Planting Records Archive

Intensive Planting for the Mini-Farmer

Interested in gardening but shy on space? Intensive planting may be the technique for you. Contrary to traditional row gardening, intensive gardening involves maximizing your plant-able square footage in part by eliminating the space between individual rows. This is most easily accomplished through the use of raised grow beds that are designed to a scale that makes them manageable from the outer perimeter.

A good size grow bed to consider for the averaged height adult around 5-ft 8-in to 6-ft tall would be 3.5-ft to 4-ft wide by whatever length works best for your gardening space. If possible, run your beds east-west to maximize light exposure. For those who can’t build grow beds, container gardening approaches are worth looking into.

Strategic planning will enable you to take advantage of vertical space as well by planting vining or pole varieties. When combining a variety of plants it is important to consider the final overall plant height of what you plan to grow together. Planting a tall plant in the front of the grow bed, such as corn, could shade out plants in the rear causing stunted growth.

To view one of my plans for intensive gardening visit: Side Yard, East Bed Planting Plan.

Recommended Reading: Mini-Farming, Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Brett L. Markham.