Thursday, June 4, 2015

Keeping Gardening Simple

There are all sorts of cute and fun garden suggestions on web, but I feel that most just complicate the process. Most the ideas actually work, but I find that they tend to create more work for the gardener than necessary. But if you find them fun, then go ahead and do it! Some people may take exception that I have certain activities on this "just making it more difficult" list, but as I said, if you like doing it, by all means indulge and enjoy. I've done a few just or the fun of it, but when it comes to serious food growing, I don't. 

Seed starting in egg shells
Artsy, colorful trellises 
Crafty, creative looking garden signs
Maintaining worm bins for processing kitchen waste
Sifting compost
Making homemade seed tapes
Making homemade paper mâché pots using compost teas
Creating detailed garden maps
Adhering to companion gardening 
Planting by moon charts
Creating complex beds, for example, an herb tower or pot towers. 
Creating gardens by focusing on plant color & texture. 
Creating garden layouts via set patterns, such a maze, radiating star beds, horseshoe gardens, etc. 

While I enjoy experimenting and playing, always present on my mind it that my goal is to produce enough food to comfortably live on and to achieve that essentially all by myself. So I'm hesitant to create more work for myself. 

Over the years I've ditched a lot of garden ideas that have been not so productive or beneficial. Or that had easier alternatives. Foremost that comes to mind is worm bins. Once my soil gained fertility, I ditched the bins. I now apply mulch material and "worm foods" directly to the soil. Or use them to fill grow boxes. I get a very healthy colony of worms doing this, and of course their by-products go directly where wanted. If perchance I had buckets of garbage that needed processing, I'd use worms. Bit I don't have access to that. 

I no longer plant by moon charts. I saw no visual advantages or improved results. I stopped using seed tapes....just got better at seed sowing and thinning instead. No more compost sifting.....chunky is good. And so on and so on. 

Oh I still play. I'm not totally dull. But the fun takes place when I have the time to spare. I've corresponded with other gardeners who never seem to be able to get their gardens planted on time. They get stuck on creating their maps, painting signs, making the perfect potting soil, following guides in some book. I guess I just have switched my first, fun second. 

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