Sustainable, organic gardening and permaculture are big topics! We all want nutrient dense, safe, organic fruits and vegetables and even eggs. A good reason so many of the “old ways” of backyard gardens and keeping poultry and other animals are making a come back. Many people are practicing urban agriculture in vacant lots and in backyards all over our country. Here are some of the top gardening methods for you to look at and decide what is best for you and your family’s garden.
What’s the most popular gardening method?
Companion planting, or inter-cropping, allows us to take advantage of certain chemical interactions between plants.
The purpose of an intensively grown garden is to harvest the most produce possible from a given space.
An intensive garden reduces wasted space to a minimum. The practice of intensive planting is not just for those with limited garden space; rather, an intensive garden concentrates work efforts to create an ideal plant environment, giving better yields with less labor.
Succession or Interval Planting
Succession planting is a super way to maximize the amount of food you can grow in your garden. The succession planting or “interval planting” (as it is sometimes called) method can truly increase the amount of food you grow and harvest.
Raised Bed Gardening
Plants in raised beds get more sun and air circulation and they can make better use of water. You often can plant earlier and harvest later, because raised beds warm up early in the spring and stay warm later in the fall.
Using trellises, nets, string, cages, or poles to support growing plants is the basis of vertical gardening. This gardening method is an excellent choice for small garden spaces. Plants that sprawl (like tomatoes and cantaloupe) and vine (like cucumbers and pole beans) are good choices for this type of gardening. Some plants grab onto a support (peas and cucumbers), but others may need to be tied on (tomatoes). Remember that a vertical gardening goes up and will create shade so careful of what you plant where the shade of your vertical garden will grow. It is a good spot to plant shade-tolerant plants near the trellises to take advantage of that shade. Plants grown vertically occupy much less space on the ground, and though the yield per plant may be a bit lower, the yield per square foot of garden space is high. 🙂
Because vertically growing plants are more exposed than non-staked plants, they dry out quickly and may need to be watered more frequently than their “unstaked” counterparts. There is an upside to that.. the fast drying is good leverage to those plants susceptible to fungus diseases.
Cold Frame Gardening
I don’t know about you, but sometime between the first of the year and the middle of February, I start to get cabin fever, the ‘jitters’, the “I’ve just GOT to get my fingers in the dirt” thing…. I want something that tastes more ‘homegrown’ by now. It is the PERFECT time to start planning your cold frame or hot bed to get a jump on spring!
Other Important Gardening Methods
English Cottage Gardens
English Cottage Gardening
While the English “cottage garden” is well-known, cottage gardening is found in any culture people had small plots of their own and a need and interest in growing stands of useful plants. The look is abundant and informal. English cottage gardens, and their American counterparts, have a profusion of plants for cutting, herbs for cooking and areas or interspersion of vegetables. Fruit trees and roses usually find a place as well.
Air Layering for Easy Plant Propagation Propagating plants is a great way to make many plants from one, however many gardeners have not been very successful with rooting new plants from cuttings. Well there is a better way. Air layering is easy, and the success rate is much higher….
Integrated Pest Management
Twenty five years ago, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) seemed a utopian dream to mainstream agriculturalists. The idea that plant pests could be kept at acceptable levels without large amounts of chemical pesticides ran counter to everything they had been taught. But now IPM is embraced by nearly everyone involved in the field. What has caused this turn around?
Introduction to Soil Fertility
Soil fertility is concerned with the inherent capacity of soil to provide nutrients in adequate amounts and in proper balance for the growth of specified plants when other growth factors such as light moisture and temperature and the physical condition of the soil are favorable.
Permaculture is a conscious design and maintenance of systems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of a natural eco-system. It is a harmonious integration of the land with people – providing food, energy, shelter, and material and non-material needs in a sustainable way.