Definition of Intensive Planting
A general term used to describe several techniques that may be used to maximize the productivity of a given plot of land. Often referred to as French intensive gardening to give credit to the French market growers who developed many of these techniques, including:
- using season extenders such as a cold frame to start plants earlier or keep them going past the first few frosts;
- using intercrop techniques - often in a wide row planting situation;
- catch cropping to take advantage of an otherwise unused planting bed; and/or
- relay planting of the same vegetables within a single growing season
A modern twist on intensive gardening is commonly called square foot gardening
Whatever it's called, intensive gardening requires paying close attention to the soil, regularly adding amendments to replenish what has been depleted; good hygiene practices including crop rotation to avoid carrying pests and diseases from crop to crop; and ensuring that the soil does not become compacted - raised beds are a good idea for intensive planting situations as well as in larger gardens.
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