Welcome to Bepa's Garden!
This blog is about organic gardening, healthy eating and healthy living.
Each month I will be posting Garden To-Do Lists, Tips & Techniques, Garden Project Plans, Photos from the Garden, Recipes and Book Reviews.
I hope you enjoy reading and I hope I can inspire others to start a backyard garden!
Happy Gardening!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Planting using the Grow Biointensive Method

A few years back I came across a book called How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons and learned how to plant using  the Grow Biointensive Method of sustainable horticulture. By using this method I have been able to grow more vegetables in less space, improve the conditions of my soil organically, spend less time weeding and watering and have been getting better yields.

The first step is to prepare your beds properly by double digging them, adding organic compost and loosening up the soil to a depth of two feet. The organic matter holds moisture and feeds the plants, so you don't have to water as often. The plants roots will grow deeper to reach the water and nutrients and create stronger, healthier plants. It may seem like a lot of work in the beginning, but you only have to do it once. Once the beds are prepared you don't have to double dig them again, just loosen the soil and add more organic matter each year before you plant.

The next step is to plant using a hexagonal spacing pattern. By planting this way, as opposed to rows, you can fit more plants in an area and the leaves from the plants create a canopy which holds moisture in the soil and prevents weeds from growing by shading the soil below.

I have used this method for the past few years and have had excellent results! More vegetables, less watering and less weeding all while I build healthy soil and replacing the nutrients used by the plants.

Lettuce planted using the Grow Biointensive method.

I use wire cages to protect the plants from squirrels and other pests until the seedlings grow larger.

I also put row covers on my cages to keep insect pests from attacking my seedlings. I remove the covers when the plants reach the top of my wire cages.

To learn more about the Grow Biointensive method visit the Ecology Action website. You can purchase How to Grow More Vegetables and other books on the Grow Biointensive method from Bountiful Gardens. The book contains all the information you need to maximize the effectiveness of time and space and also contains charts that include information on seed starting, germination temps, plant spacing and average yields for each vegetable. This book, as well as the other Ecology Action books, have been valuable additions to my growing library.

1 comment:

  1. I use this method as well and have had great results!