Sunday, March 29, 2015

Small Space Vegetable Garden Techniques: Intensive Gardening

If you are like me and have a small space for your vegetable garden, or just want to get more out of the space that you have, an easy way to fit more plants in less space is to change the arrangement. When it comes to the vegetable garden, it becomes a game to see if I can increase production each year by learning new techniques, and I can get a little obsessed with getting the most I can out of the area. That's when the diagrams come out to find the most strategic plant arrangement possible...


Traditional gardens use rows with unused garden space between each row of plants for walking. Unless you have a large garden area, the rows in between the plants wastes a lot of gardening area. An average 3x6 foot garden planted with the traditional row arrangement will fit only ten plants that all for 12 inch spacing.
Another method commonly used in raised beds and backyard vegetable gardens is the square foot gardening method. In this method, the gardener lays out a grid in the garden with each square in the grid measuring one square foot. Therefore, in a 3x6 foot garden, you would be able to fit 18 plants. While this arrangement is a much better use of space, there are still unused areas in the corners of each of the squares that are not utilized.

Intensive gardening still follows the suggested plant spacing of 12 inches, but staggers the rows of plants to make use of the lost corner space in square foot gardening. The spacing for plants in this arrangement are measured at an angle, allowing even more plants to fit in the area. This 3x6 garden will hold 23 plants that require 12 inch spacing! 

More plants means more produce, and more produce means more yield from the space that you have. This is just one of many ways to increase your yields, but it is a very simple technique to implement in the backyard vegetable garden. I hope you have a very productive vegetable garden this year!