A Journey to Grow a Little Food Close to Home

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Thoughts on the Intensive Garden

Yesterday we looked at intensive vs extensive growing. After that comparison, diving deeper into intensive gardening would seem like the next step.

Basically, intensive gardening seeks to create as close to a closed-loop system as possible. In other words, add as little outside material to the garden as possible. Some would prefer to do this with a 'set it-and-forget it' approach, like this one:

Food Forests, by the way, work like this.

While this approach has its merits (like very little work once established), it can also have drawbacks (time to establish, to some, a messy look, lack of control over harvests).

For those who would like a more 'traditional' looking garden, more management is going to be neccessary and may involve thinking like a plant...

While this gentleman might seem a bit, er, 'liberal,' what he is saying is extremely relevant - to effectively plan gardens for small spaces (i.e. kitchen gardens), growers have to think about which plants benefit each other and which harm each other. Harmful and beneficial insects need to be considered as well.

One place to start is here:

This book has been a gardener's staple for years. It outlines more helpful and harmful combinations than many would care to try to remember. By understanding these techniques (or at least being able to look them up), we can better plan for highly productive small spaces.

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