Book Review: Grow More Vegetables (Grow Biointensive) By John Jeavons

John Jeavon’s How to Grow More Vegetables is not just a detailed manual for gardeners but an exposition of a style of gardening which breaks the norm from organized gardening.  Jeavons uses soil science to explain how plants can benefit from being grown in closer proximity than is usually accepted.  He points out that by growing plants close together you can reduce the amount of water and soil lost by evaporation and wind as well as being able to use less land for agriculture.  Jeavons acknowledges that some soil and nutrients will always be lost though while gardening and thus a gardener must be constantly building up his soil by composting items which are grown in the garden (as well as compost from outside).  In this way a plant which drew up nutrients from the soil will be broken down during composting and it’s nutrients released back into the soil for other plants to absorb.

The book contains many easy to replicate methods for different types of composting for different environments.  He also provides information on compost makeup as well as dos and don’ts of composting.  In the back of the book are extensive lists of pant rotation charts, plants which benefit each other when grown near each other and other companion planting advice.

Jeavons calls his methods Grow Biointenstive, and claims that they are more sustainable than most current gardening practices.  One of the methods he claims to have invented is a method of double digging in compost to soil.  In this method the compost is easily interspersed into the soil by use of a shovel with the least amount of digging necessary, something that anyone who has dug holes can appreciate.  I recieved this book a few months ago and have very much appreciated looking through it and have learned a lot of useful information.