Series: Biointensive Gardening
- How To Grow MORE Food In LESS Space With Biointensive
- Double Digging Garden Beds To Improve Soil Health
- Biointensive Composting To Improve Soil Fertility
- Biointensive Cover Cropping To Be Self Sustainable
- How Much Of Your Garden Should Be Food Plants?
- Intensive Planting – Get More Plants In The Same Area
- Companion Planting In Biointensive Gardening
- Using Open-Pollinated Seeds And Starting Them Indoors
- The Whole System Approach Of Biointensive Gardening
Here’s a quick review of biointensive gardening.
The 8 steps are to:
- Improve your soil with 1) deep soil penetration (double digging), and 2) compost.
- Plan for approximately 3) 60% carbon crops (cover crops), and 4) 30% calorie-dense crops/10% vegetables.
- Increase yield and garden health by 5) planting intensively (close together) using the triangle method, and 6) using companion planting and crop rotation.
- Improve plant health by 7) using open-pollinated seeds and saving them every year.
And then comes the last step, 8) taking a whole system approach.
This basically means: “Do ALL of the 7 other steps – not just some of them.”
For example, if you double dig and plant intensively, you need to use compost or you’ll deplete soil fertility.
And if you don’t plant enough cover crops, you won’t be able to make enough compost in the first place.
This is one of those steps that’s easy to forget because it’s not a “how to” like the others.
But ultimately, taking a holistic approach is what organic gardening is all about – working with nature, focusing on the root causes of health and disease rather than just using band-aids, etc.
The reason I started this whole series was that I began donating a portion of my income to an amazing charity called Organics 4 Orphans.
They teach biointensive gardening in Africa to help people grow their own nutritious, medicinal food, feeding themselves and the orphans in their communities and then earning an income from the surplus harvest.
And that’s all for this series!