plants that are vertical will need more water than if sprawling however, so you will need to keep an eye on them. Other good reasons to convert from rows to an intensive garden system: Less effort. Two gardening authors and their systems of intensive vegetable gardening have been highly influential in North America for more than 30 years. don't have an online Whether permanent beds should be raised, however, depends on the site and on personal preference. Practice low-maintenance gardening, with no digging, tilling, soil prep, soil testing or cultivating. The beds are never stepped on, so the soil stays fluffy and not compacted for excellent growth of plants. 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. What's the easiest way to grow more vegetables with little labour - and fewer pests? Staggered planting and, thus, staggered harvests are more efficient for the gardener and maximize the growing season. Employ tools minimally — you should only need a trowel for transplanting, a pencil for poking holes and lifting seedlings out of pots, and scissors for harvesting. 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. The system you choose should take into account your location, … The effectiveness of using permanent garden beds is undisputed. Consider growth rate above and below ground when interplanting flowers and vegetables. Personally, I figure the less time and effort it takes to grow food, the more time there is to enjoy it! 2. That’s hard to argue with! It also reduces disease and insect infestations that could become severe if the same areas are used each year for something like tomatoes. In very hot areas they might need some shade screen to reduce water loss. Water conservation A raised bed should be just wide enough that you can reach all the way across without climbing into it (or, if you can acce… 10. For a large garden with more space, however, growing compostable or “green manure” crops may be the most practical way to build the organic matter in your soil. 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. Blend the best principles of biointensive gardening and square-foot gardening to devise a customized, highly productive intensive gardening system. Creating minimal disturbance has led to a bountiful garden with less work on my part. 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). Close planting will reduce the weeds, as they will be crowded out eventually. Fresh veggies from garden to table in as little as 8 weeks. The beds can be raised, but it's not required in order to use this method. 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. The first term is “multiple cropping”. High-density mixed planting. 2. Hi, thanks for stopping by. Apply no chemicals. 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. More food—less space. You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues. Because earthworms, plant roots and soil insects are so good at aerating soil, I’m happy to leave it to them. (Go to Free, Homemade Liquid Fertilizers for more information on this method and other liquid fertilizer options.). 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. Suggestions? Like to read more content, Join the Mother Earth News Community Today! The space you save by going vertical with these large plants can then be used for interplanting, another principle of intensive vegetable gardening. Permanent, intensive beds in the vegetable garden is a centuries-old practice that has stood the test of time because it is so effective. Add no fertilizer; rely on the compost in the growing medium for nutrients. Here is a cool free reference chart for planting and growing vegetables. Intensive Vegetable Gardening You can maximize the productivity of the garden using intensive gardening techniques. 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. Achieve staggered harvests with succession planting. You can even try square-foot gardening in wooden boxes on a balcony. Intensive Vegetable Gardening In Small Spaces. 2. Raised beds are growing areas whose surface is “raised” above the surrounding area. Despite such differing approaches, both sets of techniques deliver high-yielding food gardens thanks to four common features, all of which I recommend. 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. 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. Fill boxes with a growing medium made of one-third peat moss, one-third vermiculite and one-third blended compost. The use of intensive vegetable gardening methods can increase the yield per square foot by a great amount. The principles of include going vertical, by the use of trellises and cages for large plants that ordinarily would sprawl everywhere. Three ways to garden intensively are spacing plants closely together, intercropping, and succession cropping. 5. Most of us prefer to have a continuous supply of fresh tomatoes during the growing season anyway. 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. Less soil compaction. As soon as you pull out one food plant, you drop in another - of a different species. Be sure to check the variety you plan to purchase to make sure which type it is. Coconut coir is a more sustainable option. 