Harvest Intervals In The BioIntensive Garden. It’s Not a Race, But Many Crops Mature Very Quickly. Here Are Some Potential Maturity Dates & Harvest Timings.

Vegetable Harvest Intervals In The BioIntensive Garden will vary throughout the year as day length, temperature and light intensity changes with the seasons. And your soil type, altitude, geographic location, microclimate and various other factors will influence maturity dates. But if you understand how fast crops can grow, plan your sowings and interplant, you can grow much much more per plot each year.

Part of the secret is starting seeds in modules and transplanting them into the spaces between maturing crops. This way you “save” weeks in the growing cycle. For example my father used to plants brassicas between the potatoes before harvest. And in containers I often sow radish between salad crops before completing the salad harvests. Then as the mature I’ll drop coriander modules between them. And then another crop of leaves. It means I grow several crops in the time other grow many fewer. It’s biointensive growing.


We do of course need to consider the definition of when veg are ready to eat. For example, many veg, such as coriander, can be eaten as microgreens. And root veg such as beetroot can be eaten as the golf ball size root that many of us enjoy, or can be left to grow much bigger. But beetroot can also be eaten as a salad leaf crop or even a microgreen. I could give more examples but I guess you’ll now be expecting me to use that phrase we often hear in the garden .. It depends.

Because yes, vegetable maturity depends entirely on what you are trying to harvest, and a pack of seeds can offer many options, and it depends on so many external factors that affect growth. As I said previously, a prime example I often quote is coriander. There is a huge difference in maturity dates between micro green coriander and that grown for seed!

At risk of many readers saying these dates don’t match their experience, I’ve posted them here anyway. These are the potential harvest intervals that I’ve experienced in a variety of situations. As gardeners are used to being flexible with advice and expectations. I know you’ll use the figures I’ve provided and adjust the intervals for your own situation. What I’ve provided here is a starting point that you can tweak to suit your garden or allotment. And do you know what, I bet the two locations wil give slightly different results! Thats the fun of gardening.

Direct Drilled or Module Grown Plants

Years ago traditional gardeners sowed their veg direct into the soil, in seed beds. Today many of us use modules or blocks in which to start our plants and then transplant them. This is how I grew fields of lettuce when I had a market garden.

Crops such as lettuce and celery are amongst those that respond well to growing in soil blocks/ modules. They are easier to care for when grown en masse like this and take up less space and need less water. Commercially I grew half a million lettuce a year like this. Other crops grown in soil/compost blocks included toms, peppers and chillis (up to10,000 of each annually) plus cues. Toms and peppers would be transplanted into blocks at the cotyledon stage and planted out at around 5 weeks. Cues needed planting a bit quicker or they became too tall to handle. Lettuce would be sown in the modules and planted when they had 3-3 true leaves. Depending on time of year that could be as quick as 14 days but was longer in winter.

I now grow most plants this way. The exception being those root crops where the root can be restricted in modules. Especially carrots and parsnips (which can both be fluid drill as germinated seed if you so wish .. more on that in another post).

Please Answer The Vegetable Harvest Interval Question

Variety is another factor that affects maturity date .. but I’ve prevaricated too long. It’s time to look at some potential harvest intervals. Here are my suggested Harvest Intervals In The BioIntensive Garden. Consider growing them in contemporary hot beds and you’ll become very biointensive.

The table below displays best on a wide screen …. but can be scrolled from side to side if need be.

There’s been very little written about biointensive gardens. However I believe it’s a concept we need to explore if we are to feed a growing world. It’s not to be confused with organic horticulture, though might share many features.

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