Sunday, March 17, 2013

Determining Your Gardening Style – Part 2

In my last post, Determining Your Gardening Style - Part 1, we looked at defining gardening styles:

1.  The Romantic Gardner;
Definitely the Romantic Side of Gardening
2.  The Busy Gardner;
3.  The Novice Gardner;  
4.  The Intermediate Gardner; and
5.  The Expert Gardner.

Do you know what style of gardener you are?  If not, let's start with some questions to get those green thumb juices running:

1.   How much time do you have each day to dedicate to gardening?  Do you want to spend an hour each day?  Or 10 minutes per day?  Be realistic.  What time do you really want to spend on gardening and how much time do you really have. 

Another garden shot - Hanging Pot in Background  - 2012
If you have less than 30 minutes a day, you are likely a Romantic and/or Busy Gardener.  Nothing wrong with that!  Now we know a lot about what type of garden you should have!  For these two styles of gardeners, it is recommended that you focus on container gardening. (more on that in my next blog)

If you have more time to spend on gardening ask yourself these questions:

2.  Where do you live?  What might seem like a trivial question, is actually the most important one when gardening.  Here are the pieces of information that you need to consider about your geography:
a.    What zone do you live in?  North America is divided up into 12 different “hardiness” zones and each zone is further subdivided into “a” and “b”.  When considering perennials for example, you must know your zone so that you can chose plants that will survive “your” winter.  Once you know this, you can choose your plants with a much greater level of confidence!  More information on hardiness zones can be found at Hardiness Zone Information

b.    Do you live in an apartment with a balcony or terrace? Or, do you live in a rented house? Or, do you live in a detached house with your own yard?  In other words, how much space do you have to garden?

3.  What direction does your space available for gardening face?  In other words, how much light do you get?

4.  If you are planning on planting in an actual garden plot, do you know what type of soil you have?  Is it clay-based?  Is it sand-like?  Understanding your soil composition will ensure that you are able to garden with success.  If you have clay soil, you will want to amend it with peat moss for example. 

Lilies from my garden - 2012
5.  What do you want to achieve from your gardening?  Do you want to have vegetables that you can share with family and friends?  Do you want vegetables that you can consume immediately? Do you want to can your vegetables for use over the winter?  Or, do you just want some flowers for your table and/or your terrace?

6.  Do you travel often?  If so, do you have someone who can care for your garden or plants while you are away? 

Now that you have answered these questions, we can determine what three remaining Gardening Styles you fall within and how you can make your gardening experience a good one. 

If you care to share the answers to the questions here, please do.  In my next blog post, we will look at some answers to these questions and what steps to