Remember we were working on a series about gardening?
It was really hard... talking about gardening all the time...
Really it was!
Naw, I'm just pulling your parsnips! Hahahaha
You can look back at The Secret to Gardening.... Part one.. where we talk about really, my history of gardening and.. we take a look at failure.
Remember, there is no failure in gardening... Ever.. at all!
We then learned that we just need to start planting... forgetting about all the rules.. rules will come later.. first we must learn to crawl... walking comes later... You can read Where to Start in the Garden Part two... here..
And now we are ready.. to learn about the different types of gardening. I can't cover all of them. I don't know all of them. But I can give you just enough to understand which one you need to research for yourself. And maybe a little bit to understand what is right for you.. may not be right for me.
Remember in part one... where I talked about my growing area being drastically different then yours? Where I live and how I grow things is actually unlike any where else in the USA... quite possibly the world. I am truly in the Pacific Northwest along the coastline. I won't go in to details.. You can read and research about them for yourself if you live here...
Or you can catch up with me at the local coffee shop and I will be glad to talk your ear off. :-)
In the meantime...
1. Container Gardening. I use this one... for things like peppers and eggplants that are perennials... I know!! I didn't know they were either till last year.. and now I am trying to keep mine alive through the winter... Yipee!!
|I built a container on the side of the stairs....|
|A large container planter near the house.. for specialty crops I needed to keep an eye on.|
|Literally... you can plant in salvaged trash!!!!|
The downside... if you live in the south.. or a hot area.. you are shaking your head saying.. ya... we don't grow like that here... And all of us other people are scratching our heads and asking why??
Let me explain it... In some areas.. it gets so HOT.. literally.... for hours... that it would be near impossible to keep the plant adequately hydrated. I know... I lived in Fresno, Ca for 21 years and I was rarely successful at it. The sun comes out at 0700 hrs the heat is unbearable at 0930 and for several months out of the growing season.. it never cools down... Not joking.. 90' at 0200hrs is very common!
So, depending on your area.. container gardening may or may not work for you... I'm dancing right now.. because I can garden this way!!!!
But, I am showing sympathy for those that can't... seriously! :-)
2. Row planting... Into the ground... Some of us can clear the ground and plant in rows. Leaving space between the rows to walk down and harvest the fruits and veg. Your plants are directly in the ground at ground level. This works for a lot of people. And usually I would say it's a waste of space.. but last year I saw a garden planted like this.. and it was jam packed with produce. and productive produce.
People in hot and cold and wet and dry can garden like this... putting down a drip irrigation system would be a fabulous idea if you live in the south to give water directly to the plants roots... and lessen the evaporation. Also, mulching the ground with wood chips... can help keep the moisture in.
The downside to this... moles and voles have total access to your garden, from underneath. And they can be destructive! We finally killed the one that was tearing apart our fruit garden. Darn boogers!!!
Some say that there is a lot of wasted space between the rows that you walk through... I disagree.. I mean your going to have to walk through or around the plants anyways... so ... choose knowing how you set it up.. you need a path of some type.
The few reasons I don't garden like this.. is Maggie... Who has never met a nice comfortable patch of spinach she didn't like to lay in... Or any patch she didn't like to walk in... So, since she is my best garden buddy (sorry hubby) I chose another type of gardening. I also live on a steep hill!!! Steep!!!! So I pretty much have to terrace everything.
We tried to grow potatoes and corn on a partial cliff side but the water just ran down and everything pretty much withered once the warm weather came. It was a nice idea however.
3. Aquaponics..... Sounds like a disease.. I know.. but it's really a cool way to grow produce. You don't use dirt. It does take time to understand the workings of it and how it waters... feeds... and such... So, if you like the sound of it... study up.
Basically you are growing your produce in rocks or some sort of medium other then gritty soil.. Water is filtered through a system of pipes and containers and fills up the planting area and drains out several times a day ... hour... so on... You can fertilize the plants via using fish.. or you can add your own fertilizer... I will be looking more in to adding this method of growing to our garden... Mainly for lettuce type growing. and things that are hard to wash off the soil from.
You need power to the system. However you want to get it there..
It will not be my main system for growing... But I do want to try it... The reason for it not being the main are simple in my mind... 1. I am working my soil to be self sufficient. I don't pump a lot of store bought fertilizers and such into my soil and on my plants... I want to learn to grow without them in case I actually HAVE to grow without them. 2. I don't want to have to worry about the power to the source. In the winter we can and have and do lose power often and for (the longest so far) 5+ days. Usually those are during huge storms where the sun never pops out for that whole time... So, I can not depend on the sun... to power anything.
Now, down the road when I have a lot of money... I might be able to build a solar battery back up system that collect during the few days we have power and use it when we don't... but for now.. I want to concentrate on gardening consistently with what God gives me.
Now... I would first check out this guy... and all his videos on Aquaponics and his set up...
Rob Bob is amazing.. at gardening and the set up and explaining! Highly recommend! He is also a common name here in the USA.. how do I know that? I was talking to someone about setting up a system and we both commented on this mans videos... and we both said his name at the same time!!! That happened more then once....
