10 Ways To Garden, which way works best for you?

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There are so many ways to garden and each has pros and cons. Explore these 10 options and choose which works best for you.

Think about the seasons before starting a garden of any size so you can plan out the details in advance.

Containers offer a lot of flexibility and design options.

1) Container Gardening

Pros

  • They work well for any size space, especially smaller spaces.
  • You can move containers around easily unless you get a giant one.
  • There are so many colors, sizes, and shapes to choose from.
  • You can choose containers to compliment your home decor.
  • You can find them everywhere at thrift stores, specialty shops, and people are always giving them away.
  • You can put them at any height so they are easy to get to.
  • They are easy to clean up, re-paint, and make look new again.
  • They hold water well with no hole and have the option for better drainage with a saucer on the bottom.
  • Inexpensive to start with.
  • You can start small and work your way up the gardening ladder with containers.

Cons

  • Some containers can hold water too well and you get root rot.
  • In the summer months, containers tend to dry out quickly so you have to water more.
  • Containers can crack and break.
  • Containers need soil and sometimes bugs like wet soil.
  • Because there is less soil your plant will use nutrients faster so you will need to fertilize more often.
  • The large ones can be expensive and heavy.
  • Plants will need to be stepped-up when they get too big for their container home.
Raised beds offer you a larger space to grow than containers.

2) Raised Bed Gardening

Pros

  • You can create any size or shape you desire.
  • You can make them tall so you don’t have to bend as much.
  • They help define your garden space and look aesthetically pleasing.
  • They help keep some garden pests out.
  • Easy to weed.
  • Drainage is a little better when the soil is higher.
  • You can pack more plants into a smaller growing space.
  • A great option for beginners.
  • They can be temporary or seasonal.
  • Pretty easy to build and you can put them on wheels.
  • You can cover them to start seeds earlier.
  • No soil compaction because you never walk inside the bed, just around it.
  • Inexpensive materials. You can build a raised bed from scraps of wood, tires, rocks, cinderblocks, and more. The options are endless.
  • You have more control over your soil because it’s contained.

Cons

  • A raised bed made from wood can rot.
  • Requires a lot of soil to fill it up.
  • They don’t have the best air circulation. Some plants don’t like that.
  • They can dry out fast so you need to stay up on your watering habits.
  • The cost of materials can be pricey if you want a certain style. Think recycled and save time and money.
  • Requires some handy person skills and tools to set up.
  • A raised bed can become a litter box for your feline friends.
  • If you have a cement floor under it there is less room for root growth.
Grow a garden without using soil.

3) Hydroponic Gardening

Pros

  • No soil needed.
  • Uses water more efficiently. Uses less water than soil gardens.
  • Fewer pests and disease.
  • You can grow more in the same amount of space.
  • Many plants grow faster in hydroponic gardens.
  • You can control the PH easier.
  • Saves you money.
  • Reduces fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides leaching into the water systems.
  • You can monitor the nutrients easier.
  • No weeds. This is a big one.
  • You don’t need pesticides, herbicides, or other toxic chemicals.
  • It looks impressive and yields a lot of food.
  • The water pump sounds like a fountain and is soothing.
  • Less labor-intensive.
  • Calming and fun to play with.

Cons

  • Materials and set up can be costly.
  • You do need to spend some time managing it.
  • Could be dangerous because of water and electricity near each other.
  • You have to educate yourself about hydroponic gardening.
  • Need electricity to run the pumps and air stones.
  • Because the plants are close if there were a disease it could spread quickly.
  • The pumps could fail or lose power.

4) Aeroponic Gardening

Pros

  • Similar to hydroponics with many of the same benefits but uses less water as it sprays a mist instead of a water flow.
  • Nice air circulation. Most systems have a timed mist.
  • Moisture control.
  • Can plant more in a small space.
  • Simple set up.
  • You can create them yourself.
  • Sends nutrients right to the roots.
  • The plants are cleaner without the soil.
  • Easy to scale.
  • Roots don’t sit in water like in hydroponics.

Cons

  • Similar cons to hydroponics.
  • You need to maintain the nutrients.
  • You must clean the reservoir.
  • You must stay on top of the mister and timers.
  • Requires electricity, timers, pumps and other materials which can be a pricey upfront cost.
  • You must watch for root disease.

5) Aquaponic Gardening

Pros

  • Similar to hydroponics and aeroponics in that it uses far less water than traditional soil gardening.
  • You don’t need to purchase nutrients as the fish provide the nutrients via their waste products.
  • High yield and faster-growing plants.
  • Environmentally friendly as the fish waste doesn’t run off into our water systems. It keeps recycling back into the plants.
  • It can be cost-effective once set up and you don’t need to buy fertilizers because you have fish doing the work for you.
  • It is fun to interact with the fish and there are so many beautiful species options. Koi, goldfish, tilapia.
  • Two food sources, plants, and fish (tilapia).

