Two Types of Vegetable Gardens
For those of us who love to nurture and consume vegetables, home gardening is a great activity to take part in. Once you have decided to have your own vegetable garden, the next step is to decide what type of vegetable garden you want. There are two types of gardens: land gardens and container gardens. When one plants vegetables in the ground, it is called land gardening. When one plants vegetables in pots, it is called container gardening. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Find out which is right for you through this simple guide to land and container vegetable gardening.
Land Vegetable Gardening
To plant a vegetable garden on solid ground, you must carefully determine the size, location, and soil of your garden.
When you're planning a garden, it's important to decide the size of garden you want. In order to easily maintain a garden, you should start out small with a small garden and gradually expand if you later on desire to. I recommend starting out with a garden of 25 square feet or smaller. As you get the hang of gardening, you can expand your garden to be as big as you wish.
Before beginning a vegetable garden on solid ground, consider the location of your garden. Plants need about six hours of sunlight in order to fulfill their potential. Therefore, it is inadvisable to place your garden where there is a lot of shade. You should also make sure that you can locate your garden in a place with sufficient drainage. To protect your vegetables from drowning, make sure you can position your garden away from the bottoms of hills and other places where water is likely to collect.
Before planting in the ground, you should make sure that the soil is compatible for gardening. Soil that's slightly loose and simple to till is best. Stay away from hard, difficult-packed soil. If your yard has mediocre soil, mulch or compost will be a big help for your garden. In fact, composting won’t only greatly help your garden, it will also decrease the amount of your trash.
If you have the desired size, location, and soil for a land garden, you will enhance your chances for success in gardening on solid ground for beginners.
If, on the other hand, you have little space, little sunshine, infertile soil, or impaired mobility, you may want to grow vegetables in containers. Container gardening allows you to position the plants in places where they can receive the best growing conditions in your area. Container gardening also creates better pest management and a chance to have color in areas where you want color. The downside of container gardening is that containers demand daily watering, which you must do by hand.
Some plants are especially fit for container-gardening. Vegetables that grow appropriately in containers are those that are used to growing in confined spaces, such as salad greens, spinach, eggplant, Swiss chard, beets, radish, carrots, peppers, bush beans, tomatoes, bush varieties of summer squash and cucumbers, green onions, and many herbs. Other plants will also grow well in pots, even if they are not meant for container gardening.
Regardless of the type or size of container used, adequate drainage is a necessity for successful plants. It is wise to add about 1 inch of coarse gravel in the bottom of the container to control drainage. For most vegetable crops, 5-gallon containers are the most appropriate size.
Some Last Notes
Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to have a garden without pests, and land gardens attract the most bugs. Unless you want to use chemicals, you will have to kill any pests on the plants yourself and with the help of pest-eating bugs. You can buy these pest-eating bugs, such as ladybugs or praying mantis, from garden stores to get rid of pests. For larger bugs like grasshoppers and such, you will have to pick them off by hand.
Another issue you may have while vegetable gardening is to make sure the weeds do not take over your garden, especially if you have a land garden. If you don’t go out daily to pick the weeds, the weeds will choke out the plants and take over. Watering your garden is important not only to keep your plants alive and healthy, but also to repel some of the bugs that might otherwise eat your plants.