The popularity of gardening has exploded since the pandemic first hit our nation. Home gardens are one of the top outdoor living trends that homebuyers are looking for in a home in 2023. Maybe you are a beginner and are looking for ways to get started. Perhaps you’re a seasoned garden looking for innovative gardening techniques, or ways to maximize space, increase yields, or simply add some new tricks to your repertoire. If you’re a gardening enthusiast, you know that there’s always room for improvement.
I (Karen) am an avid gardener, and am always learning new gardening techniques. Let’s explore 10 cutting-edge gardening techniques that will take your green thumb to new heights. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, something, or even several things on this list, will help you create a stunning and productive garden. So, get ready to reap a bountiful harvest with these innovative gardening techniques.
Table of Contents
One innovative technique that you can try in your garden is vertical gardening. This innovative technique involves growing plants upwards instead of outwards, making it perfect for those who want to maximize limited space, whether it be on a balcony, patio, or small backyard.
Vertical gardening involves attaching plants to walls, fences, or trellises, allowing them to grow upwards instead of sprawling along the ground. This not only saves space but also makes harvesting much easier. Vegetables will also be safer from disease when grown up.
One of the most popular ways to do vertical gardening is using a living wall. Living walls are essentially vertical gardens that can be attached to the side of a building or a fence. They provide numerous benefits, such as improved air quality, reduced noise pollution, and increased insulation. They can cover an unsightly wall on a shed or garage. In addition, living walls make for an eye-catching and impressive focal point in any garden.
Another technique to try is using a trellis. A trellis is a structure that support climbing plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and grapes. They can be made from a variety of materials such as wood or metal, or found items that can be repurposed. They can be styled to fit any garden theme. Trellises not only save space but also provide support for the plants, preventing them from collapsing under their own weight.
Vertical gardening is not only practical but also visually appealing. It can add a unique element to your garden and make it stand out from traditional gardens. Trellised plants add to the vertical space, as well, adding upward visual interest. So, if you’re looking for a new and exciting gardening technique to try in 2023, consider giving vertical gardening a try.
Hydroponics is a gardening technique that allows you to grow plants without soil. Instead, plants receive all the necessary nutrients through water. This technique is ideal for those with limited space because it requires no soil and is perfect for growing plants indoors.
Hydroponics can be used to grow a variety of plants including herbs, lettuce, and even tomatoes. The process may require more attention and effort than traditional gardening, but it also offers a rich harvest. Hydroponics is an excellent technique for those who want to experiment with alternative gardening methods and want to grow plants without relying on soil.
Companion planting is a garden technique that has been used for centuries by gardeners to achieve better results by pairing plants with complementary growth patterns and pest-repelling abilities. Certain plants, when grown together, can help each other grow and thrive. For instance, planting basil next to tomatoes is said to enhance their flavor and yield.
Similarly, planting onions alongside carrots can help repel the carrot root fly from the carrots, and carrots help deter onion flies from the onions.
Companion planting can also help attract beneficial insects like bees and butterflies to the garden, which are essential for pollination. For example, planting marigolds near vegetable plants can attract predatory insects that feed on pests harmful to vegetables.
While many professionals will admit there is no “scientific evidence”, my experience tells me that companion planting does work. Overall, companion planting can create a diverse and productive garden ecosystem that can help increase yields and reduce the need for chemical pesticides, which is always a good thing. This technique can be used in any type of garden, whether it’s a small plot or a large farm.
Intercropping is an innovative gardening technique that involves planting two or more crops in the same bed, at the same time. This technique can help maximize space and increase yields by creating a more diverse and productive garden ecosystem.
The key to successful intercropping is to choose plants that have complementary growing habits and nutrient requirements. For example, planting beans with corn can be beneficial as beans add nitrogen to the soil, which corn requires for healthy growth. You may have heard of the “Three Sisters” guild, which is the way many American Indians planted corn, beans and squash together.
