You Can Listen to This Article Here
Innovative Gardening Solutions you Definitely Need
Gardening is not just having a nice looking backyard or having fresh veggies and herbs from time to time. No, it’s a way to get in touch with nature, to connect with something primal and ancient.
You actually create life from the earth, you get something beautiful, or something that will nourish your body. Even the process itself is fantastic for you.
The end result is always fantastic, but even before that, you are spending hours outside, getting some fresh air and sunlight. But, why not gain a bit more from all of that?
Why not get that Western idea of progress and optimization, and combine it with your gardening.
As we’ve said, the process does matter. But why not get a better yield or faster results with less effort? You can then focus on enjoying the actual process more and will leave you with some room for error.
So, below you can find some innovative gardening solutions, from the high-tech to the DIY system to make your backyard a peaceful oasis.
Read on to make your garden the best it ever was.
The Mittlieder method
The Mittlieder methodology is a strange combination of soil-based and hydroponic gardening. It’s both creative and affordable since it utilizes the space you have incredibly well.
It’s fantastic for both farmers in beautiful, rugged rural areas, and for people who live in busy cities, stuck in their apartments.
As far as the method itself, it is based on two important factors (stated by Dr. Mittledier, the creator of the method). First, nutrients.
According to the good doctor, your plants should be sustained by 16 essential gardening nutrients. The other factor is how you distribute the soil.
Namely, according to this method, you should always go with centralized watering, not drip irrigation. He also believes that you should regularly prune your vegetable plants.
So, if you’ve been wanting to try something new for a long time now, or are simply unhappy with the results you’re getting, give this one a go.
Keyhole gardening is a special system that is great when you want to plant a garden in difficult, inhospitable areas. Now, as far as how they are set up, they get their name from their shape.
You get a round bed, with a triangular aisle so you can access it. These all surround a circular center compost.
Now, as far as why they are useful, there are several reasons.
First, they have raised beds, which allows you to regulate the soil. The compost found in the center allows nutrients to constantly enter and renter the soil.
This will nourish the soil, especially when you pour water into the compost pile. This will minimize the occurrence of drought for the crops you’re planting there.
Another nice aspect of this type of garden is that it’s really easy to build, and it’s really easy to decorate. You can use bricks, wood, cinderblocks, tree logs…
Also known as window farms, there are great for city slickers or just people in general who live in apartments.
These take advantage of the extra vertical room you have (since that is all the space you really got). You can create a cascade of vessels (flower pots, high-quality planter bags, and halved water bottles) that go down your window.
Now, as far as the set up goes, it’s rather simple. You, of course, need some kind of vessel, but you also need an air pump.
With an air pump, you can circulate nutrients throughout the structure. Connected all the vessels you have with this pump, starting from the top. And of course, place these plants in direct sunlight.
The only issue here is that you need to find a good air pump. Know, however, that these are most often used in fish tanks, things of that nature.
Another very popular method is lasagne gardening. These are very specific because they kind of make it ok if you let your garden go.
A neglected garden and backyard need to be fixed up as soon as possible when it comes to non-organic junk. Things like plastic chairs, old tires, they all need to be gone.
But, cardboard boxes, newspapers, weeds, and dead plants –you can use this for your lasagne gardening.
Namely, first, choose an area where you want to plant your garden. You can use cardboard and newspapers for this. Then, get them wet with a garden hose.
This does a couple of things. First, you will help turn that junk into compost. Second, you will smother and turn off all the plants that are already there, including grass and weeds.
Second, you need to gather “green” and “brown” materials. Green materials are compost, manure, grass clipping, yard waste, and any kind of organic matter that rots.
Brown is usually peat moss, straw, wood chips, dry leaves… Think of it as wet and moist vs. dry and brittle materials.
Then, make the lasagne by placing 5 inches of brown matter, and then 3 inches of green matter. Alternate this until you have at least two layers of each.
After that, leave it as it is until spring comes. Then is planting time, and you can continue normally.
The point of all this is that you get a very easy and cost effective way of creating rich, organic soil and compost. You use the materials that are in front of you and place them accordingly.
This is a great way to recycle and to make cleaning up your backyard a bit easier.
Aquaponics is interesting in the sense that they do not require soil in order to help you grow whatever it is you’re growing.
You do this by using waste produced by fish as your main source of nutrients. Now, how you set the entire system up depends on the type of plants you are, well, planting.
Some need to be completely submerged, while others just have their roots in the basing. As far as the fish is concerned, your best bet is tilapia, trout, carp, koi, and barramundi.
These fish are relatively sturdy and easy to handle. If you do choose to go with some other type, always go with freshwater fish.
Of course, you also need to connect the entire system with your fish tanks. While you will need to pay close attention to the tank itself, taking care of it as if you were taking care of any other fish tank.
However, you are creating an interesting symbiotic relationship between the fish and the plants. Namely, the fish will create excrement that is a fantastic plant fertilizer.
Furthermore, this waste is toxic to the fish, but the plants will actually purify and oxygenate the water.
You can definitely find all the essential gardening tools and a kit for something like this in your local (better furnished) gardening store. Know that you may need to get heaters, biofiltration systems, monitors…
Do you have any old tires lying around your home backyard? Well, its time you put them to use. Tire gardening gives a kind of rugged, interesting look, while at the same time being pretty useful (and recyclable) gardening containers.
You simply take an old tire and cut off the outer rim of the tire. This gives you a nice garden “border” that is tough on the outside, but smooth and flexible on the inside.
Furthermore, you can stack these treads on top of one another, giving you taller containers. This is great for root plants (potatoes, for example), since they need as much space as you can give them.
A nice benefit is that the dark color of the treads (i.e. black) heats up quickly.
You can also shape these in basically whatever way you want. Get some rocks and make a clover or a star.
However, an oval or round shape will probably be your best bet and the most effective utilitarian option.
Remember to stack the tires properly when you set them up, and fill in all the extra room between them.
Straw bale gardens
Finally, we have the straw bale gardening system. So, here is what you need. First, get a straw bale and prepare it. The two-week preparation process entails applying water and nitrogen to the bales.
This will lead to bacteria within these stacks to multiply immensely in a couple of days (faster if the weather is warmer). The bacteria will multiply and consume parts of the bales.
They will eat the cell walls of the grains found in the straw, and release back as more nutrients.
This will also attract worms, bugs, mold, and fungi into the bales, giving you very rich, very strong base on which you can plant some plants.
Know that you can plant basically anything since this is a very nutrient-rich base. Still, go with vegetables that have smaller roots, like potatoes.
Corn is a no go, as well as any vegetable that needs several years to grow.
Now, keep in mind that you should do this once you know the exact place where you want to plant whatever it is you want to plant.
This will be very difficult to move once you started preparing it, since it will lose its structure, and become heavier in general.
And there you have it folks, a couple of ways you can innovate the way you set up your garden. There are of course many ways to do it, all depending on how imaginative you are.
So, you can try out the tire system. This one allows you to recycle old tires, and helps you set up interesting shapes and easy flower beds.
You can experiment with aquaponics, making a small, almost self-sustaining eco-system. Another option is preparing old hay and straw bales. Fill them up with water and nitrogen, and let nature do the rest.
Make sure you have all the essential gardening tools.
These can then serve as perfect bases on which you can plant your veggies. If you live in an apartment, have no fear – you can make a hanging garden, using vessels, an air pump, and a little ingenuity.
About the Author
Liam Smith is a young and aspiring Australian blogger with a passion for everything related to home, design, and lifestyle. He has a B.Sc. in Interior design and is an avid reader.