How to Grow and Manage Successful Food Plots


You can grow enough food for a complete vegetarian diet for one person in just 2,800 square feet of garden, according to Ecology Action. This group began in 1972 in Palo Alto, California, and began a gardening revolution based on the biointensive method. That area is just more than 50 feet by 50 feet, so it's possible to produce a large amount of produce in a suburban backyard.

Step 1

Prepare garden beds by soaking the areas you plan to plant with water for two hours. Let it sit for two days.

Step 2

Lay about 1 inch of organic compost over your beds and rake it even.

Step 3

Double dig the compost into your planting areas: Dig out a furrow about one shovel head deep in a row at one end of your first bed and save the soil. Then dig down another 8 inches and turn that soil over. Continue to the row next to your furrow, dumping the first layer back into the first furrow you dug and continuing down to the end of the bed. When you reach the last row, fill it in with the soil you saved from your first furrow.

Step 4

Rake the bed level and water it well. Then spread other organic materials over the top and spade them in. Good additions can include kelp, wood ashes, eggshells and blood or bone meal.

Step 5

Plant seeds or bedding plants close together in your completed biointensive bed. This method produces a rich growing environment that will support more plants in a smaller area.

Step 6

Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch around your plants to retain soil moisture and keep weeds from starting. Compost is a good substance, but you can use fallen leaves, grass clippings and other organic materials with success.

Step 7

Keep your garden well watered (consider installing a drip irrigation system) and fertilize once each month with fish emulsion or other plant food. Control insect pests with insecticidal soap spray or another natural remedy.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost
  • Digging fork or shovel
  • Rake
  • Mulch
  • Insecticidal soap spray
  • Fish emulsion


  • "How To Grow More Vegetables;" John Jeavons; 1974
  • Ecology Action: A Sustainable Solution for Growing Food

Who Can Help

  • John Jeavons
Keywords: organic gardening, biointensive growing, vegetables food

About this Author

Barbara Fahs lives on Hawaii island, where she has created Hiā€˜iaka's Healing Herb Garden. Barbara wrote "Super Simple Guide to Creating Hawaiian Gardens," and has been a professional writer since 1984. She contributes to Big Island Weekly, Ke Ola magazine, and She earned her B.A. at UCSB and her M.A. from San Jose State University.