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Gardening

A garden is a great source of food. A garden can be a lot of work, but on the other hand it can also be very rewarding, both emotionally and physically. It can be a comfortable feeling to know that you know how and have the means to produce good quality food for your family.

Some gardens require significant room and others do not. Some great ideas on gardens in various environments are shown below.

For our purposes, we will consider any type of food that can be grown at home under the topic of Gardening.

Types of Gardens - There are many kinds of gardens and, hopefully, at least one of these will suit your taste. Consider the following types of gardens:

  • Traditional Garden - The garden that most people are familiar with is the one in which the soil is plowed (tilled) and the plants are planted in rows. Water is provided via furrows or by sprinkling. This kind of garden works well. Click here to see some photos of a successful Traditional Garden.
  • Black Plastic Garden - This is a form of gardening that can take a lot of the work out of gardening and allow more time to enjoy it. To learn more about Black Plastic Gardens, click here.
  • Mini Farm - If you have enough land and resources, you can run a Mini Farm. It can be just as diverse as a big farm, only smaller in quantity (and workload).
  • Grow Box - This is a form of garden that puts a special blend of sand and sawdust into wooden boxes. Plants are planted into the Grow Boxes and chemicals are used to provide the nutrients to the plants. Since there is limited space available in a Grow Box, it is a good idea to build a structure to let the plants climb up strings, wires, cages, lattices or whatever. This allows a third dimension to the garden. 

Click here to learn about the famous Mittleider Method of Gardening from the Food For Everyone Foundation.

Grow Box Garden Grow Box

Grow Box Garden

Indoor - Some crops can be grown indoors. In fact, even if you do not have a window to allow light to come in, you can still use artificial lighting to grow some wonderful foods.

To learn more about Indoor Gardening click this link:

  • Raised Garden - This is a form of a Grow Box garden that has been built up so it is easier to work with. This could be a favorite of those who are not able to bend over for extended periods of time. Click here to see some photos of a Raised Garden.
  • Orchard - These are long term and well worth it. Just imagine walking out and picking fresh peaches! They do take some care at certain times of the year, but it is not overwhelming. Click here to see some photos of an Orchard.
  • Vineyard - A vineyard adds to the food supply that you can have available to you. Properly cultivated fruits can produce year after year with minimal maintenance.
  • Greenhouse - This is a nice way to make sure that you are in control of much of the environment for your garden. It can be used to get seeds started early as well as to grow plants to full maturity.
  • Sprouting - This is a method of producing nutritious food by growing seeds until they turn into sprouts. Many foods, when sprouted, will be rich in nutrients and delicious. Click here for to learn more about Sprouting

Gardening Topics - Below are some ideas on general Gardening Topics that apply to almost all types of gardens:

  • Feeding - This is a nicer way to say fertilizing which is a nicer way of saying dunging. This is an important step. If you are going to feed it with a heavy dose, do so at the end of the season, so it won't burn your tender plants. There are many kinds of fertilizers
  • Harvesting - This should be the most rewarding part of gardening. Be careful to not injure other plants or their fruits as you harvest. There are some trick to know when harvesting. For example, a cantaloupe is ripe when you hold it and it falls off the vine. A watermelon is ripe when the tassel closest to the melon shrivels up and dies.
  • Light/Shade - Learn which of your garden plants need full sun, part sun or all shade and then plant them accordingly.
  • Pest Control - Be careful that you do not contaminate your crop while trying to get rid of pests. There are some solutions that work well, but only when no food is present.
  • Planning - Be sure to plan your garden so it gets the correct amount of light, does not accumulate too much water and leave enough space between plants so you can work the garden all season without destroying the crop.
  • Planting - Some planting can be done in late fall, so they will grow as early as possible in the spring. Other planting can only be done in later spring, after the danger of late frost has passed. Learn your local environment and plant accordingly.
  • Plant Varieties - There are a lot of varieties of plants that can produce food in your garden. Click here to learn more about Plant Varieties.
  • Protecting - In early spring, you can protect young plants from the cold with cones or walls of water. Later when it is hot, you can shade some plants that do not do well in the heat. Near the end of the season, you can also protect against an early frost and extend your gardening season.
  • Pruning - It is sometimes hard to cut off an otherwise healthy branch but for each tree and vine that you have, you need to learn which ones need to be pruned and then do it. Learn about the right way to do it and be consistent, every year. Shape your trees and vines for maximum production.
  • Thinning - The only thing harder than pruning is to thin out fruit and throw it away. This is ever so important, and doing so will provide you with maximum sized fruit that are so healthy.
  • Watering - If you do not live where the rain is sufficient for your garden, you will need to supplement watering. Remember, when you water more ground than you need to, you encourage weed growth as well as waste water. Watering can be done by any of these methods:
    • Drip System
    • Flood Irrigating
    • Furrows
    • Soaker Hoses
    • Sprinkling 
  • Weed Control - There are several effective ways to perform Weed Control such as:
    • Hoe
    • Black Plastic
    • Tractor
    • Sprout & Spray - Before planting, water the garden plot and allow all seeds to sprout. Then spray them with a weed killer.
    • Prevent - Don't let weeds go to seed.

Equipment - Click on the links below to learn about the types of Equipment that can make gardening more enjoyable.

  • Hand Tools
  • Motorized Tools
  • Sprayers
  • Watering Solutions

 

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