May 27, 2018 - Learn how to maximize what you can produce in your vegetable garden with these intensive methods. I got a number of railroad ties for free. 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. Once established, especially with permanent “sides,” it may be difficult to use a standard size plow or tiller for cultivation. If you are interested in preserving, a smaller garden may not provide enough produce for winter use. Beds are a more efficient way to organize the garden than rows, especially for small-sized vegetables. Whether raised or not, the advantage of beds is that vegetable plants can be grown more closely together. Carrots grow especially well this way. Plants can be arranged to take advantage of contrasts in texture and color, making a garden more visually interesting. Metal posts will last longer and are easier to install than wooden ones. 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. Basically, the intensive pronouns find their purpose in putting emphasis on the statements. (Source: HouzBuzz) Companion Planting. Be warned! Run them as a straight fence (upper left), in zigzag pattern (upper right), with space between the frames (lower left), or as an arbor (lower right). Use care when handling treated wood. A tomato plant for example, may require the sole use of a compartment, while crops like carrots can be seeded over the entire area. If you get the soil from an unknown source I would strongly urge you to have it tested first. This technique may be useful for container growing or where space is extremely limited, but will demand correspondingly more attention by the gardener. Inter-plant lettuce with pole beans; the lettuce will be slower to bolt when growing in the partial shade provided by the taller beans. As in any system, intensive gardening has a few problems. The creosote they use to soak those things is really toxic. The spacing should be whatever the seed packet recommends for spacing between plants. Biointensive sustainable garden plants include any plants you can plant in your garden. 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. 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. You can make permanent raised beds for disabled gardeners, just raise them somewhat higher for easy reaching. Or some of the lettuce can be removed in May to make room to sow seed of winter squash. You also can avoid crowding by inter-planting fast growing vegetables with slow growing vegetables, for example, radishes or lettuce with tomatoes. Permanent raised beds have supported sides. Posts can be used to support plastic or string mesh, or chicken wire. The beds will settle some through the growing season of course. One of the better things I did when I lived in the desert was put a drip hose in the beds of vegetables that needed the most water. 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. (based on a book of the same name by Mel Bartholomew). An inter-planted garden does not resemble a traditional garden with all the vegetables planted in smart little rows. 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. Move to the second bed and remove the top layer of soil. Additionally, vegetable plants can be trained on trellises to provide welcome summer shade to smaller cooler seasonal things like lettuce, spinach, or beets; or privacy screens, as well as to produce food for the table. Soil improvement efforts are focused on the beds alone, not in the paths. Note: Soil preparation is the key to successful intensive gardening. Orient trellises to run in an east-west direction, and locate them on the north side of the garden to avoid shading other plants. Raised beds are growing areas whose surface is “raised” above the surrounding area. Notice the two different raised bed techniques…. 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. Once marked, you can use a hoe or rake to move soil from paths up into beds. A variety of material including wood or concrete blocks can be used for the sides. Longer poles made of bamboo can be arranged in teepees to support climbing vegetables like pole beans. The gardener can sit on the edge of the bed to work. Growing plants closer together demands particular attention to pest control, fertilization and training of plants. The type of vegetable determines what kind of trellis used. the sides of the beds with an organic mulch like straw, leaves or grass clippings. Many Europeans garden using a system commonly referred to as the French Intensive Gardening method, which originated in 1890 on a small plot of land on the outskirts of Paris, France. The practice of intensive gardening is not ... example, carrots and radish are commonly planted together in the same row. Calorie-dense crops such as potatoes are emphasized in order to achieve this in a small area. Woods treated with these materials are greenish in color. If you try something that doesn’t work, well, how about that! Root crops like beets and carrots also will thrive in the looser soils of beds. Intensive gardening methods The purpose of an intensively grown garden is to harvest the most produce possible from a given space. Safe preservatives include salts of copper, chromium and arsenic (indicated by combinations of initials like CCA or CAC) or by trade names like Osmose and Koppers. For some people, a small-sized garden is preferable to a larger one. Dispose of scraps and sawdust in a landfill. This may not seem excessive until you try to make 10 to 50 beds. See below…. I swore I would never use than evil stuff again… I’d use plain string first… that stuff is awful! The fast growing radish acts as … Make the inter-planted area no wider than what you can easily reach across to keep from trampling plants. Two gardening authors and their systems of intensive vegetable gardening have been highly influential in North America for more than 30 … Properly amended raised beds will have soil loose and friable enough to be turned easily with a shovel. The initial labor and cost to establish the beds may be high. In this type of garden, much of the area is taken by the space between the rows. To manage smaller gardens successfully, gardeners must use different growing methods. You can notice these intensive pronouns being ‘bold’ in the following examples. These crops tend to produce a good yield in small areas (Like a backyard). 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. Anything you can throw in a compost pile, you can use for mulch. A common error in inter-planting is crowding vegetable plants. 