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Just Grow It

Intensive Planting

Intensive Planting

Intensive Planting

I was first introduced to the concept of intensive planting on an olive tree farm north of Santa Rosa, California somewhere around 2005.  I remember asking the head gardener if someone hadn't thinned the beds yet and what was going. He proceeded to give me some amazing knowledge about a growing style he referred to as intensive planting. Thanks for the knowledge and all the olive oil my friend.

Intensive planting is a way of spacing crops in order to produce and harvest as much as possible from an allotted space.  Intensive planting is not just about plant spacing it takes other factors into consideration; growth pattern, size of the plant at maturity, shade tolerance, nutrient needs, and growing season.  A productive intensive requires planning but with all these factors you can plan and produce a year-round productive garden.

Below is a chart that discusses plant spacing

Plant

Spacing (inches)

Asian Cabbage

10-12

Leeks

3-6

Asparagus

15-18

Lettuce, Head

10-12

Bush Bean

4-6

Lettuce, Leaf

4-6

Lima bean

4-6

Melons

18-24

Pole Bean

6-12

Mustard Greens

6-9

Beets

2-4

Okra

12-18

Broccoli

12-18

Onions

2-4

Brussels Sprout

15-18

Peas

2-4

Cabbage

15-18

Peas, Southern

3-4

Carrots

2-3

Peppers

12-15

Cauliflower

15-18

Potatoes

10-12

Cucumber

12-18

Pumpkins

24-36

Chard

6-9

Radishes

2-3

Collards

12-15

Rutabaga

4-6

Corn

15-18

Spinach

4-6

Endive

15-18

Squash- Summer

18-24

Eggplant

18-24

Squash- Winter

24-36

Kale

15-18

Tomatoes

18-24

Kohlrabi

6-9

Turnips

4-6



* Remember when intercropping, or growing multiple varieties within close proximity to one another, in order to figure out spacing, take the average of the 2 crops.  

For example, if I am growing heads of lettuce (spacing of 10-12”) and beans (4-6” spacing) together I would take the average of the two. I would use the spacing of (11+5)/2= 8”.  


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