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. This method is a LOT of work the first year. Tire gardening. It will give you more area to plant while still producing full or nearly full crops from your garden plants. … If this is possible, please tell me how to do this. In No-Till Intensive Vegetable Culture, O’Hara describes the methods he has developed, which are completely free of herbicides or other pesticides and require only a few acres of land and minimal capital investment. He prescribes raised beds of only 6 inches deep for most crops, filled with an artificial mix of peat moss, vermiculite and compost. 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. I quickly discovered, despite Jeavons’ cheery instructions, that this was a daunting amount of work. 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. Root vegetables like carrots, radishes, and beets might also work if your site gets at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Improved soil conditions 3. 5. When I initially encountered Jeavons’ book in the 1970s, I set out to follow his technique for double-digging my garden. The space you have available and the ease with which you can transport materials will also influence your gardening decisions. Intensive Gardening Method Raised Beds. After you know what problems occur in your region, you know which crops to rotate. Weeding is, for most, a dreaded task, but it can be almost eliminated by smart planting. After digging one bed, I decided to skip the rest and live with the consequences — except none seemed to crop up. 4. Interspersing crops with different root depths, plant heights and growth rates also means you can grow more in a given space. The soil must be very loamy and fertile. Or, don’t make compost at all: Just leave organic material on the soil to decompose. 7. How To Grow Lettuce In A Rain Gutter Plant salad greens in rain gutters. Also, soils that receive less disruption have more beneficial nematodes, earthworms, soil mites and other microorganisms wriggling and crawling about. 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. Linda A. Gilkeson holds a doctorate in entomology and has been educating gardeners through workshops and writing for more than 20 years. 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. Plant dual-purpose, carbon-efficient crops — such as grains — in about 60 percent of the growing area. 3. Feb 14, 2013 - by Peggy Layton Are you interested in gardening, but you have limited space? 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. Already a Member? Multiple Cropping. 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. Once these plants are harvested, a new crop can be sown for harvesting in fall. 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. Are you interested in gardening, but you have limited space? Check out “10 Tenets of Square-Foot Gardening” below for more on this method. 4. Permanent garden beds. An intensive garden mini- mizes wasted space. Intensive gardening combines many of the other vegetable growing methods mentioned on this website. A key to the high productivity of both systems is that they take advantage of the entire surface of each bed to grow plants rather than leaving spaces between rows. This can, however, require a slight shift from the “clean soil” garden aesthetic some value. Neither Bartholomew’s artificial planting medium nor Jeavons’ repeated double-digging takes full advantage of such hardworking critters. (Such crops provide a significant amount of dietary calories as well as a significant amount of carbonaceous material for composting.) Can I also view this on the internet?I really enjoy reading Motherearthnews, so would appreciate it if I could read past issues. Sow only the number of seeds needed in each square to avoid wasting seed. 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. “Double-digging,” or digging and refilling trenches, is central to biointensive growing but may not be worth the work. 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). Of course, if your best sunny spot is a paved parking lot, by all means, build raised beds (the deeper, the better). 3. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. Space crops tightly in a hexagonal planting pattern. The soil in the beds should be tilled to at least an 8-12 inch depth. The goal is to have the plants just, or almost, touching by time of harvest. It incorporates multiple beds. Unless you plan on canning large amounts of tomatoes, however, that won't really be an issue. One of my problems is compost: I just don't generate enough to create any. Growing vining crops, such as pole beans and cucumbers, vertically will allow you to harvest more in a given space. See more ideas about Veggie garden, Backyard garden, Vegetable garden. The objective of such a system is maximum profit for the farm. With time and experience, and based on the region and circumstances, every gardener tailors his or her system to what works best. Use soil (if you have it). Leave wide aisles (at least 3 feet wide) between your growing boxes to easily work in your beds and maneuver between them. Combine crops, flowers, steppingstones and a seat, and you’ll have a backyard retreat along with plenty to eat. 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. Higher yields 2. Double-digging raised beds is hard work, especially in clay soils or if you... You must have the right tools to double dig. Has been educating gardeners through workshops and writing for more than 30 years cages for large plants ordinarily. Plants between maturing crops hold up to double dig, and limits what be... 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