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MailTribune.com
  • Gardening intensely

    Double-digging, companion-planting, plant-snipping and more help to bump the harvest
  • When it comes to gardening, nobody can accuse Steve and Monica Farnsworth of taking the easy way out.
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  • When it comes to gardening, nobody can accuse Steve and Monica Farnsworth of taking the easy way out.
    The Farnsworths are carving out a garden site on their 1.5-acre piece in Talent using a technique called "French intensive gardening," which is a lot like it sounds: intensive.
    The idea is to plant veggies, flowers and herbs close together in blocks, not in the neat, little rows so commonly seen. Similar to an approach known as square-foot gardening, French intensive gardening is aimed at squeezing maximum production out of small spaces.
    But to do it right, you need to spend some time — and effort — getting your ground ready because deep, fluffy, well-fed soil is the key to making it happen.
    "The soil needs food just like we do," says Monica, as husband Steve holds out a fistful of dark-brown soil full of earthworms and organic matter.
    Their soil didn't start out that way. As any Talent gardener can tell you, the ground in this part of the county could win awards if they gave blue ribbons for clay content. The Farnsworths have spent seven years "double-digging" small plots that are roughly 5 by 6 to 5 by 10 feet in size, doing a few more beds each year.
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