Garden / June 14, 2018 / Oriane.
Fertile soil that retains nutrients and water is one of the keys to success with intensive planting, which is a fancy way of saying planting a lot in a little area. America’s intensive-growing tradition has two fathers: John Jeavons and Mel Bartholomew. In his classic 1974 book, How to Grow More Vegetables Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, Jeavons introduced Americans to French intensive-gardening techniques, notably deep soil preparation through double-dug beds and intensive crop-planting patterns. Seven years later, Bartholomew offered a new way to think about these patterns in a classic book of his own
Crop Rotation is a great tool for keeping pests and diseases out of the vegetable garden. Rotating your vegetables so they grow in different areas of the garden each year is an excellent way to cut down on diseases and insect pests that over winter in the soil. This really is not possible in small vegetable gardens. You will just have to be vigilant about not letting problems get out of hand. If a large scale problem should occur, such as squash beetles or septoria leaf spot on tomatoes, seriously consider not growing the crop for a year. It will be a sacrifice, but one year without is better than several years of a disappointing crop.
If your gardening space is big enough for raised beds, they can be a great way to maximize space and effort. Not only can raised beds accommodate more plants per square foot, but gardening in a raised bed greatly reduces the need to weed. It also makes weeds much easier to uproot throughout the season, which can be a real blessing for your back.
Vegetable gardening used to be the poor relation of ornamental flower gardens. Perennial borders reigned and large, messy, vegetable gardens were hidden in the back yard, usually the domain of the man of the house. Vegetable gardens were about producing food, not beauty. Now that vegetables have taken a more prominent place on the table, they are gaining more respect in the gardening world. And with the increased interest from home gardeners, there has been a surge in the development of new varieties: colorful novelty vegetables, heirlooms, ethnic varieties and compact growers.