One benefit of intercropping is that it can reduce the need for chemical pesticides. When you plant multiple crops together, pests are less likely to become established, as they are less likely to find all of their preferred food sources in one area. Additionally, the diverse planting scheme can attract beneficial insects and pollinators that can help control pests and increase yields.
Intercropping can be used in any type of garden, from small backyard plots to large farms. It is a great way to make the most of limited space and create a more productive, sustainable garden. When combined with companion planting and other innovative gardening techniques, intercropping can help you grow a wide range of healthy, delicious vegetables and fruits in your backyard.
No Dig Gardening
No-Dig Gardening is quickly becoming a popular innovative gardening technique. It is the technique I use. Instead of tilling and turning over the soil, no-dig gardening involves building up layers of organic matter on top of the earth, creating a nutrient-rich environment for plants to thrive. By avoiding the disruption of the soil, gardeners can preserve the natural structure of the land, prevent erosion, and promote healthy soil microbes that contribute to plant growth.
The benefits of no-dig gardening go beyond preserving soil health. By using compost and other organic materials, you can create a self-sustaining system that reduces the need for fertilizers and other chemicals. Plus, the layering of organic materials, as in a “lasagna garden”, can help retain moisture in the soil, reducing the amount of watering needed throughout the growing season.
No-dig gardening can be implemented in any type of garden, from small backyard plots to large farms. In fact, it’s an excellent way to maximize space, particularly for those with limited yard space or who want to grow plants in containers. With no-dig gardening, you can easily create raised beds that are perfect for growing vegetables, herbs, and flowers.
By incorporating no-dig gardening into your gardening routine, you can significantly reduce the amount of time and effort needed to maintain a healthy garden. It’s a sustainable and innovative way to grow an abundance of plants without compromising the health of your soil.
In addition to no-dig gardening, another innovative gardening technique that’s gaining popularity is seed saving. Seed saving is the process of collecting seeds from plants in your garden and reusing them for future planting. By saving seeds, you can ensure the preservation of heirloom varieties and protect against the loss of genetic diversity in the plant world.
Not only is seed saving a sustainable and cost-effective way to grow your garden, but it also guarantees that your plants are specifically adapted to your local environment. This means you’ll have a higher chance of success when it comes to growing healthy and thriving plants. Additionally, seed saving allows you to have a constant supply of unique plant varieties that you may not find at your local garden center.
Seed saving is not difficult, but it does require some knowledge and a bit of patience. It’s important to properly collect, store, and label your seeds to ensure their viability and prevent any mix-ups. With the right tools and techniques, however, seed saving can become a rewarding part of your gardening routine.
I have found that the easiest seeds to save are Heirloom tomatoes, and any type of peppers, bell or hot. As you are cutting up your pepper, simply scrape the seeds onto a paper towel and let them dry.
With tomatoes, I use the Amish method of seed saving. Simply slice the tomato about 1/4 to 1/3 inch and lay the slices on top of a container of potting mix, or soil. Put the container in the garage, under the house in a crawl space, or in a protected spot outside. Nature will do the work. Start watering the container in spring and watch the seedlings sprout. Prick them out and pot them when they get to a couple inches tall.
If you’re looking to add greenery to your home or apartment, container gardening is an innovative gardening technique worth trying in 2023. Container gardening allows you to grow plants in small spaces, making it perfect for those who live in urban areas or lack yard space. Most HOAs are friendly towards container gardens. It’s also an excellent option for those who want to grow plants indoors or on balconies.
To start container gardening, all you need is a container, soil, and plants or seeds. Containers come in different materials, from plastic to ceramic to terracotta. Choose a container that is the appropriate size for your plant or plants and ensure that there is proper drainage. Choose soil appropriate for your plant and fill the container, leaving a few inches of space at the top.
Container gardening allows you to control the environment in which your plants grow. You can move the container to take advantage of the sunlight and adjust watering as needed. It’s also a great way to experiment with different plants and to grow plants that aren’t typically suited for your climate.
