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.
- 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.