Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wide Row a Go Go

by Michael

In my previous articles I talked about the Row Gardening and Square Foot gardening methods. In this article I will discuss another method which seems to be a mixture of the two called Wide Row Gardening. This is a method we haven't used before so the information I will give you is from research and not from experience. I think we are going to do some row gardening and wide row gardening in our garden this year.

Wide Row gardening is similar to traditional row gardening in that you use rows, however the rows are wider than traditional rows. Instead of one row you might add 3 rows together to make a wider row that is 2 to 4 feet wide. The picture to the right from the Colorado State University Extension website is a good example of what wide rows looks like. The rows are about 2 to 4 feet wide and they are raised and filled with beautiful composted soil. Seeds are then scattered throughout the row and then thinned once they start growing.

Advantages of Wide Row Gardening

  • Wide row gardening has less unused space than traditional rows because of the so it has better yields than row planting.
  • Harvesting is easier as you can collect more produce from a single point.
  • You never have to walk on the soil so it damages soil and it's consistency less than other methods.
  • Plants are planted closer together so they shade the ground and it retains moisture better.
  • Since plants are closer, it is harder for weeds to grow so less weeding is needed.
  • Wide rows are usually raised which allows gardeners to control what is in the soil better. This allows people with soil that doesn't drain, or drains to much to change it's composition easier.
Disadvantages of Wide Row Planting
  • Because plants are closer together than in traditional rows, they will yield less per plant.
  • Since there are more plants in a smaller space, the plants use up more nutrients and it is a little harder on your soil.
  • The rows are wider so it can be harder to work compost into your soil at it is harder to reach the middle of the row.
  • Some gardeners argue that wide row planting requires more watering. This can be negated by adding compost over the years and using a drip system in the bed.
Now it's your turn to share. Have you used the wide row planting in your garden? What are the advantages and disadvantages of this method? What other thoughts do you have about this article?

11 comments:

Rachel said...

This is the method I use and definitely my preferred method. I wouldn't say you get less yield though because the plants are spaced out the same as in rows but because you have less area relegated to walking paths you get more plants in the same amount of area.

We also don't have a nutrient problem because we dump compost/manure on the beds at the end of the season. This helps because it means we don't have to turn it into the soil as the winter rains work everything in for us.

Kristina Seleshanko said...

This is the method I use; I call it "berm gardening." We had lousy soil, so I bought some good garden soil and shaped it into berms. All my friends told me the berms would wash away in the rain, but they did not erode at all according to the naked eye. I really like the method. It has many of the benefits of raised bed gardening; the soil is warmer than traditional row gardening, and so my growing season is extended slightly, too. I don't find I have to water it more than traditional rows.

teekaroo said...

I like this method. It feels like a good compromise of the two other methods. There is less wasted space for walkways, and the soil warms faster.

MAYBELLINE said...

Since you have the room, this looks like a winner.

garden design sydney said...

Reading the article and get information on wide row gardening and also find the advantages and disadvantages. I like this method very much and it feels like a good compromise of the two other methods. Thank so much for this information.
garden design sydney

Callie said...

Reading about your gardening is very interesting and makes me want to try it out. When the snow ever leaves I'm going to be trying out gardening in beds this year. Great post. The chicken coop looks like it will work out fine.

David said...

Wide row gardening is nothing more than raised beds without the wooden barriers. The barriers are only there to make things look pretty in the back yard for me. If I were to have a country place with more space it's the method that I would use. It is much cheaper to make a wide row as opposed to the 2X12s and stakes of a traditional raised bed.

Have a great wide row day.

David said...

Oh, yeah, and by the way the Colorado State University Extension website rocks. It's one of the best for gardening information in the country and I've gone to a lot of state extention websites.

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Edward C. Smith has a book on what he calls the W.O.R.D. method of gardening: Wide Rows, Organic Methods, Raised Beds (not in boxes), and Deep Soil. His book is called "The Vegetable Gardener's Bible" and it is an EXCELLENT resource that I use constantly.

marisa said...

Looks like I will be buying another book. Thanks for the recommendation.

agriculture world said...

good method