Putting together the planning for an outdoor garden is almost as much fun as it is to pick your fresh fruits and vegetables when they become ripe. Fruits and vegetables from a home grown garden have more flavor, are more juicy, and are more ripe as you get to control when they are picked, and they don’t have to be shipped across the country, or even across the world. Many commercial farming operatings don’t have good soil, as the soil is depleted from all of it’s nutrients as they raise crop after crop in the same soil. Some higher end better quality farms know how to, and have the money and time to, invest in replenishing their soil so they will have good fruits and vegetables, but as I’m sure you have had the same experience as I do when it comes to buying fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. They are bland. Completely tasteless, not as juicy, not as fresh, as what you can grow at home. As a gardener, at home, I like to replenish the soil each year as I prepare to plant so that my fruits and vegetables are the best that they can be. This takes hard work, and planning, as well as some additional cost. I don’t garden at home just to save money on the ridiculous fruits and vegetables that I buy in the store and throw half of everything I buy away because it just doesn’t taste good. I garden at home so that I can control the growing of my garden, to ensure that everything that I grow is absolutely delicious, so that I can share the fruits of my labor with friends and family. There are many important things to plan for when you start thinking about creating your own garden at home.
Things to Consider While Planning Your Garden
A good sized piece of your property to grow what you are looking to grow A water system, sprinkler system, and drip system will need to be designed Adding the right nutrients to your soil for a healthy and delicious output Fencing to keep out the garden robbing critters
A Good Sized Piece of Land for Building Your Garden
A good sized piece of land is important, unless you are looking for the more condensed types of gardens, like the tower type hydroponics gardens that save space (and can actually be grown indoors). You will want to find an area of your property that you can either build out now into a large garden, or have room to grow as you mature your garden over a number of years.
A Water System for Your Garden
Every outdoor garden requires a good amount of water. If you don’t want to spend your entire spring and summer out there watering for hours on end, it’s a good idea to install an automated watering system combining sprinklers, and drip systems to ensure the right amount of water is given to each vegetable plant, fruit plant, and fruit tree (if you are including fruit trees in your garden). This will save you countless hours each day, that you can spend tending to the funner parts of gardening, picking the fruits of your labor, and the occasional drip system or sprinkler repair.
Adding Nutrients to Your Garden’s Soil
Every year you will want to mix in some good nutrients into your garden’s soil to give your fruits and vegetables the best flavors that they can achieve. Your plants in your garden, as well as the winter weather, will use up or wash away those valuable nutrients, so you will want to make sure that as you are preparing to plant your garden each year that you replenish these nutrients into the soil.
Keeping Out the Garden Robbing Critters
Every gardener experiences critters that come in to rob the garden of your delicious fruits and vegetables. It’s a good, if you can, to fence in your garden, to keep out those critters so that you can enjoy all of the fruits and veggies instead of one of the animals on your property getting to enjoy them. Some types of plants will require additional protections, as you will learn over time, but a solid landscaping decorative fence should do the trick, and if you have additional critters that can jump over them, like deer, there are other tricks that you can do to lessen the theft of your delicious fruits and vegetables.
OUTDOORS GARDENING, AQUAPONICS, & HYDROPONICS
There is nothing that beats the fresh, and flavorful, taste of your own fruits and vegetables from a home grown garden. The reason why a home grown garden is so delicious and flavorful is because you can do amazing things to grow the perfect fruits and vegetables by starting with good soil, and add nutrients to the soil, and more. Commercial soils are typically depleted of good nutrients and they just don’t taste as good as a good home grown vegetables, and fruits.
Advancements In Gardening
There are so many amazing advancements in farming and gardening technologies, and so many different types of gardening these days to add to the fun. The possibilities are limitless, from standard gardening, to raised beds, to greenhouses, and for the latest in technologies you can upgrade to hydroponics gardening, and aquaponics farming. The type of garden to use depends on how much space your have, whether you want it to be indoors, or outdoors, and we will go over each of these below.
Types of Gardens
•Outdoor Garden•Outdoor Garden with Raised Beds•Greenhouse Garden•Hydroponic Garden•Countertop Hydroponic Garden•Aquaponic Garden and Fish Farming
An outdoor garden is the standard garden that can be as simple, or as extravagant as you would like it to be. Using a watering source from as simple as a bucket or a hose, to a sprinkler, or drip system, and planting your seeds right into the soil. The soil can be improved each season by using a rototiller, and adding nutrients to the soil to blend it in and mix the soil up to be ready for a new season. The garden can be enhanced by adding fencing, drip systems, sprinklers, and more.