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. Take the Self Reliant PathCome Homestead with Us! Improved air circulation can even further reduce diseases. An example of intensive gardening is growing radishes and carrots in the same space. I tried this in Arizona, for instance… BAD idea! All trellises or climbing supports should be installed while plants still are small to avoid disturbing the roots of course! Plastic and string meshes can be disposed of, plants and all, at clean-up time. Just wire them on and VIOLA! If the trellis is part of your landscaping it should be aesthetically pleasing, too. Instead of placing seedlings in rows, intensive gardening involves utilizing space-saving techniques in order to efficiently grow in a concentrated area. The pea plants will be finished bearing about the time the melon or squash needs the trellis. Similarly, vining squash or melons can be sown between trellised pea plants. 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. Better yet, use mulches (mulch, MULCH!!) Or, do you … Choose High-yield Crops. Old railroad ties have been creosote-treated, and may contain enough residue to cause plant injury. Certain wood preservatives can damage growing plants. 1.2: Vertical Gardening The use of trellises, nets, strings, cages, or poles to support growing plants constitutes vertical gardening. Smaller gardens also require careful management. It is truly a wonder to behold. By the time the tomato plants are bearing, the lettuce or radishes will be harvested. Raised beds warm faster and dry earlier in the spring, allowing earlier spring planting. Follow the usual fertilization guidelines for each crop in the inter-planting. Some examples of these crops include wheat, Barkley, rye, and wheat. Lots of gardeners use vertical growing to save space in the garden. How to Store Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash. Remember that later planted succession crops mature faster than earlier planted ones because growing conditions, especially temperature and light intensity, usually are more favorable. Intensive Gardening Method Raised Beds. P.S. For example, by planting lettuce or spinach every two weeks, you can harvest it all season with no gaps in production. Once you’ve decided their location, plant smaller, fast-growing vegetables around them. So step one in intensive gardening is soil preparation. It's so easy—all you need are a few materials and a vision for your future garden… 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. Planting crops that have a high yield per square foot makes better use of … An intensive garden requires detailed planning, but the time saved in working the garden and the increased yields make it well worthwhile. Disadvantages of Raised Beds. You can see below an example of a garden layout allowing for access to beds with paths between rows. No, you did NOT hear me say that! For successful inter-planting combinations, plan your garden around the largest, longest-growing vegetable staples like tomatoes or winter squash. DON’T make the same mistake I did! A traditional example of this technique is growing beans and corn together. Privacy Policy, « Tomato Sauce—Basic, Herbed, or Vegetables Added. Dump this into the first bed, breaking up any clods of clay. Building and installing trellises can involve time and expense. Root crops like carrots and beets still can be sown in rows, but plant two or three rows the length of the growing bed. Schedule plantings so no area of the garden remains empty for long. Growing vegetables in containers is another type of intensive gardening and is described in Container Gardening. Write us and let us know what works for you and what doesn’t! 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. Smaller gardens require less labor and expense than larger gardens. “Intensive” gardeners must pay close attention to scheduling plantings to ensure that no part of a smaller garden is left unoccupied. Climbing supports must be sturdy, especially in windy sites. Raised beds are not the answer for all gardeners lacking space. Planning an Intensive Garden The purpose of gardening intensively is to harvest as much produce as possible from a given space. You can make a vertical frame of electrical conduit fastened with slip fittings, or 1/2 inch water pipe with threaded elbow couplings (detail). Do you appreciate the rugged appeal of recycled tires in your garden? You also can organize your garden into beds, but not actually raise them. More traditional gardens consist of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely apart. You can first outline your freestanding beds by marking out a tilled area where you intend to make your beds. It incorporates multiple beds. Wooden posts should be treated with a preservative or they may last only one season. For example, in one square foot you can grow 16 radishes, nine beets or one cabbage plant. Raised beds are not the answer for all gardeners lacking space. We may also earn a commission from purchases made at other retailers linked from our site. The BEST thing in the world I have found are cattle panels. You will place your plants in more space saving arrangements , and this way your biointensive gardening efforts will be fruitful. I’ve even been known to plant lettuce under my corn so it has plenty of shade. ARGH. Year-round gardening is my ultimate goal. To prevent excessive drying and washing of soil, mulch (mulch, MULCH!!) to control weeds; this will GREATLY reduce watering needs. La Finca del Sur. Rather, inter-planted gardens have a mosaic effect with paths oriented around the inter-planted areas. Flowers will be more exposed to the wind, which may discourage pollinators like bees, and can cause flower abortion. A good rule is to install the sturdiest trellis you can afford. There is simply NO describing the feeling of going outside after a high wind only to find your prize melons pushed over backward on the ground and the vine snapped in two at the base!! You don't need a lot of space for plants to thrive. Alan Chadwick and John Jeavons are popular proponents of biointensive gardening methods, and a number of the techniques stem from French intensive gardening. To grow all the vegetables you want, you may have to use transplants instead of direct seeding, which will increase your costs. 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. Container and Pot Sizes: How Much Soil Do I Need. Melons and squashes do not naturally twine and will have to be trained initially by weaving stem ends through mesh openings. , Herbed, or vegetables Added use transplants instead of placing seedlings rows. 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