Sunday Homestead Update: Choosing a Gardening Method

The respiratory bug continues to hold on to a few of the family members. So we have been laying low, resting, and staying home. This has given us time to work on homemade Christmas gifts – at a leisurely pace. And it has also given me time to start contemplating the new garden.

There are so many different methods/techniques for gardening. Figuring out which one is “best” can make your head spin (especially when your head is already clogged up with congestion – heehee).

We had a very successful garden at our previous farm in the high-altitude Rockies. It took many years, but over time we figured out the best ways to have a successful garden in our 10-week frost-to-frost, cold climate. We routinely harvested hundreds of pounds of produce to feed our family throughout the year.

And it wasn’t any ONE specific gardening method that made that garden productive and successful. It was a combination of several different techniques put together to work best in that garden’s microclimate.

As we are now planning a garden for our new farm, in a different climate, with a very different growing season, and any number of different challenges, we are going back to square one as far as deciding which methods to use in combination to make this garden a success. But not really square one as far as gardening, because we have the years of experience from before, and even in a different place those experiences are giving us a big boost to be able to learn how to have a productive garden here as well.

So we have been hitting the books – piles of books about gardening – reviewing methods we know well but looking at them with a different perspective. And also reading and learning about new methods. We are piecing together a plan for what will give us the best chance for success in this new place. I have been re-making my garden journal in preparation for next year, and looking forward to the journal improving with each year that I add experiences to it. And we are not planning to use one specific method, it is pieces and parts from a few different methods put together to meet the needs and challenges of this new garden’s microclimate.

If you are new to gardening and trying to decide which method you should use, I would strongly suggest that you think outside of that box and look at combining the best aspects of several different methods to meet the specific needs of your garden and your lifestyle. Don’t feel like you are stuck following one method exactly. Bend it and add to it and take from it and make it your own.

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