Garden / June 26, 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
The ideal soil type for growing most crops is loam, the rich halfway point between clay and sandy soils. If you are not sure which soil type you have, hold some in the palm of your hand, wet it and try to make a ball. If it forms a tight, hard wad, then you have lots of clay in your soil. If you can not form a ball, you have sand. If the ball forms but pretty easily breaks apart, you probably have loam. No matter which type you have, you can improve both your soils structure and fertility by working compost into the top layer each year. Those with really limited space can take heart in knowing there are effective composting options suitable for even the smallest of spaces.
A community garden is also a great way to give kids exposure to food production that they might not otherwise get. We will face many challenges in the future around the issues of natural resources and food production, so the ability to grow food in one capacity or another is a skill that may be quite valuable for future generations.
The art of edible permascaping involves planting food bearing perennials in areas where ornamentals would traditionally take up space. In fact, many popular ornamentals are edible, so turning your landscape into a food-bearing paradise is easier than it might sounds. When looking at your entire property as possible ground on which to grow food, your potential to increase your yield goes up accordingly. Lawns, for instance, can easily be transformed into garden plots, flowering perenial gardens can often accomodate plants that are both beautiful and edible, even forested areas on your property can produce food and in some cases might already have something wild worth harvesting.