Image by Edinburgh Greens
By Kathleen Mierzejewski
For better soil quality and space saving in the garden, consider biointensive gardening. Keep reading for more information on the biointensive planting method and how to grow a biointensive garden.
What is Biointensive Gardening?
Biointensive gardening focuses a lot on the quality of the soil. When a farmer uses biointensive gardening, they will loosen up the soil at least twice as deep as normal gardening preparation. This way, their plants’ roots can penetrate through the soil deeper and get more nutrients and water from deep underground.
Another important aspect of biointensive soil building is compost. It is important to return nutrients into the soil after plants have taken them out of the soil. With a biointensive planting method, you will put compost, usually made up of dry leaves and straw, kitchen scraps and clippings from the yard, back into the soil by mixing it into the ground really deep. It will allow for larger yields for your crops because the soil will be so much more nutrient rich.
Biointensive sustainable garden plants include any plants you can plant in your garden. The difference is how they are grown. You will place your plants in more space saving arrangements, and this way your biointensive gardening efforts will be fruitful. Farmers are using the land more efficiently, and are able to plant more in the space they have.
How to Grow a Biointensive Garden
Usually, in normal planting, you would plant rows of lettuce, and rows of peppers, etc. With biointensive gardening, you would go ahead and plant your rows of lettuce. They grow close to the ground and can grow close to each other. Then, you would plant peppers among the lettuce because they grow taller, and have tall stems. This will not interfere with the lettuce growth and the lettuce won’t interfere with the pepper growth because the peppers actually grow above the lettuce. It is a great combination.
The biointensive planting method includes no single planting of plants and no mechanized equipment if at all possible. The biointensive soil building belief is that machinery uses too much energy and leaves soil too susceptible to erosion. Because it is heavy, it also compacts the soil, which means all the double-digging that was done to prepare the soil was for naught.
Another thing that is part of the biointensive planting process is the use of open-pollinated seeds instead of genetically modified seeds. Because the goal of biointensive gardening is to incorporate all natural gardening in the farm, they will not use anything modified.
The main goal of biointensive soil building is to improve the soil. By double planting the soil and digging deep and adding compost back when your crops are done growing, you are improving the soil for each new crop.