Planning for a Square Foot and Bio-intensive Garden

This year I am going to push my garden into a square foot garden and Bio-intensive garden. I want to make sure my limited space has as much production as possible! to do that I will be implementing a few goals and take the time to plan my garden out. If you are a new gardener I HIGHLY recommend going out and getting the Square foot garden book even prior to you making your garden beds!

Goal 1 Increase Production: This goal is not only the larges but complex as well. That said it can be achieved through careful planning. The Square foot Garden book give you a good idea of maximizing the production from a square or rectangle bed. There are some limitations I have noticed. Bio-intensive gardening methods will be added mostly in two respects:

1. Companion Planting: Square foot Gardening Most of those limitations have to do with how plants like peppers and tomatoes grow in my garden. So I have pulled them out of my square foot area and will plant them in my perimeter gardens which are not square. I am going to pair deeper rooting plants with shallow ones. this should allow me to grow larger tomatoes or vines with leafy greens or herbs at the base.

2. Growing Vertically: crops that vine like cucumbers, grapes and kiwis can take up a terrible amount of space if left on the ground. They can be nicely fit into most small gardens if grown vertically. This year I will be showing a number of ways to grow vertically. This includes trellising, obelisk and other neat little tricks.

Goal 2 Grow More Perennials: Perennials are plants that will grow year after year and give you great produce to eat. Given the right type of care you can very cost effectively get food! Some of the most common home grown perennials are things like strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb and some leafy greens. In my garden I have Seascape Strawberries that won the 2013 strawberry head to head competition I completed last year. I also have my heirloom Lampi and Legaree grapes that I got from my grandfathers. My trusty rhubarb and raspberries I picked up at a garden center a few years back has been producing and was the center of my Raspberry Rhubarb wine making entry from a few weeks back. All of these perennials have videos on my YouTube channel that feature them.

This year I am expanding the number of perennials I am growing. I was shocked to find our a few months ago that Goji (Wolf) Berries and Hardy Arctic Kiwis are hardy to my zone. I will be adding Jerusalem Artichokes and Horse Radish in pots to prevent them from taking over my in ground garden beds.

Goal 3 Participate in the Biochar and rock dust home garden field trials: I have spoken about this a few times and am excited to continue to advocate for the testing of these natural organic products. I want to see if they have a beneficial impact on my garden. If they do I may increase the use of them in my soils! The link is below to our Google + page where we have more information on this years trials.

Goal 4 Extend my season: Here in Zone 3 we get about 120 day growing season. Some years we get lucky and can stretch an extra 10 or 20 days. With some simple cheap methods I should be able to start my garden earlier and end it later. This will help me continue to enjoy the products from my garden even when snow is on the ground.

Goal 5 try new things! I know this kind of sounds vague but it is a goal I will always have. I look to my friends and viewers on YouTube and Social Medial to help me out with this. If you have suggestions I am absolutely more them happy to try things out!

Follow me as we try to achieve all of those goals!

Home Garden Field Trials Google + Page

About Stephen

The Alberta Urban Garden Channel hopes to promote organic gardening that is simple, sustainable and does not have to cost a lot. We do this by investigating the Science behind gardening, methods, practices and products to make sure that you will have the best chance of successfully growing your own food at home.