Intensive Gardening: Grow More Food in Less Space (With the Least Work!)

Blend the best principles of biointensive gardening and square-foot gardening to devise a customized, highly productive intensive gardening system.

Beauty and productivity harmonize in an intensively planted garden when you add flowers and natural, structural elements.
Photo by judywhite/
Adding plenty of compost is fundamental to intensive gardening.
Photo by Saxon Holt
The 1-by-1-foot grid pattern, a trademark of square-foot gardening, can help intensive growers portion out and make the most of limited bed space.
Photo courtesy All New Square Foot Gardening
You can even try square-foot gardening in wooden boxes on a balcony. Include flowers, herbs and vegetables for variety.
Photo by First Light/Clément Philippe/age fotos
Combine crops, flowers, steppingstones and a seat, and you’ll have a backyard retreat along with plenty to eat.
Photo by Saxon Holt
“Double-digging,” or digging and refilling trenches, is central to biointensive growing but may not be worth the work.
Photo by Amy Melious
Growing vining crops, such as pole beans and cucumbers, vertically will allow you to harvest more in a given space.
Photo by First Light/Gary Smith/age fotos
Rows of lettuce in raised beds make a space-saving, productive addition to your patio.
Photo by judywhite/
Grow in raised beds or define permanent beds and walkways to prevent soil compaction and manage garden amendments efficiently.
Photo by First Light/Reino Hanninen/age fotos

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