Hügelkultur is an innovative gardening technique that involves building a raised bed using natural materials such as logs, branches, and leaves. The organic matter in the bed slowly decomposes over time, releasing nutrients that nourish the plants growing in it. This technique is particularly useful in areas with poor soil quality, as it can improve soil structure and fertility.
One of the benefits of Hügelkultur is that it can help you maximize garden space and resources. By building a raised bed, you can create a deeper growing environment that allows for better root development, which can result in healthier and more productive plants. Additionally, the natural materials used in Hügelkultur beds can act as a sponge, retaining moisture and reducing the need for frequent watering.
If you’re interested in trying Hügelkultur, the first step is to gather the materials you’ll need. Start with a layer of logs or large branches, followed by a layer of smaller twigs and branches. Add a layer of leaves or other organic matter, followed by a layer of soil. Repeat this layering process until the bed reaches the desired height.
Once your Hügelkultur bed is built, you can plant a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers. Be sure to water the bed thoroughly after planting, and continue to water as needed throughout the growing season.
Try a Moon Garden
According to Google search for this term is trending. This is likely due to a number of factors, including the increasing popularity of gardening, the desire to enjoy nature at night, and the stress-relieving benefits of spending time in nature. It certainly is one of the most innovative gardening techniques I’ve seen.
A moon garden typically features white or silver plants that reflect the moonlight, as well as fragrant flowers that release their scent at night. Moon gardens can be created in any size or shape, and they can be planted in any type of soil.
If you are interested in creating a moon garden, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, choose a location that gets plenty of moonlight. Second, select plants that will thrive in your climate and that will bloom at night. Third, add some fragrant flowers to your garden to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere.
Like any garden, use a variety of heights and textures to create interest. You can add rocks, driftwood, or any other natural elements to add to the overall effect. Here are some of the most popular plants for moon gardens:
- White garden phlox
- White sweet alyssum
- White petunias
- White snapdragons
- White lilies
- White roses
- White cosmos
- White marigolds
- Snow-in-Summer (this has the added bonus of silver foliage)
- White bleeding heart
- White daffodil
- White Hydrangea
- Mock orange (the fragrance is outstanding, as well)
Permaculture is a relatively new concept to the American gardening world, but it’s quickly gaining popularity among those who want to create sustainable and healthy ecosystems in their own backyard. At its core, permaculture is all about working with nature to create a self-sustaining environment where plants, animals, and humans can thrive together.
The philosophy behind permaculture is to mimic the natural systems that occur in nature, such as the way plants and animals interact in a forest ecosystem. By doing so, you can create a garden that requires less maintenance, uses fewer resources, and is more resilient to changes in the environment.
There are many techniques that fall under the permaculture umbrella, including companion planting, nutrient cycling, and water conservation. These techniques work together to create a harmonious garden where everything is interdependent and self-sustaining.
One of the key benefits of permaculture is that it can help you create a garden that is both beautiful and functional. By planting a variety of species that work well together, you can create a garden that is not only visually appealing but also provides food, shelter, and habitat for a wide range of beneficial insects and animals.
If you’re interested in exploring permaculture further, there are many resources available online and in your community. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or just starting out, permaculture is a great way to take your gardening to the next level and create a truly sustainable and beautiful garden.
Innovative Gardening Techniques in Conclusion
The home garden is quickly becoming a fixture in today’s homes. Not only is a garden good for a homeowners health and well-being, a well-kept garden that fits into the landscaping can add real value to a home. If you haven’t given gardening a try, here are some great reasons to start!
Incorporating any these 10 innovative gardening techniques into your routine is sure to take your garden to new levels. From vertical gardening to no-dig raised beds, these methods are ideal to help you maximize yield and minimize maintenance. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. As one of my favorite garden quotes goes, “There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments”. – Janet Kilburn Phillips.
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Chris and Karen Highland
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