The pea plants will be finished bearing about the time the melon or squash needs the trellis. The number of ways different vegetables can be combined is limited only by your creativity. The goal of the method is long term sustainability on a closed system basis. 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. Backyard gardeners can easily employ intensive gardening methods to increase both the variety and yield of crops they grow. 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!! Good gardening practices such as watering, fertilizing, crop rotation, composting, and sanitation are especially important in an intensive garden… Here are the principles and methods of intensive vegetable gardening: Soil improvement: The soil is well-prepared before planting. I swore I would never use than evil stuff again… I’d use plain string first… that stuff is awful! Soil improvement efforts are focused on the beds alone, not in the paths. Year-round gardening is my ultimate goal. You can use slings to support fruit as it develops. You can notice these intensive pronouns being ‘bold’ in the following examples. The fast growing radish acts as … The tendency of the soil in raised beds to dry faster may increase the need for irrigation later in the season. See below…. Some examples of these crops include wheat, Barkley, rye, and wheat. Tire gardening. 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. You can see below in my spring planting how lush and closely planted everything is. Carrots take about 15-20 days to sprout and 90 days to reach maturity; radishes come up quickly and are ready for harvest in only 30 days, so when planting carrots from seed in your garden you can plant radishes at the same time, just tuck them in between the rows of carrots. “Intensive” gardeners must pay close attention to scheduling plantings to ensure that no part of a smaller garden is left unoccupied. Root crops like carrots and beets still can be sown in rows, but plant two or three rows the length of the growing bed. For example, by planting lettuce or spinach every two weeks, you can harvest it all season with no gaps in production. La Finca del Sur. the sides of the beds with an organic mulch like straw, leaves or grass clippings. This would actually deplete nutrients from your soil. The initial labor and cost to establish the beds may be high. For example, GB is like a stool that only works if it has all its legs. Most gardeners practice a simple succession planting in row gardens by following a lettuce planting in spring with a late crop of, say, beans, or by staggering plantings of beans or sweet corn to ensure a steady harvest. 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. Raised beds are not the answer for all gardeners lacking space. No need to till the path ways. By the time the tomato plants are bearing, the lettuce or radishes will be harvested. Building and installing trellises can involve time and expense. Disadvantages of Raised Beds. 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. No, you did NOT hear me say that! With examples, you would get a better understanding of the entire concept. Avoid materials which have been treated with creosote or penta (pentachlorophenol). This is a good option for gardeners with sandy soil that would dry too quickly if formed in raised beds. A wide variety of trellising materials is available. Raised beds can be temporary or permanent. They are about four to five feet high and I connect them with steel posts. You can even design wheelchair access growing beds to be three feet high and no more than two feet wide. Two gardening authors and their systems of intensive vegetable gardening have been highly influential in North America for more than 30 … Woods treated with these materials are greenish in color. Always handle it with gloves, and wear a mask while sawing it to avoid absorbing any of the preservative residues. You can make permanent raised beds for disabled gardeners, just raise them somewhat higher for easy reaching. Once marked, you can use a hoe or rake to move soil from paths up into beds. Privacy Policy, « Tomato Sauce—Basic, Herbed, or Vegetables Added. P.S. Or, do you … If you are interested in preserving, a smaller garden may not provide enough produce for winter use. I cover various intensive and non-intensive gardening methods in-depth in my new book Grow or Die: The Good Guide to Survival Gardening. An example of intensive gardening is growing radishes and carrots in the same space. . How Accountability Is Key To Self-Discipline, Know About Hydroponic Nutrients and Their Benefits, The GMO Agenda Takes a Menacing Leap Forward with…, The ideal emergency preparedness food: Sprouts. This may not seem excessive until you try to make 10 to 50 beds. You will place your plants in more space saving arrangements , and this way your biointensive gardening efforts will be fruitful. 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. 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. 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). As in any system, intensive gardening has a few problems. 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. Lots of gardeners use vertical growing to save space in the garden. Besides saving space, vegetables grown this way are easier to pick and may have less rot because the fruit does not contact the soil. For successful inter-planting combinations, plan your garden around the largest, longest-growing vegetable staples like tomatoes or winter squash. Also, not all types of vegetables grow well in bed culture. Flowers will be more exposed to the wind, which may discourage pollinators like bees, and can cause flower abortion. For some people, a small-sized garden is preferable to a larger one. You don't need a lot of space for plants to thrive. Developing fruit can be supported with slings made from used stockings or rags. Plants like lettuce and radishes can be sown by lightly sprinkling seed over the bed and gradually thinning young plants to their recommended final spacing. Old railroad ties have been creosote-treated, and may contain enough residue to cause plant injury. To manage smaller gardens successfully, gardeners must use different growing methods. Use care when handling treated wood. (Source: HouzBuzz) Companion Planting. Do you appreciate the rugged appeal of recycled tires in your garden? Your email address will not be published. Melons and squashes do not naturally twine and will have to be trained initially by weaving stem ends through mesh openings. Basically, the intensive pronouns find their purpose in putting emphasis on the statements. Use small tools like onion hoes, or pull weeds by hand. It’s simply a question of your preferences, your resources and your climate. Smaller gardens also require careful management. Once you’ve decided their location, plant smaller, fast-growing vegetables around them. Alan Chadwick and John Jeavons are popular proponents of biointensive gardening methods, and a number of the techniques stem from French intensive gardening. Longer poles made of bamboo can be arranged in teepees to support climbing vegetables like pole beans. Transpiration is higher in plants growing upright, so they may require extra water. 