A typical suburban home lot is enough land to create a functional garden that supports the fruit and vegetable needs for a family of four. By practicing intensive gardening methods, gardeners reduce the amount of wasted space inherent with row-planting methods.
Intensive gardening forgoes row-spacing requirements adapted for farmers. Plants are spaced according to the needs of their mature size. For example, when fully grown, tomato plants need at least 24 inches of space between them. Intensive gardeners grow four tomato plants in a four-foot square plot interplanted with basil, chives and nasturtium. In addition to growing more food on less land, intensive gardening also helps cut down on weeding and watering by shading the soil.