Maximal Production #

In intensive gardening, plants are grown as fast as they can, as densely as they can, and as close to year-round as possible. This is done by making sure they have the right amount of light, air, water, heat and nutrition at any given time. “Intensively managed”, if you will. Additionally, interplanting is performed with crops at various stages of growth so one crop is harvested just as another needs its space.

The market gardeners of Paris focused primarily on salad crops for fresh eating, shipped in and sold at the markets daily, and most of the writings reflected this focus. Fruit growing was its own specialty—not treated here—though the French had unique techniques for growing warm weather fruits far outside their natural climate. Traditional farming techniques were still used for grains and storage crops.

Processes #

There are several unique processes:

  • Transplanting multiple times
  • Withholding light and fresh air after transplanting
  • Transplanting very very young, barely after germination
  • Planting deeply up to the seed leaves
  • Actively removing any leaves that touch the ground, old leaves, injured leaves
  • Hoeing between shallow rooted plants to intentionally damage the roots and stimulate stronger root growth
  • Generating artificial heat from below using manures
  • Capturing artificial heat from above using cloches and frames
  • Covering plants at night to maintain the heat and protect them from the cold
  • Giving plants fresh air as needed
  • Growing in heavily-manured soil
  • Using raised beds, tilted toward the sun, with very narrow pathways
  • Aggressive pruning techniques to maximize fruit quality