A friend said to me.. so what is your main way to garden.. and my answer was it depends..
It was more honest answer then you would expect, I don’t know if I am the norm or the odd gal out but I garden in a ton of different ways.
I have a garden area that is done in a big sweeping way that is dryland planted in spacing? that area of my garden gets a huge cleanup twice a season a big deep layering an otherwise, looks like a jungle in there.. its very low work with medium yields.
Its on a slope, its got a high water table and its been pig turned fully twice over the past ten years.
Then there is the “main front garden area” now its about the size of a large yard garden, and its split between loosely raised beds, annual’s, climbing fencing and such.. this how area of the garden has been double dug at least three times over the past ten years, it has had a lot of work done in it.. the soil is outstanding in this area.. Anything can be planted in these area’s, but I tend to move them around with a mix of roots (because the soil is clean and well worked) with greens and so forth.
I use a lot of straw in my gardens, I tend to order in when possible, around 3000 to 5000 pounds of clean straw, I also use a lot of the farm compost as well, I have no doubt that both of these have great worked in our favor in the gardens.
Then we have the fruiting area’s.. the rhubarb beds, the strawberry beds, the raspberry cane rows and so much more for the soft fruits.. I would like to tell you that they are perfectly kept but they are not.. they are cleaned out a few times a year and bedded down and then they are tough and on their own pretty much!
Here are a few more examples of different areas.. in the main garden area’s..
Ok, so lets move on.. so then we are going to the food forest, but more in the annual way of things about it.. I like to make quick fast long mound raised beds in areas in the food forest.
You just roll out a bale, half way down, turn it, roll the other way, dig a hole down the first layer, fill it will a mix of soil and compost and then plant in the heavy feeders, they will drive their roots into the soil below and go! The one below shows the total fill in in the area when the plants are filled it and running.
Then we have the straw bale garden..
and here they are in the fall, this garden has been in use now for a number of years is still going well, but not in drought!
Then there is the metal gate garden.. its a combo of a raised bed garden with the climber made in the middle..
Then there are the mound mini-gardens with their own water pipes
Then there are the Bean or Pea climber area.. I have tried to have all the gardens showing at approx. the same time frame despite over a number of years, this area is made, planted and growing but not bedded down yet 🙂
Then there is the Bean Teepee Garden..
Then there are the hugelbeds..
There are three of these on the farm now, with a new one planned for this year to be made in 2017.. these are the powerhouses of the drought years, they are great ways to also clean up the farm, they are a lot of work to make by hand, they require repair work yearly and they are worth it for what they are good at..
This is a small hugelculture bed growing cantaloupe, anything that likes heat and compost with good steady moisture.
Covered Beds.. and more..
So the answer to the question of what style of garden do I do.. anything and everything.. its wild, creative and productive, it uses up all kinds of things produced from my small farm.
So what kind of gardener are you? Do you have only one main way to garden or do you have different gardens in different area’s, do you use this or that.. do you use climbers, do you use raised beds, do you use hugelculture beds? Do you double dig any beds?
Denise> what a really interesting post, and a style of gardening we’d describe as practical, pragmatic, productive!
Loved this post! Informative but not overly wordy and tons of great photos! Love that you garden every way!
Thank you for letting me know you liked the post 🙂