Cons

  • The initial setup and purchase of fish can be expensive.
  • Requires maintenance of the system and the fish.
  • Limited on the plants that can be grown this way.
  • Uses a lot of electricity because of larger pumps and filters.
  • The fish produce a lot of waste.
  • You’ll need larger more complicated filters to clean the water because of the fish. These are more expensive than the air stones, misters, and fountain pumps found in hydroponics and aeroponics.
  • You must monitor the health of the fish daily.
Grow a garden in a closed container and watch the magic happen.

6) Terrarium Gardening

Pros

  • They are a contained garden microhabitat. Can be completely contained or open.
  • Very low-maintenance indoor gardening.
  • Can be made in a huge array of shapes and sizes.
  • Don’t require a lot of time or effort after set up.
  • You can grow plants that might not grow well inside or in drier air.
  • A beautiful conversation piece.
  • Easy to keep clean.
  • Few pests.
  • Water recycles itself in the closed terrarium so you don’t need to water often. Some don’t need water at all after proper setup.
  • Endless options for internal decorations. Add some rocks or fairies.
  • Easy to create.
  • Can use recycled jars, fish tanks, wine glasses, and more to make your own.
  • Closed terrariums can recycle their air as well.
  • Makes a great educational project. Shows the interactions of plants, soil, water, and air.

Cons

  • You will need some basic materials to set it up such as a nice container, rocks, soil, small plants that won’t grow very large like dwarf ferns, moss, orchids, or carnivorous plants.
  • Can rot if you over water.
  • Can attract bugs if you over water.
  • Containers can break.
  • Plants can rot or become diseased.

7) Water Gardening

Pros

  • A great option for wet landscapes.
  • Beautiful and tranquil.
  • Incorporates plants, water, and fish if desired.
  • You can grow plants that like their feet wet. Make sure to purchase or grow water-loving plants.
  • Encourages and supports wildlife.
  • You don’t need to water the plants.
  • Moving water actually helps clean the air.
  • Reduces lawns, pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides.
  • Creates an ecosystem.
  • You can add beautiful fish and interact with them.
  • Can raise your property value if done well.
  • Can be made any size you desire including in a container.
  • Can lower your stress levels and create a peaceful spot in your yard.

Cons

  • Can be costly to set up.
  • You will need to maintain it so it doesn’t get swampy.

8) Rock Gardening

Pros

  • Simple to create.
  • Looks clean and neat.
  • Easy to spot weeds if there are weeds at all.
  • Can use found or recycled materials as centerpieces.
  • Very low maintenance.
  • Requires no water.
  • Easy for a beginner.
  • Color and design options are endless.
  • Very zen looking.
  • A great conversation piece.
  • Can be combined with plants to create interest.
  • No pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, or chemicals needed.

Cons

  • Materials can be expensive in the beginning.
  • Can look drab or static.
  • Can hold heat.

9) Greenhouse Gardening

Pros

  • You can grow year-round. Holds heat in the winter and you can cool in it the summer with fans.
  • Easier to control pests, disease, and weeds.
  • Can grow more in a smaller space.
  • Nice place to hang out in the colder months.
  • A great place to start seedlings.
  • Grow flowers year-round.
  • A nice place to nurse sick plants back to health.
  • Provides a lot of oxygen.

Cons

  • The initial investment can be pretty hefty.
  • Takes up a significant amount of time to maintain.
  • Maybe unsightly to some. I love them.
  • Not great for beginners as you need to control a lot of variables such as climate, water, pests, disease, and many other details.
  • Uses a lot of electricity for heat, additional lights, and fans.
  • Can be a breeding ground for disease because it is moist and contained. It does need additional airflow installed such as a fan.
  • You have to stay on top of it as you are responsible for the plants well being from top to bottom.
  • It can fall apart if the wrong materials are used for your area. Wood can rot, metal gets cold in the winter, covers can break with a heavy snow load. You must make sure you use the right materials for your area.
Build community with a garden.

10) Community Gardening

Pros

  • You get to know new people.
  • Gardening brings the community together.
  • You learn so many things around other gardeners.
  • Inexpensive place to grow a garden.
  • Easy setup. Raised beds are usually already done for you in an established community garden.
  • Networking. You meet people from all walks of life.
  • Creates a more educated, healthier community.
  • Provides fresh food.
  • Teaches leadership and responsibility.
  • Gets people out and about in nature which has physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual benefits.
  • Can increase the property value of a neighborhood.
  • Beautifies an area.

Cons

  • Conflicts. People are people and sometimes they don’t agree.
  • Theft. Yes, sometimes people will steal your harvest before you get to enjoy it.
  • Long term maintenance issues. When people get burnt out they stop tending to the garden.
  • Resources. Most community gardens don’t have a fund to fix and maintain their garden so it falls apart. This is why using recycled items are so wonderful.

There are many more options and combinations. The sky is the limit when it comes to gardening. So which did you pick? Why not try a few of them and see what works best for you.

Can you think of any other ways to garden? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Plant Power On

Stephanie

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