Wide Row Gardening
Rather than plant single straight rows in your garden, try planting wide rows. Several advantages are listed below along with some general instructions for creating wide rows. You'll get more yield in less space, and your garden will require less maintenance.
Advantages of Wide Rows
- Increases Yield More square feet of space in your garden will be used to grow plants. There may be a slight decrease in production per seed, but the increased production per square foot more than makes up the difference.
- Saves Time Because the ground will be shaded, less time will be spent watering and weeding.
- Saves Mulching You will only need to mulch between rows. The shade provided by the plants eliminates the need for mulching in the rows.
- Makes Harvest Easier You will be able to pick a lot more from a single location.
- Delays Bolting Your cool weather crops such as lettuce and spinach will not go to seed as quickly in a wide row.
- Reduced Nematode Damage The soil temperature will remain more constant, discouraging nematodes.
- Makes Companion Planting Easier You can spread more than one type of seed in a wide row. When you sow root crops such as beets, carrots, and radishes with other plants, you cultivate and aerate the remaining plants as you pull up the roots.
- Keeps Plants Cleaner In a heavy rain, mud will not splash up on you produce. This reduced damage and keeps the plants healthier.
Creating wide rows
Mark off rows that are 16 to 36 inches wide with string. If you are planting small seeds, broadcast them as you would for a lawn. When the plants germinate, thin aggressively. It's hard to throw away the healthy little seedlings, but keep in mind that plants that are crowded will be small and sickly. Thin repeatedly as your plants grow. When they reach an edible size, thin out the largest plants and allow the smaller ones to continue to grow. Larger seeds such as beans and squash can be carefully spaced at planting time, eliminating the need for thinning.