Gardening is half science and half art. There is a huge knowledge base for growing plants well, especially food plants, but thankfully the knack can be developed with not too much trouble because vegetable plants basically just need the earth, the sun, and water and they are bent on growing and producing. We benefit. Yet, there is much we may do to encourage optimum results. This is a compilation of gardening tips, and knowledge tidbits to that end.
General Vegetable Garden Techniques
- The most basic home vegetable gardening method consists of long, single rows of vegetables spaced widely apart. That is the way I have raised vegetables in the past, and the way many choose. The ground is tilled each spring season, raked smooth, and then planted. The upside of this vegetable gardening method is that the plants receive the sun, moisture, and nutrients they need with good air circulation. The downside is the waste of space and the greater need to cultivate it than the more intensive methods require.
- Raised garden beds or lowered ones create smaller spaces that make better usage of soil amendments, gardener energy, and keep soil tilth in good condition. Drawbacks can be that they dry out too quickly or hold too much water (lowered beds). Double Digging can be practiced in permanent beds.
- Vertical gardening, using posts, trellises, and other supports for space saving upward growth is often used with all gardening methods. Tomato cages, or stakes are commonly seen. The Three Sisters combination uses corn as a natural support for vertical growth of bean plan plants.
- Interplanting can help keep insect and disease problems under control. This method combines more than one type of crop in the same space. Again, “Three Sisters” is an example. Three Sisters are the triad of corn, beans, and squash, a method learned from the Native Americans. Plants like carrots and radishes can be planted together. This method creates a diversity of plantings
- Succession planting is used to replace harvested crops with another to gain more production over the growing season from the same space. Lettuce crops replaced by beans, or corn after spring peas are possibilities.
- No-dig, no-till gardening in a method called Lasagna Gardening, has been praised by some and panned by others. It is a sheet compost method creating by staking out the area, layering organic materials starting with something like cardboard, coir, peat moss, grass clippings, etc. adding top dressings of wood ashes, bone meal and such things. “Lasagna Gardening: A New Layering System for Bountiful Gardens: No Digging, No Tilling, No Weeding, No Kidding! ” is the book that gives you complete details if you are interested in this approach. A method for smaller garden scale is also available,”Lasagna Gardening for Small Spaces “
- Front Yard Vegetable Gardening, is one of the new/old garden techniques that bring past methods back into production. Think of the old fashioned cottage garden. It was a mix of vegetables herbs, and flowering plants, all grown intensively in the front yards of people that needed to make every foot of space work for them. A Front Yard garden that doubles as the home vegetable garden space.