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. The practice of intensive gardening is not ... example, carrots and radish are commonly planted together in the same row. In this type of garden, much of the area is taken by the space between the rows. More traditional gardens consist of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely apart. The Multi-Bed Garden Plan. Attach strings to support the plants. Dispose of scraps and sawdust in a landfill. I tried this in Arizona, for instance… BAD idea! Redwood or western red cedar of at least two-inch thickness are long-lasting, or you may use pressure-treated wood. Planting crops that have a high yield per square foot makes better use of … It’s for CHICKENS… period. Posts or supports for trellises can be made from metal, wood or plastic like PVC pipe. DON’T make the same mistake I did! The beds are also double dug, which means that the soil is worked to twice the usual depth. (I guess it really just depends on how long your arms are!). "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. But the weeds that do grow must still be controlled. Dump this into the first bed, breaking up any clods of clay. Make freestanding beds no higher than eight inches or they will dry too quickly or be washed easily by rains. If plants are not naturally twining, they will have to be trained or secured to trellises, and heavy fruit will require additional support. A variety of material including wood or concrete blocks can be used for the sides. The type of vegetable determines what kind of trellis used. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Types and Installation An intensive garden requires detailed planning, but the time saved in working the garden and the increased yields make it well worthwhile. Eventually the winter squash plants will cover the entire lettuce bed. Raised beds are growing areas whose surface is “raised” above the surrounding area. Intensive Gardening Method Raised Beds. to control weeds; this will GREATLY reduce watering needs. Biointensive sustainable garden plants include any plants you can plant in your garden. We may also earn a commission from purchases made at other retailers linked from our site. Calorie-dense crops such as potatoes are emphasized in order to achieve this in a small area. Raised beds can be free-standing or built with more permanent sides to help hold the soil in place. Remove plants once their initial flush of bearing is over. Once established, especially with permanent “sides,” it may be difficult to use a standard size plow or tiller for cultivation. 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. Whether raised or not, the advantage of beds is that vegetable plants can be grown more closely together. Wooden posts should be treated with a preservative or they may last only one season. Some growing seasons can complicate trying to stagger plantings. Improved air circulation can even further reduce diseases. Comparing 2 Popular Intensive Gardening Methods. For example, in the Southwest, Native Americans gave us the concept of the “Three Sisters” planting of corn, beans and squash. Live and Learn! (based on a book of the same name by Mel Bartholomew). Take the Self Reliant PathCome Homestead with Us! Plastic and string meshes can be disposed of, plants and all, at clean-up time. The BEST thing in the world I have found are cattle panels. Orient trellises to run in an east-west direction, and locate them on the north side of the garden to avoid shading other plants. This is by far my favorite part of gardening… trying new things!! Six to 15 hours of physical labor are required to make each bed. Inter-plant lettuce with pole beans; the lettuce will be slower to bolt when growing in the partial shade provided by the taller beans. An intensive garden minimizes wasted space. 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. Similarly, vining squash or melons can be sown between trellised pea plants. How to Store Harvest, Cure, and Store Winter Squash. A traditional example of this technique is growing beans and corn together. Better yet, use mulches (mulch, MULCH!!) Herbal Resources – many ways to learn about herbs! (unless of course that’s your intention!). To prevent excessive drying and washing of soil, mulch (mulch, MULCH!!) The beds will settle some through the growing season of course. For some gardeners a small garden is not practical. I’ve even been known to plant lettuce under my corn so it has plenty of shade. A nonprofit farming cooperative in the South Bronx, New York, La Finca del Sur is led by Latina and black women. 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. If you try something that doesn’t work, well, how about that! 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. Decreasing garden size provides more yard space for other activities. Careful management is the key to successful intensive vegetable gardens. They are cheap and they aren’t hard to move around either! It's so easy—all you need are a few materials and a vision for your future garden… A common error in inter-planting is crowding vegetable plants. Harvest To Table The benefits can include greater yields per square foot, and more attractive vegetable plantings. Without a doubt, the greatest drawback is the labor involved in double-digging the beds Initially. You can make a vertical frame of electrical conduit fastened with slip fittings, or 1/2 inch water pipe with threaded elbow couplings (detail). A good rule is to install the sturdiest trellis you can afford. Move to the second bed and remove the top layer of soil. 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. Schedule plantings so no area of the garden remains empty for long. 1.2: Vertical Gardening The use of trellises, nets, strings, cages, or poles to support growing plants constitutes vertical gardening. Rather, inter-planted gardens have a mosaic effect with paths oriented around the inter-planted areas. You can see below an example of a garden layout allowing for access to beds with paths between rows. 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. 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. Intensive gardening methods The purpose of an intensively grown garden is to harvest the most produce possible from a given space. In your design, consider the different growing habits of vegetable plants: for example, combine upright plants like caged tomatoes with a scattering of scallions, or grow melons around sweet corn. Posts can be used to support plastic or string mesh, or chicken wire. And to think I could have saved myself all that trouble by NOT using raised beds in the first place! The creosote they use to soak those things is really toxic. Most crops are adaptable to growing in beds, but small-sized vegetables like lettuce, greens, dwarf or bush varieties and cabbage perform the best. Growing plants vertically can mean higher yields per base area. All trellises or climbing supports should be installed while plants still are small to avoid disturbing the roots of course! 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