Outdoor Garden with Raised Beds
If you have bad soil, or if you are unable to dig down into your soil, adding raised beds into a garden gives you a more controllable environment to grow in. You can buy raised beds, or you can build them out of any type of materials that can hold the soil. Then fill the beds with soil, and they are ready to plant. Raised beds act as a barrier to pests like slugs and snail, they keep pathway weeds from your garden soil, prevent the soil from getting compacted, and will provide good drainage to keep your garden healthy.
A greenhouse garden has a structure or building with walls and roof made chiefly of transparent material, such as glass, plastic film, or plexiglass in which plants that need a more regulated climate are grown. Greenhouses come in all shapes and sizes, and you can build your own as well. The interior of a greenhouse, due to the clear exterior is exposed to sunlight which makes the internal temperature warmer than the external temperature to protect your plants in times of cold weather.
A Hydroponic Garden is a system where plants grow through a process called photosynthesis, which is where they use sunlight (or an LED equivalent of sunlight) along with a chemical in their leaves called chlorophyll to convert carbon dioxide from the air and water into glucose (a type of sugar) and oxygen. Three is no soil, or dirt, anywhere in the system. Plants don’t need soil, they just need water and nutrients.
Countertop Hydroponic Garden
A nice addition to my garden was an indoor countertop hydroponic garden. They are very simple to use, there is no soil, and no mess. It’s an all inclusive unit, with seed pods that you add seedss to (spongelike aterial), and set the lighting, and your all set. They come in many different sizes from a small flower unit that makes a nice addition to the kitchen counter, to larger pod systems that can raise 10 to 20 or more vegetable plants. Depending on your budget, you could have the equivalent of a full outside garden setup in each of the different rooms in your house. Very easy to maintain, and manage. My little super hero gardener sidekick didn’t come with the unit, but he sure does help out a bunch in the picking, and eating of our bell peppers as seen in the picture above. My family really enjoys our gardening with these larger sized counter top units. They make floor standing units that are even up to ten times the size of this one. They provide all the lighting with their built in LED programmable lighting system, you just add and maintain the water level, add nutrients when the unit tells you to, and pick the veggies when they are ready.
Countertop Hydroponics Garden from Click & Grow
Hydroponic Garden vs Aquaponic Garden
Hydroponics and Aquaponics are very similar, but they are different in how the water is used in the system. Aquaponics uses water from raising fish, adding to your self sustaining garden the ability to raise fish for food, or pets, at the same time, while using nutrients from the water from raising the fish to feed and water the plants.
Aquaponic Garden and Fish Farming
An Aquaponic Garden is the combination of aquaculture and hydroponics. It is a type of hydroponic system that uses water from the fish raised water (aquaculture). This water is a highly nutrient solution for the plants to thrive in. Water from the aquaculture tanks, basically like having a large fish tank, are pumped to plants containing reservoirs. These reservoirs have bacteria living in there that will convert ammonia and nitrite from the fish water into nitrate. Plants take up this nutrient rich water, and the filtered clean water is once again returned to the fish tanks. It’s like having a full circle biosystem. The types of fish used for this purpose typically includes your standard aquarium type fish (goldfish, guppies, koi, tetra), Tilapia, Trout, (commonly used), Trout, Carp, Freshwater Prawns, etc. You can grow just about anything, including vegetables like lettuce, beans, spinach, cucumber, etc., as well as herbs such as basil, thyme, lemongrass, parsley, etc., and fruits such as strawberries, watermelon, tomatoes and most garden varieties of flowering plants. We also have more information for you about fish farming with an aquaponics garden.
More About Gardens
Greenhouse GardensHydroponics GardensRaised Garden BedsAbout The Author Mike Mendenhall is the the founder of Mendenhall Outdoors. This website is an extension of the Mendenhall family’s lifestyle and passion for the great outdoors. Everything that they learn, and experience, along the way that they find may be valuable to our website visitors is on the site for you to enjoy. We highlight products and services that you might find interesting. We frequently receive free products from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. If you click a link on this page, then go on to make a purchase, we might receive a commission – at no extra cost to you, and does not impact the purchase price of any products that you may purchase. The Best Gardening Experience Awaits!