Sunday, June 1, 2008

Steps to Biointensive Gardening

-- Double-dug, raised beds. Loosening the soil to a depth of 24 inches allows roots to penetrate more deeply and creates a raised bed effect. John Jeavons' video "Dig It" demonstrates an Aikido-style movement that makes double-digging almost effortless.

-- Composting. A healthy compost pile is key to replenishing the soil.

-- Intensive planting. "Ignore the spacing instructions that come with your seeds. Plant seedlings so close that when they are mature, the leaves touch. This keeps soil moist and prevents weeds from sprouting.

-- Companion planting.

-- Carbon farming. Corn, millet and oats, along with other seed and grain crops, make up an important part of the diet and provide plenty of high-carbon additions to the compost pile.

-- Calorie farming. Growing a year's food supply means focusing on high- calorie, space-efficient foods like potatoes and parsnips.

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