Gardening is a difficult but interesting work. It involves a lot of principles that you should follow. Gardening includes various aspect as well as works, such as planning, designing, growing, fertilizing, caring, harvesting, and so on. The article is going to give you some practical principles of gardening that you should know to become an excellent gardener. This article will bring you some concrete ideas to care for your garden and farm.
- Species Diversity
The diversity of plants will promote the diversity of animal species. It is because different insects, birds, mammals, etc. will be attracted by different plant species. Therefore, a particular suite of insects won’t gather in one place as their preferred plants are often spread out.
To make your garden diverse in both plant and animal species, you should grow a small amount of wide variety of plants. If you have enough land, you can raise a wider variety of animal species. Following this principle does not mean that you have to give up the oblong bed of your garden. You don’t need to follow it fanatically. You can arrange your garden in a convenient and reasonable concept. The numbers of the rows, the plants you will grow in each bed, the place of the chicken cage, etc. are up to you. You can grow some flower to make your garden look more pretty and poetry.
This term refers to a relationship of mutual benefit or dependence between two or more than two species. No matter far or near each other they live, they still, connect, interact, exchange the natural properties and get their benefits from the other. For example, birds and insects get honey from a certain flower species, and then they help this flower species pollinate despite the distance. For another example, birds and animals eat fruits and berries, and then they help spread out the seeds of these fruits by excreting the fertilizer with undigested seeds, support the reproduction process of plants they feed on.
To make use of this natural relationship of plant and animal species, you should understand the companion planting, including the mutually beneficial interactions of the plants you grow together in your garden. You can even develop this principle farther by grouping plants which have a mutually beneficial association as “guilds.” By growing plants as guilds, you can take full advantage of symbiosis and save the labor in gardening.
In the best garden in the world, wildlife, species live in a balance. Herbivores eat plants; carnivores eat herbivores. They keep the other species in a controlled size and are likely to live in balance. A variety of plants provide foods for herbivores as well as habitats for animals. These plants and herbivorous animals together create a complicated food web, supply a diverse source of foods for carnivorous species. It preserves the balance of wildlife out of outbreak.
To maintain the balance in your garden, you can grow a variety of plants or raise many different animals if possible, supply food and habitat for native species, and try to put up with wildlife condition even if it may be inconvenient. When designing your garden, you should choose native trees to grow so that they can provide proper foods as well as habitat for native species, which non-native trees cannot do. You should also take climate, moisture, soil type and other natural conditions into consideration before choosing the plants to grow. You also have to consider the symbiosis of native animals and insects and the plants. You can grow some herbs or plants for foods, like fruit trees, vegetables, beans, groundnuts, or some flowers if you like.
Redundancy in gardening means that in the natural biologic systems in a garden, many different species can do the same function. This redundancy ensures the resiliency of the system as when one species is lost, and its function remains thanks to other species with the same function.
To apply this redundancy to your garden, you should grow many plant species which overlap in function in your garden. For example, instead of growing only broccoli in the garden, you should grow many different vegetables so that if the broccoli doesn’t grow as expected, you will have another vegetable for meals. You can also make your meal more diverse with various kinds of greens, too. Moreover, the more species of plants you grow, the more variety of insects and birds your garden attracts. These insects and birds will help pollinate and nourish the soil.
- Vertical Structure
Your garden may contain many trees at different heights. Under the canopy of tall trees are smaller ones, herbs, greens, etc. If your garden is diverse in “layers” of plants, it will be more plentiful in animals than a mono-layer garden, because multi-layer garden can supply more habitation conditions for different animal species.
So, you should combine a diversity of plants at different heights in your garden to create a high level of vertical structure. Tall fruit and nut trees are in the upper height, shrub and berries are in the medium height, and herbs and greens are in the lower one.
- Growing Plants According To Natural Light, Soil And Moisture Conditions
There are two directs you can follow. The first one is growing according to the natural conditions in your garden. If the soil in your garden is dry and sandy, you can plant drought-tolerant species. If it’s moisture, grow the ones that need water. When you grow the plants that live well in the natural condition in your garden, you can save a lot of energy in doing the gardening.
The second choice is changing the natural conditions in your garden. If the soil condition is poor, plant some nitrogen-fixing species to nourish it. You can change the light condition by growing some tall trees to create shade for shade-grown plants. By changing the existing condition in the garden, you can diversify the plant bed in your land.
Succession is the changing process of species composition when a species dies and resigns natural conditions like light, soil, and moisture for other alive ones in its neighbor. It’s more common in wildlife but unusual in garden or farm when people always arrange and grow their plant according to season and natural condition in their farm or garden. However, you can still apply this concept by combining short-term plants with long-term species. Additionally, some plant cannot yield when growing under the shade of others while some will, so, by understanding this term, you’ll know how to combine the plant in your garden.
You should keep organic dead properties, like leaves, branches, trees and let them disintegrate to fertilize the soil, add more nutrients to the soil. This organic fertilizer also improves exhausted soil after many crops. You can also grow some nitrogen-fixing plant species to fertilize the soil naturally. To recycle and build nutrient-rich soil, use organic properties produced right in your garden.
- Minimal Tilling
Besides making the soil rich in nutrients, you should also tiller the soil to make it aerated and oxygen-dense. But you shouldn’t plow the land as it can make the nutrients release faster and more than the amount that the plants can absorb, destroy the structure of the soil, and lead to erosion.
You’d better use minimal tilling methods such as hugelkultur or lasagna garden. These methods include layering organic properties which keep the weeds down so that you needn’t tiller. These methods help the soil aerated and oxygen-rich without destroying the soil structure so that the plants can grow well. You can raise some chicken to have them scratch the land and use their droppings to fertilize the soil.
The article has given you some practical principles of gardening that you should know to be a good gardener. By following these principles, you can make your garden lush, green, and grow well. Gardening involves many skills and a lot of effort, and also patience. However, seeing your pretty garden developing every day would be a wonderful feeling. Eating fresh, natural and safe foods produced right in your garden would be even a more wonderful feeling. Let’s make gardening an interesting work with these simple-but-effective practical principles.
This guest post is by Emily Pham, a blogger with many years of experience in searching the best effective remedies for health and beauty issues.