Maureen's Reviews > How to Grow More Vegetables: And Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains, and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine

How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons
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's review
Aug 08, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: gardening, reference, non-fiction, horticulture
Recommended for: everyone
Read in January, 1986

I am a big, big fan of this book. In my varied career as a gardener, I have tilled soil everywhere from rooftop boxes in Canada, to an herb garden at a historic house in Georgia, to a market garden in West Virginia. I have found this book to be absolutely indispensible. It describes growing using the bio-intensive method, first championed by British gardening genius Alan Chadwick, and further developed in California by John Jeavons and the folks at Ecology Action.

One distinguishing aspect of bio-intensive gardening is soil preparation. The beds are deeply dug, using the "double dug" method. While this method is very labor intensive, preparing garden beds so that the soil is loosened two feet down gives the plant roots room to expand, and the plants to thrive. Another characteristic of bio-intensive gardening is that the plantings are not laid out in straight lines. Instead, the seeds or seedlings are laid out in a pattern where each plant has an amount of space between it and the surrounding plants in a grid pattern. Since the double dug beds are higher than the surrounding land, it is possible to even plant on the sides of the mounded earth. This results in a much more efficient use of the land.

Also included are very comprehensive charts for vegetables and garden crops; grain, protein and vegetable oil crops. and cover, organic matter, and fodder crops. Using the information in this book, anyone can grow a flourishing garden organically. For more information on growing bio-intensively, go to

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