4. Permaculture.... Think Permanent Agriculture... this method is simple... It's creating a 'food forest' on your land and have it be self sustaining... I actually practice this method believe it or not. I have quite a few people contact me because they hear me 'weeding' and they have read books on the topic that this is a no weeding method and very easy... let me just burst a few bubbles... it is not as easy or non labor intensive as is being talked about. To establish a garden like this takes time.. and time and planning and time.. I know.. I am doing it now on parts of our land .. and .... sometimes my raised beds require less attention then this type of farming does. So, read up and watch a ton of videos about it before you think.. this is perfect for me!!! I can sit back and rock in the chair and watch the food fall!!!
And, keep in mind.. most of this is done down south. If you garden like this in the northern USA please contact me. But most of this is down south with tropical plants... and most of these people still have regular veg plots they work. I know... I talk to a lot of people!
Now, I said everyone can garden this way and they can. But not everyone can garden this way successfully! the same way. I get 70+ inches of rain a year and remember that hill I live on... don't email me telling me I need to build berms and capture the water... and save it.. in my area.. I need to wick it away from the fruits and veg as fast as I can. I have a constant water source that I water all the garden with... So water isn't my main concern. God already set it up for me.
The other thing to consider... when we lived in Fresno, Ca.. I could pull a weed and drop it and it would wither and die... It never dawned on me.. when I spent 2 days pulling weeds in the garden and dropping them in the path that they would be laughing at me and just continue to grow in the garden path!!!!!!! Wicked I know... But up here.. you pull a weed and you put it somewhere you don't mind it possibly living... Usually I dump them over in the chicken coop area... Chickens love them.. and they don't stand a chance at survival!
I am sharing a video with you.. I did a lot of research on this.. and well... you have to see if for yourself. Realize that this farm he is at is ten years old.. Yes, there are parts that are 'little maintenance' involved.. but .... there are also high maintenance area's... I have been working the food forest garden on our land for 1 year now.. I still have a lot of work to do with it to get it self producing. But that's the joy in gardening. Watching your hard work take over and produce for you.
So, watch the video.. and count how many helping hands you see in this video... and remember... it's just me up here... plus 16 chickens that work all day long.... But someone has to install the fencing to keep them in... :-)
5. Raised Beds.... This is the main way I garden. The only flat part of this land is literally pit rock covered for a future house... everything else is a terrace or cliff .... So, I built planters to plant everything in. I got the wood for free from our local dump that allowed me to go up and take whatever I wanted..... Literally!!! Score!!! I built the planters filled them with good soil and they never get stepped in or compacted or ran in via a dog.. and bonus ... rain water quickly drains through them. Which right now as I watch the rain pour from the sky.. is a good thing.
|Oh look weeds??? How did they get there!!!!|
They are also raised up so I don't have to bend over that much and my back hurts less... Maggie no longer runs through them when they are at least a foot above the ground.. and I am happy. However, chipmunks and squirrels hide in them and eat all the butternut squash.. But they would have hidden in the rows also... So it's all fair.
The down side to this if I lived in the south would be I would have to water more... They do dry out a little faster. But for where I am... they are the way to go.
6. Square Foot Gardening is the way to go if you are doing raised beds and very OCD or like that look. I tried it one year and one year only and it drove me nuts that all the plants I planted were not listening to me on how they weren't supposed to be encroaching on their neighbors square foot space... That and the end of the year when I needed to rotate crops.. it was literally a pain for me.
If you want to read more about it... Check out this book.. Either from your local library.. which I got mine.. or from amazon... which is where the picture came from..
In my defense I also had other people at the time attempting a community garden.. and they totally didn't understand it and weren't interested... so the bed saved for several types of plants... turned in to all squash... and cucumbers.. because one person didn't label they planted it all full of squash and the other person came by and planted half of it with cucumbers.. and well....
I don't offer community gardening on my land any more...... at all!!!!!!
7. There is the Back to Eden gardening method.. where people throw the wood chips down... which I use to maintain my moisture.. and they plant straight in that... I do a small variation of this.. but I haven't turned my whole garden area into it... I need the raised beds at this time.
There are a ton of videos on growing this way on YouTube. Just search it. I spent a whole evening watching them... If you would like to watch a video.. click here.. The owner doesn't give permission to embed..
8. You have Intensive Gardening where you grow a ton of stuff with each other.. I wouldn't do this for my first garden.. or second one either. The research of what to plant where and what doesn't like what.. is enough to pull out a few mustache hairs.. So for a beginner... just stick with small and simple... It wins the race... But when you want to challenge yourself more.. you know its there..
Interesting article on it here...
9. And then if you are like me.... there is always terrace Garden.... Where you literally terrace and plant on the slope of your land...
Everything in our garden moves.. nothing has found it's permanent place just yet. But hoping that this is the magical year that it all happens. So for now, we garden where we can.
Each person's needs are different. Don't get hung up on the 'type' of gardening and what is right for you..... just plant a plant in the ground and watch it grow... then experiment from there..
If you don't like your results one year... change it up the next.
Like I said... My goal in gardening is not to purchase any fertilizer... or amendments. People literally spend hundreds of dollars on soil amendments.. like rock dust and minerals and fertilizers.. and mix up huge concoctions.. and feed their plants.. making them dependent on the additives. Look into the Mittleider Gardening method.... Yes they get huge results and they brag about it non stop.. but if they couldn't get or afford the additives???
I want to use what God gave me. And He gave us this land... with the ability to grow peppers and eggplant.. which a lot in this county can't grow. I am perfectly happy to pull a few weeds for that trade off!
Ok, ask me that in a few months when the weeds really start coming...
Yes, I will do a post on weeds!!! Because they are not always bad.. and if you use them correctly they can be a benefit!