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Innovative Growing Techniques That You Can Explore for Your Home Garden

Growing food has become an increasingly popular pastime for everyone from millennials to seniors and urbanites to country dwellers. Growing your own food is certainly a great way to save some money, but that’s not the only reason for the growing interest.

Many people are beginning to realize that homegrown vegetables and herbs simply taste better than anything you can buy at the supermarket. And there’s also a growing concern about the quality of our food, including the use of pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals which are not only bad for our health but also harmful to the environment.

That being said, a well-planned and easy-to-maintain growing space is the key to success. Many people give up after a season or two because they find that gardening takes too much time, too much money, or too much work- only to yield disappointing results.

Today, we’re going to explore some innovative growing techniques you can use in your own garden to reduce labor, improve sustainability, and increase your chances of success.

 

Innovative Growing Techniques That You Can Explore for Your Home Garden

 

Know Your Growing Environment

We totally get it if you’re excited about starting your first garden, but don’t make the mistake of randomly picking a spot, sticking some plants in the ground, and expecting a good harvest. Plants need certain things to thrive, including the right amount of light, the right nutrients, the right type of soil.

Getting a soil test is an innovative growing technique that every gardener should explore when establishing a new garden. A soil test will tell you all sorts of things about your soil that can affect the health of your plants, including pH, nutrient levels, salt content, and content. 

Arming yourself with this information allows you to correct issues before you plant, instead of wasting money on wild guesses and amendments that you may not even need. Be sure to assess your soil type, too. If your soil contains large amounts of clay or sand, adding organic matter like compost or peat moss will improve its texture and ability to retain water.

Some other things to consider before you commit to a growing space include:

  • Lighting: When choosing a spot, keep in mind that most food-producing plants need six to 10 hours of sunlight each day. Some plants will tolerate partial shade, but they may produce less and grow more slowly.
  • Your Planting Zone: Take the time to learn your planting zone. Attempting to grow plants outside of their preferred planting zone can be challenging, labor-intensive, and may require additional inputs that aren’t cost-effective.
  • Other Factors That May Influence Your Decisions: You may also want to think about potential runoff or overspray from neighboring yards or fields, the location of your septic tank, the proximity to a water source, and nearby trees that may compete with your plants for light, water, and nutrients.
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Innovative Growing Techniques

 

Plant Smarter

Once you understand your growing environment, take some time to consider what you’re planting strategy should be. In-ground gardens can be wonderful, but they’re certainly not the only option. There are lots of other innovative growing strategies that can reduce labor and compensate for less-than-ideal growing conditions.

  • Vertical Farming: The vertical farming technique involves growing your plants up instead of out to conserve space. You could use growing towers, shelves, or trellises depending on your space and the type of plants you want to grow. 

Vertical gardening is a great choice for those with limited space. Systems can be set up indoors, in a greenhouse, on a porch or balcony, or on a level space outside. It keeps your crops up off the ground, reducing issues with disease, rot, and pests. 

A well-thought-out system requires less watering and weeding. It’s also easier to tend and harvest your garden, which is ideal for anyone who has difficulty with bending and squatting.

 

 

  • Container Gardening: Container gardening is a great option for urbanites who only have access to a porch, patio, rooftop, or windowsill as their growing space. It has other advantages too. 

The plants can be moved around to take advantage of the light. And since you’re using potting soil, you don’t have to worry about soil quality. It’s also easier to protect plants in containers from wildlife, pests, weather, and weeds.

Innovative Growing Techniques

Container gardens still require planning and maintenance, but you can situate them where there’s easy water access and make them easy to access based on your mobility. Be sure to use high-quality potting soil, choose containers with good drainage, and fertilize your plants regularly.

  • Block Planting: Block planting simply means planting your crops in squares instead of traditional rows. This innovative technique can increase your yield by as much as fifteen percent. It also conserves space, reduces weeds, and minimizes foot traffic to reduce soil compaction.
  • Companion Planting: Companion planting is an innovative growing technique that involves knowing which plants are good neighbors and which ones are not.

For example, climbing beans can be planted next to tall stalks of corn for support. Carrots should be planted near onions or garlic because they repel carrot flies. On the other hand, garlic and onions can stunt the growth of peas and beans, so they should be planted on opposite sides of the garden.

Experience can teach a lot about companion planting, but there are also some great companion planting guides on the internet, such as this one from Mother Earth News.

Succession Planting: Learning how to succession plant will help you avoid having too much of the same crop ready to harvest all at once. For example, you can plant a small amount of leaf lettuce every seven to ten days for a continuous harvest of tender baby salad greens.

 

Final Word

Learning the right skills and innovative techniques is definitely key to a successful garden, but no one can learn everything they need to know without hands-on practice. Gardening is a continuous learning process. Learn from your mistakes but remember to be proud of your improvements and accomplishments each season.

 

Innovative Growing Techniques  for you home garden is a feature post 

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