Gardeners love gardening. There is an unspoken bond between gardeners. We are bound by the soil, the plants, the weather and the water. Gardening lets you know that you are but a shepherd guiding life but never having total power over it.
When walking the neighborhood, it is nothing to start a conversation with a stranger over a plant you’ve never seen before or an over-abundant tree of fruit. We share our secrets for the most part unless we are growing prize specimens and are in competition.
Gardeners Are Committed
So many times I’ve heard people say they don’t have a green thumb. Everyone has a green thumb. You just need to learn the gardening basics and gather together basic tools. Just like raising a family, plants need basic nurturing. You learn to read their needs since they cannot vocalize them like a baby or pet. Failure happens when basic needs are given in abundance or lacking. You need to commit to caring for your plants throughout their lifetime.
Types Of Gardening
1. Window sill
Shut-ins, apartment dwellers, condo owners garden in pots near a window or on their window sill. Most often this type of gardening is for houseplants. If you are into cooking, your window sill garden is probably herbs. Parsley, sage, rosemary, chives, dill, cilantro and basil love to live by the window.
Houseplants fall under this category. Most houseplants come from tropical rain forest or desert climates.
Plantings done around the house structure and yard. Basically shrubs and trees are set into beds to deter break-ins, keep the foundation protected, provide shade, heating and cooling. Lawns fall into this category. Maintenance is basic. Weed, mulch, water and fertilize. Lawns need to be mowed and shrubs and trees may need some occasional pruning.
3. Flower Beds
Flower beds can be formal or casual. They can be anchored with a single tree or shrub or a grouping of them. Flower choices can be annual, biennial, or perennial. Flower beds can be for landscape interest or for cutting. Flower beds need a bit more attention when it comes to maintenance.
4. Vegetable Patch
An area of the landscape is dedicated to growing vegetables or fruits. The ground needs to be weeded and tilled. Amendments are added to keep the soil well-draining and fluffy. Organic material is added to fertilize and promote natural organisms in the soil. A water source needs to be close at hand.
5. Raised Beds
Raised beds are used to have control over the soil. Existing ground may not be ideal for gardening. Raised beds can be for architectural interest or to raise the garden up for easier access for those with disabilities.
Raised beds warm up quicker than flat soil allowing for an earlier vegetable or fruit harvest. Because the gardener controls the soil, plants grow very well closer together.
6. Container Garden
Containers come in all shapes and sizes. Containers are used when space is at a premium, soil is not usable, or plants need to be portable. Containers require daily watering and monitoring. The containers warm quicker than a bed so plants tend to grow faster and use up nutrients quickly. Once a week liquid fertilizer is added at half strength.
7. Vertical Gardening
Also a space-saver, going up allows as much if not more space for gardening. Walls, fences, balconies and vertical structures give a new take to container gardening.
8. Greenhouse Gardening
A greenhouse is an enclosed environment where control over heat, moisture, sun-exposure, soil and, air-quality are desired. Vegetables and flowers can be produced out of season or in areas that normally are not their zone.
9. Hydroponic Gardening
Gardening in water is a new world. Hydroponic gardening is seen as the method that will be used for space travel and colonizing other worlds. Water is cycled and recycled. Fertilizers are added to the water.
There are more types of gardening like farm, rock, terrace, terrarium gardening to whet your appetite. Gardening can be as simple and inexpensive or as elaborate and costly as you make it.
A “Green Thumb” is subjective. As a gardener, I like to try different plants and techniques. When my neighbor said I have a green thumb, I pointed out that she only sees my successes, not my failures.
My reasons for gardening are that it allows me to become one with nature. It is a spiritual thing. I grow fruits and vegetables that I like. I know where they come from and what’s on them. I know that I will be able to survive a disaster that involves my ability to grow food.