Each gardener has his or her own set of gardening guidelines that correspond to certain predetermined gardening styles. If you know your gardening style and if you can apply that style to creating an organic garden, then you have pretty much captured an edge over other gardening enthusiasts. But, if you do not have a gardening style that you can apply to organic vegetable growing, then you could be at a strong disadvantage. What are the different styles of gardening that actually apply to successful organic vegetable harvesting? Here are some of the types that you could consider:
This is the most common of all gardening techniques. It is often referred to as “backyard gardening”. If you are just a novice and not seasonally experienced in vegetable gardening, then residential gardening is your best approach. The primary purpose of the residential garden is to feed a family. A steady supply of home grown vegetables can not only feed your family now, if you understand canning and preserving, your garden can nourish your family long after the production period of your garden has ended.
The second appeal of residential gardening lies in its aesthetic appeal. Your garden can add color and depth to your landscape. It is quite transforming to see what was once only grass, a wooden deck, or a concrete balcony develop into an eye pleasing sculpture.
Residential gardening does not require a great deal of space. A window sill, deck, balcony or other small area that has sufficient light can easily produce a small crop. These small confined areas are easy to monitor and at the same time, easy to maintain. Protecting your garden from pests is much easier in a smaller area. The great thing about residential gardening is the ease with which it transforms the gardening wannabe into the gardening professional. It takes the rookie, having no knowledge of planting, growing, and harvesting, to a level of understanding where other gardening styles become the dream and the possibility.
Specialized gardening usually involves non-residential areas. Common examples of specialized gardening include amusement parks, botanical gardens, zoos, commercial landscaping along highway right of ways, and many more. Making the landscape more attractive seems to be the most common underlying theme of the specialized garden. These landscaping endeavors are rarely the responsibility of a single person. Often times a staff of botanists and gardeners work together to maintain the garden’s aesthetic attractiveness. These gardens are often created to support or deliver revenue to their owners or the organizations supporting them.
Specialized gardens rarely sport vegetables like corn, tomatoes, potatoes, peas, or beans. They, in agreement with their type, focus more on the special or more rare type of flora. Unique flowers, shrubs, even trees are often found in these areas. But, when a specialized garden does focus on vegetable planting, wide row techniques, sewing seeds in a wide band rather than in a single row, are most often applied.
By definition, impact gardening focuses on getting the most out of a small space. It involves using a relatively small gardening area and finding ways to maximize its gardening potential. In order to accomplish this objective, plants are strategically organized and systematically planted in a “crowded” format. This type of gardening requires a basic knowledge of plant types; annuals, perennials, shrubs, trees, and even ground cover. Understanding the types of plants most suited to the environment and the climate is paramount to successful impact gardening.
Impact gardening requires planning. A haphazard approach will not work. A layout of which plants will be placed where is paramount to successful impact growing. The best approach is to actually draw out a schematic of the garden labeling specific areas and then filling those areas with the appropriate plants. These designs or surveys should be as detailed as possible to include plant specifics and cost analysis.
There are four basic steps to successful impact gardening.
- Step one, survey a space for the garden and mark off the specific site. It is best to have the long side of the plot aligned with the sun, from east to west. This helps keep the plants from burning in the summer heat, and ruining your crops.
- Step two, design the garden. It should be attractive yet maintain its functionality.
- Step three, make long thin beds, eight feet longer than they are wide. This makes it easy to weed and plant. Build the bed frames out of long 2×8’s. If you make several, you can lay them end to end, parallel to the sun.
- Step four, use soaker hoses to water. Place them up and down the rows, about one foot from the edges of the bed.