In my latest video, I cover some of the benefits of single-row gardening:
You can also watch this new video on Unauthorized.TV, ad-free.
When you need to grow food fast, simple and time-tested gardening methods are the way to go. Just because single row gardening is no longer as common as raised beds and intensive gardening does not mean it isn’t a great method.
For market gardening and survival gardening, it’s hard to beat the ease and simplicity of this tried and true method. In a very short period of time and with limited resources you can get a lot of food fast.
This garden is planted in single rows with 3′ in between rows, allowing us to garden with little to no irrigation as well as use very little fertilizer. It also makes the entire garden exceptionally easy to weed, especially with my favorite wheel hoe.
Gardening doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck and I hope everyone will learn that from my writing and videos.
As The Fishing Hole writes in the comments on YouTube:
Thank you! I just about gave up on gardening a few years ago because of YouTube gardening videos. I’m sitting on 25 acres of land, but i had my poor husband out building raised beds. I was crawling around on the ground laying down plastic weed suppressing fabric and trying to figure out how to get everything to grow vertically. I bought expensive bags of worm castings and lost an entire potato crop to potato bugs, which I was trying to kill with dish soap. I watched this woman planting in her raised beds while reciting poetry and teaching me how to use a black light at night to find and squish horn worms on tomatoes. I had planted enough seeds for a zillion acres of farm land, and I ended up with like four tomatoes, six beautiful asparagus spears and a gigantic parsley bush (which I never watered, weeded, or looked at). No food, no fun, and no poetry. Then I watched your videos, and I thought, “Hey, I’ll just throw some seeds out, try to weed, and possibly fertilize with diluted urine. I’m STILL digging potatoes that I forgot I planted, sweet potatoes that I never weeded, and tons of other food, some of which we ate tonight. No kidding, you are a voice crying out in the wilderness, and you saved me from boutique gardening. And thank you for not caving to trends. Grow on, my brother!!!!
One of the primary things I’ve learned about gardening over the years is to grow what works in your area, as well as try a variety of methods to see what works best for your climate and soil.
Another commentor, Chris Johnson writes:
David I have read most of your books some of them 3 or 4 times. You seem to have changed your focus. Is this because this is being grown for a market garden?
And I responded:
Yes – and also poor soil, no irrigation, needing food fast and much more space than usual. Like I said, single rows are not my primary method but are a useful tool. I have only gardened this way once before, back in 2015 on some borrowed land without irrigation.
This is my previous experiment with single-row gardening.
That was part of a larger plot we planted on a property in North Florida back in 2013. Unfortunately, the owner turned out to be a sociopathic narcissist who later tilled our crops under while we were out of town, but before he did we had enough success to know the method worked.
Those rows of corn were fed with just DFSW (high in chicken manure) and did fine without supplementary irrigation.
My current row gardens had some fish emulsion and Dyna-Gro for minerals, as well as a little 10-10-10 just after planting. They’re really looking good.
Don’t be afraid to try different methods and experiment with the great gardening styles of the past.
Especially when you don’t have irrigation. As Steve Solomon wrote to me after I posted my video:
“Gardening without (much) irrigation only works well in single rows well spaced. Your soil has very little capacity to hold moisture, yet it went for weeks without watering. Had you used wider in-the-row spacing it could have gone twice as long without watering.”
Wide spacing works! The modern intensive gardening movement is, like many other modern movements, not nearly as good as advertised.