Biointensive Gardening

If you want to grow a lot of food, in a small space, using not too many resources…

And are willing to put in some work in order to accomplish that…

Biointensive gardening may be for you.

How Much Of Your Garden Should Be Food Plants?

If you’re trying to grow most of your own calories, it makes sense to grow calorie-dense food, which especially points to root crops such as potatoes and parsnips.

When growing biointensively, 30% of the land is often allocated for this.

With 60% of land going to ‘carbon’ and 30% going to ‘calorie’ crops, that leaves just 10% for vegetables.

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Biointensive Cover Cropping To Be Self Sustainable

Many of us get our compost materials from elsewhere, perhaps the garden center or a local farmer.

And that’s okay. Most of us are gardening on the side, doing other work that enables us to purchase these inputs, thus helping out the person we’re buying them from.

If a garden store or farmer is selling or giving away straw or manure, you’re helping them out my buying or taking it, so I have no problem with this.

But if we want to be truly self sustainable, we should be growing our own compost materials.

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Double Digging Garden Beds To Improve Soil Health

When following biointensive gardening principles, the way to relieve compaction, improve drainage and promote deeper root growth is by double digging garden beds.

If you’re on especially sandy soil, you might be able to skip it. I’m on clay, which is why I double dig a couple of beds each spring for my potatoes.

By moving my potatoes every year, it ensures each part of my garden will get double dug at some point.

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