Intensive Gardening: Growing Organic in Small Spaces

What is Intensive Gardening?

Gardening in small spaces uses an intensive or close spacing that is not the traditional spacing like you see on the back of your seed packets or use in the traditional row garden. It is designed to fit a lot more plants into a smaller space than would normally be required if traditional spacing were used. To be successful, this approach relies on optimum soil texture and fertility so that plants do not find it necessary to compete with each other for the nutrients they need to grow and produce fruit. Using raised beds makes this easy as it keeps the amended soil contained.

Good Soil is the Secret to Success

For some time now we have recognized that there is a whole world beneath the soil; small microscopic organisms that are necessary for the life and health of plants. These organisms are responsible for creating an ecology that enables the plants to feed and take up water; so we must protect that system by doing no harm to these organisms. By avoiding toxic chemicals, synthetic fertilizers and practices like excessive tillage that are harmful to soil organisms and using natural amendments, we allow the plants to excel.


Good texture provides soil that is loose and friable and allows plant roots to penetrate through it easily. This is accomplished by the addition of organic matter, which also increases the soils ability to take in and store water.

The Root of Intensive Gardening

Every plant has a different growth pattern above the ground and we are more familiar with it as compared to their roots. Having the knowledge of plant allows you to use the space in a better manner. We know that placing larger plants like beans around the smaller plants like radish gives us a chance to use the light and space in more effective way, but what about the underground growth pattern? Do you know that every plant has a distinctive growth habit under the ground? Once you get the root patterns, you can grow a lot of plants in a small amount of area. For example, you can mix a deep root plant with small root plant, so there will be no competition for water and nutrient at the same soil level. Through understanding the above and below ground habits, you can enjoy a lot more crops than now.

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