Intensive gardening is a well planned method of gardening which minimizes wastage of land and intends to achieve maximum produce from it. This gardening is most suitable when the land is small. Get to know different techniques used for making good use of the available land.
Intensive form of gardening is aimed at obtaining maximum sustainable yields with minimized efforts. The different aspects that have to be considered are nutrient needs, interrelationships of different crops, growing seasons, growth patterns, and shade tolerance.
This form of gardening utilizes resources to the maximum extent. The methods presented further will help in carrying out backyard gardening effectively.
This form of gardening can be carried out in the best possible way with the use of raised beds. These beds are 3-4 feet wide and vary in length. The small size of beds makes it easy to prepare the soil.
Vegetable growth in the spring season is benefited with this practice because the warming of these beds takes place quickly.
Close spacing is one of the characteristics of raised beds. Staggered rows are recommended for the intensive form of gardening.
Rows of slow-growing species are planted along with those which grow quickly. For example, plants like peas, broccoli, cabbage, and tomatoes are planted with quick-growing radishes and onions.
This method allows harvesting of plants one-by-one, in succession. In this technique, the same crop is planted in separate batches with a gap of 1-2 weeks.
By the time the first patch is raked and the crop is harvested, plants in the second one start reaching maturity. The first patch should be planted immediately with the next crop so that the cycle continues perpetually.
In this form of planting, a new crop is planted in the same space where another plant is already growing but about to reach maturity. By the time the earlier crop gets harvested, the new crop is established properly in the soil.
The French Method
The biointensive or French intensive gardening method is an organic form of gardening/agriculture. It is a form of small plot gardening which uses techniques like double digging raised beds and companion planting.
Double Digging Raised Beds
These are prepared by tilling the soil of the patch width-wise. The first trench should be dug to 12 inch deep. The soil from this trench should be further loosened (12 inches); thus, soil is tilled up to 24 inches deep.
Soil removed from the latter trench is filled in the first one. The soil in the second trench is loosened up to 24 inches. The pattern continues till the last trench which is filled with soil dug from the first one. The significance of this method is that soil is tilled below the normal level and helps in the growth of roots, and keeps them aerated.
The method uses vertical space by recognizing needs of plants. For example, deep-rooted plants can be grown with those with shallow roots. Vertical space from which they absorb nutrients is different, so they co-exist without conflict.
In this, minimum area is utilized for plants with high calorie content. Root crops like potatoes, leek, garlic, parsnips, burdocks, are suited for calorie farming. More nutrients can be obtained from smaller areas with this method.