Bio-intensive gardening, anyone?
by Jelly Pearl Potectan
He said that bio-intensive gardening is one of the best known intensive farming methods that promote efficientagricultural techniques that small farmers and gardeners can use to produce safe and quality food. It is an important part solution to the problems of starvation, malnutrition, dwindling energy, unemployment, and exhaustion or loss of arable land in third world nations, he added.
Acosta noted that there are five principles done for intensive gardening. First is to raise “grow beds” to improve drainage, aeration, easier root penetration, and weeds are easily pulled. Raised “grow beds” also provides more actual growing space.
Second is close plant spacing that allows more plants to grow per unit area. Under this technique, the leafy canopy shades the bed and cools the soil temperature, conserves moisture and discourages growth of weed. However, it is important to be aware of the crop’s growing habit, root spread, mature size, amount of water needed, and nutrient requirement in order to achieve improved productivity of space and to maximize and conserve valuable seeds.
Third is “High soil fertility”. Intensive farming requires a fertile, well balanced soil rich in organic matter content, he said.
Fourth is “Succession planting” which requires a considerable understanding on each kind of crop, each cultivar, germination rate, days to maturing, light and shade tolerance, compatibility with other crops, and rooting patterns.
Fifth is “crop rotation”. Here a crop of the same kind are not planted successively in the same place. Plant crops of the same botanical family are not grown in the same bed for two years in a row.
Bio-intensive gardening is being done at the “Master’s Garden” in Longlong, La Trinidad, Benguet. At the “Masters Garden,” Acosta said that he grows French beans, sugar beets (cylindrical), Broccoli (54 days), cabbage (45 days), carrots (54 dayscolored), cauliflower, celery, cucumber (Japanese variety), greens (Arugula), Lettuce (8-12 variety, Roamine, Lolo Rosa, Lolo Bionda, ButterHead), Peas (salad), and tomatoes all year-round for the market.//