High Yield in Small Spaces 

Carol Burton, Urban Harvest’s Director of Garden Education, shared tips for success for intensive gardening.  See a PDF of her slide presentation and the text from our Zoom chat.

I’m always looking for people to talk about intercropping and intensive planting methods to make better use of space and for benefits such as nutrients, microclimates, and pest reduction,  Because Nature doesn’t like monocultures or bare soils.  And because it’s prettier.  When I saw this series of videos touring the Urban Harvest teaching garden, I reached out to them for a speaker.

I believe most plants want to be together and to be closer together than usually recommended. I observed this at the Last Organic Outpost community farm where volunteers frequently sowed seeds thickly and closer together than recommended by “mistake.” I used to spend hours thinning beets, lettuces and the like before I observed that not only did it not have to be done, the unthinned plants were bigger.  I have since seen research that suggests that competition is an issue when the soil is lacking soil microbes, and not so much in soil that is teaming with life.  Also, there is more collaboration in nature than competition.

Check out this video about a Houston gardener from the Youtube show Growing Your Greens. (Tip: you can skip the first 4 minutes of the video)  I was hoping to have him as a speaker, but he no longer has this garden.