GROW INTENSIVE

seedlings-08.jpg Squash, cucumbers, beans, tomatoes and pepper are up!

Let the planting season begin!

Succession Intensive Square Foot Gardening” means planting as much as you can in the smallest of plots. Our motto here on the urban homestead is that “small is beautiful and productive.’ Even the smallest plot can provide one/two people with a supplement of herbs, vegetables and even fruit.

Succession: Planting one after another

Intensive: Planting types of plants that have compatibly rooting systems

Square foot gardening: Plants are spaced as close as possible but leaving ONLY enough room for each root to get nutrients without stealing for the next plant

Back in the the late 1980’s someone gave us a copy of How To Grow More Vegetables and we’ve been experimenting with intensive plantings ever since. I remember planting our huge garden in Florida (10 acres) as a kid and following the recommended spacing on back of the back of the seed packet.

Well that planting conformity is history! We threw the “recommended planting distance” out ages ago and are now growing in every square inch of ground (and slowly even taking up airspace) of our garden.

Think, er, grow outside the box. Do be afraid to experiment – this ain’t your grandparents garden. Learn new growing ways, be creative. Of course some ideas/experiments will fail and some will, hopefully, be successful. Start with little experiments and watch yourself and your garden grow. With the majority of us stuck here in the cities it’s time to redefine agriculture by growing food in every available square inch. With a little work and commitment your plot may even be more productive than one twice it’s size!

Any of you urban aggies out there keeping harvest yields per square foot?

:: Resources ::

Square Foot Gardening
Links & Resources
Intensive Planting Method
How to Grow More Vegetables

No Comments

  1. Devin Quince says:

    I did some quick perusing, but could not find anything on the layout of your garden. Our pot is very similar to yours and we are wondering what you grow on the different sides of your plot, i.e. North, South, etc.
    Namaste,
    Devin

  2. Kristi says:

    I’m not urban (we live on an acre up North), but last year my 400sq ft veggie garden + four young apple trees produced 180lbs of food for our family. This year’s goal is 250lbs, and if it’s a good fruit year, possibly 300lbs. Thanks so much, PTFers, for your inspiration!

    Kristi

  3. Jennifer says:

    Anais
    That is exactly what I’m trying to do in the UK. We have just finished building our raised beds! You can see the pics of my beds on my facebook entry: Jennifer Ovington

    I’m really excited about it and never realised I could grow so much in such a little space. I even have a ‘pea/bean’ wall on my kitchen extension. Who knew?

    Jen

  4. Anais says:

    Kristi and Jennifer

    Thanks for the comments and sharing with us and our readers what you are growing. With rising food cost and food shortages this year is shaping to be a growing year!

    Our family wishes you a bountiful and productive growing season.

    Whenever you get a chance keep us posted!
    Anais

  5. Anais says:

    Greetings Devin

    Yes, the main PTF site is a bit overwhelming and hard to navigate and that’s our next web project is to improve and update the the information of all that’s being accomplished here on the urban homestead.

    In the meantime, charts, diagrams, etc of the garden can be found at

    THE URBAN HOMESTEAD AT A GLANCE:

    http://www.pathtofreedom.com/urbanhomestead/ataglance.shtml

    Happy Spring!
    Anais

  6. Amber says:

    We harvested just over 1 lb/sq.ft last year (400lbs from 350 sq.ft). We’re trying to up that this year with an expanded garden! Thank you for your inspiration!

  7. Sharon says:

    Here’s some info where Albie Miles planted intensively in wide beds and collected yield data.
    http://www.cityfarmer.org/albie.html

    There’s some confusion in the fresh vegetable data and the cups per day, and Albie is planning to look back through the data to straighten out the info.

    To estimate the pounds per square foot, maybe a couple of people could weigh their own vegetables to get a weight estimate where he lists cups for the fresh vegetables. And I don’t know if the cups of vegetables as listed in the table are raw or cooked, so that might need to be clarified as well.

    His goal was to grow a complete nutrition garden. So maximizing the weight of particular crops was important, but crops were chosen to maximize and balance the nutrients and to provide a comfortable amount of food to eat per day.

  8. Kory says:

    absolutely! in prior years I had been doing things the amature way, one season, one planting. I picked up the Jeavons book this winter and it had truly been a Godsend. I don’t there there is another book out there that covers as much ground as this one. I start seeds in 2 days (according to the chart) and I am going to copy the 100 sq foot plan to get the hang of it this year. I will be tracking yields and hope to see at least 100 lbs. I have started a series of posts on my blog about this too.

  9. Devin Quince says:

    More questions on the gardening. Looking at your beds, I think they are either 4×8 ro 4×10, would this be accurate? We are looking either 4×4 or 4×8, maybe 4×10 beds for our garden this year. What would be your recommendation?
    Thanks,
    Devin

  10. Anais says:

    Greetings Devin

    Thank you for your comment (and recent donation – much appreciated)

    Yep, you judged right! Our raised beds are 4×8. With raised beds it’s all about what works for you – your garden plan, design and ease of use.

    We also have a few smaller 4×4 beds in certain sections of the back garden. The garden was created in sections a little a time – starting back in 1985. So some raised beds are smaller than others. If you are planning your garden all at once it’s helpful to draw out a schematic with the measurements of your raised beds. That way you get to see it on paper before you actually build it!

    Hope this information helps.

    Happy planting!
    Anais

  11. Anais says:

    Sharon,

    Thanks for the link! You continue to provide us with valuable resources/links. Thanks again for sharing.

    Anais

  12. Growingafamily says:

    Hi there,
    A couple of things really.
    We are still mostly in containers this year (mostly as baby 2 is due today), and are building our raised beds soon. we will have 5 6×4 raised beds, with maybe 2 2×2 beds for squash ??
    We are hoping to get a greenhouse to get the tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, gherkins, chillies etc going in our UK climate.
    We are not sure what to do with potatoes ?? how many would you put in per SQFT ? Salad and regular sized ??

    Also can anyone recommend nice herbs and possibly edible flowers that will grow in partial shade for our front yard (want to use all the space we have), thanks.

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