My Gardening Style

I started gardening 6 years ago. My initial attempt at gardening consisted of going to the local Mega Gigantico Mart and getting some seeds off a cardboard rack in their gardening section, buying a 72 cell mini disposable greenhouse, dropping the seeds –all peppers, into the now moistened cells and forgetting about the whole thing for a week.
I read none of the seed packets; I read no gardening books; I researched nothing on the Internet. Remembering how my mother just put seeds in discarded soup cans with regular dirt from the garden in them and got EVERYTHING and ANYTHING to grow on the windowsill of her kitchen window, I simply expected the seeds to germinate and become plants without any work on my part.

These days I put a little more effort into the whole exercise and also, I have began to think about my gardening style, my gardening philosophy: What kind of gardener am I? Why do I do this? Do I really need to grow 22 varieties of pepper?
I think the answers to these questions are taking shape every growing season. For example, I am now as concerned about the life under the garden as the life above it. This year, I have postponed turning my garden plot because I am concerned about all the little creatures hibernating under it. Then I read about the no-till gardening method and it seems sensible and appropriate to me.

And this concern about the ground critters is not a fad. I recognize a fad! If you want fads, I got fads!

  • Upside down hanging tomato planters. As seen on TV!
  • Self-watering containers. Home made because it was cheaper and more fun.
  • Water walls. Growing season extenders!

Also, every year I learn about a new thing in gardening and I just have to try it:

Square foot gardening. This one may turn out to be a life-long pursuit.
Ollas. Also may keep this one forever, if I ever get one!
Winter sowing in plastic milk containers. Just learned about this one so I haven’t tried it.
Watering spikes. They work but are expensive and plastic.
Soil Blocks. These are growing plugs made only out of compressed dirt. They sell the contraption to make them but you can also find instructions on DIY versions on the Internet (of course!).
Tomato ladders. The coolest thing ever but I am waiting on my brother to weld me some.

These techniques and tools may be replaced by the next big thing but my overall gardening philosophy, the base of it all is something more stable and that’s what I am talking about here.