Tag Archive for growing food

4 Methods of Easy Gardening

Our easy gardening methods as compared to the old fashion gardening the way your grandparents did it with a hoe, a shovel and a prayer. Old-fashioned gardening required lots of room, work and attention. Times have changed dramatically with today’s four methods for easy gardening.

  • Lasagna Gardening

In spite of it’s name, lasagna garden has nothing to do with an Italian dinner.  It is a method of easy gardening that turns your kitchen waste, leaves, grass clippings and old newspapers into rich, healthy compost without a lot of work. When the leaves start falling, gather them up and layer them over your Spring garden site. Add vegetable peelings, grass clippings, coffee grounds and a few inches of sawdust and/or newspapers. Cover the bed with cardboard, then a large piece of plastic and watch it as it shrinks down into compost.

The downside is this method of creating a rich compost right on your gardening spot, is it might take more than one season to convert your scraps into compost, which can be a negative point if you are in a hurry.  Adding a few Earthworms will speed up the process.

  • Square Foot Gardening

Easy gardening the Square Foot method, can make a great difference in your gardening activities because it does not require a lot of tools to toil the soil. Because you garden in one square foot at a time, you don’t have as many weed problems and the ground doesn’t get compacted easily. Careful soil mixtures will increase the water-holding abilities of the squares while decreasing the need for additional water. Plant diseases do not spread as easily in square foot gardens, either.

  • No Dig Method

 

4 Easy Gardening Methods

No-dig methods allows nature to carry out your cultivating operations. Placing different organic matters, such as well rotted manure, compost, leaf mold, spent mushroom compost, old straw, etc., directly onto the soil surface as a mulch at least 2–6 inches deep, which is then given to the actions of worms, insects and microbes. Another no-dig method is sheet mulching wherein a garden area is covered with wet newspaper or cardboard, compost and topped off with mulch. No-dig gardens can be grown over a lawn, on concrete or cardboard, if there is no need for a deep root system. The problem will be keeping the snails off your young vegetation.

  • Intensive Or Raised Bed Gardening

This method is a system of raised beds that allows you to concentrate the soil in small areas, generally 4 feet by 8 feet,  creating an environment for growing vegetables. Raised beds warm up more quickly in the spring and by covering them, it will allow you to grow vegetables for a longer time frame, early spring to late fall.

Easy Gardening Tip

Pests are usually fairly crop-specific. They prefer vegetables of one type or family. Mixing families of plants helps to break up large pest-preferred crops and keeps early pest damage within a small area.

As you can see, there are more methods of easy gardening than there is of the traditional hard way. If one of these appeals to you, find out more about it and then “dig in”.

Three Ways To Get Big Yields From A Small Garden

Use Raised Beds Instead of Flat Garden Rows in Your Small Garden

Single rows of plants is the mainstay way of planting vegetables, but it is not the most efficient way. That’s because for every row, you must leave walking space between before the next row. That is a waste of a lot of space that could be used for growing crops. Planting raised beds or even beds on the flat soil will produce more and use less space. You can grow crops in several rows spaced closer together (as wide as you can reach) before stopping to leave a walkway.

Round off the Middle

Adding extra soil to the bed and rounding it off to form a small hill can add even more space to your planting area. Depending on the size of your “bed” it can give you 2 to 4 feet of extra planting area. Even in small beds that small difference can add pounds of more food to feed your family. My Grandpa Bird always planted his cucumbers, squash and potatoes in mounds of dirt. It allowed for more plants and let him harvest early new potatoes without destroying the whole plant, which was left to keep growing potatoes for the fall harvest.

Think Up

Once the ground around your feet is planted, it’s time to start growing up. Most often the space above your head is overlooked. Trellis and hanging baskets are two very simple ways to add growing space to your vegetables garden. A sunny wall or fence is a great place to place a vertical garden. Plant your peas, cucumbers, green beans at the base of a trellis and watch them grow.

This is a very handy tool for vertical gardening.  In the top openings, you can grow herbs, radishes, lettuce and other small veggies.  In the lower spaces, place some climbing bean and/or cucumbers.

Be on the look out for an old pallet, they make excellent planters for small items such as lettuce, herbs and onions. Just lean them against your fence or wall in a sunny spot. They are like magic for growing small vegetables such as radishes, chives, beets, or salad greens. Hanging baskets or growing bags [made of canvas, burlap or any sturdy material, that drains] can hold strawberries, dwarf varieties of cucumbers or green beans.

Don’t give up your dream of having a vegetable garden if all you have is a small garden space. Use your imagination and see what you can grow. Growing even 4 produce items and rotating them year around, can make a big difference in your family’s food budget. Plus think of all the salads that can come from your special small garden space. Your friends will be envious of you and your ingenuity.

Growing Food That You and Your Family Eat

raised bed vegetable garden _Lori L. Stalteri

Growing what you and your family eats is the best way to be certain you are getting the foods your body needs.

In today’s supermarkets, you can find foods from all over the world.  In most cases they were harvested days or maybe weeks ago.  From the moment they were harvested, they begin to loose their food value.  Not knowing when they were taken from the growing space, allows you to make bad choices for you and your family’s meals.

Growing food that your family will know is organic and healthy is the best way to keep their bodies active and growing.

In a space no larger than a small bedroom, you can grow what you eat, for 10 months out of the year in most locations.  With a little time and effort, your family can have fresher food than is available in most supermarkets of the world.

Growing what you eat can be a beautiful thing

Growing what you eat can be a beautiful thing

If you do not have space in your yard or have no yard, try container gardening.  As long as you have a staging area that gets 608 hours of sunlight, you can still grow many food items.  It can be a patio, driveway, or balcony and there is no need to buy containers.  Lots of veggies can be grown in clean cans, mop buckets, garbage cans, strong cardboard boxes and even old laundry baskets.

Learning to grow what you eat is the best gift you can give your family.