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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Row Row Row......Your Garden

By Michael

Many of you might know that we recently purchased our property and so we are beginning the process of starting a new garden in our backyard. We wanted to share the process of starting a garden with all of you. Our hope is that it might help some of you that don't have a lot of experience with gardening. Our other hope is that those of you that are experts can give us some tips and guidance.

We have already chosen and ordered our seeds. If you have not it isn't too late to order online, or even go to your local nursery to get seeds. If you are starting a new garden like us, the next step after ordering seeds is to determine what type of garden you want to do. Over the next few days we will discuss some of the more popular gardening methods.

Traditional Row Gardening

This is the type of gardening I grew up on. My dad was a potato farmer so gardening in rows made a lot of sense . Row gardening is still very popular. In row gardening you make a row or small hill in your garden and you plant your vegetables in a line. You can walk down the areas between the rows to access your gardens. This method is more popular for those gardeners that have larger plots of land. This is one of the reasons it worked better for my dad because we had a lot of land to use. I have seen and had a lot of success using row gardens.

Advantages of Row Gardening

  • Row gardens are good for those that can flood irrigate. As you flood, water will be taken naturally down the lower areas between the rows and water you whole garden well.
  • Row gardens look neat and nice. I think they are very visually appealing. Maybe that is because I grew up looking at rows and rows of potatoes.
  • Row gardening makes it easier to weed in some cases as plants are spaced in a uniform manner. The weeds are also easy to reach or hoe since you can hoe around each plant.
  • Row planting does not require purchasing extra materials for building boxes or barriers like other methods.
Disadvantages of row gardening

  • Row gardening takes up a lot of space and thus it is usually less efficient than other methods that we will discuss. Many backyard farmers don't have space to row garden.
  • Row gardening does not use water as efficiently as other methods because the plants are spread out more and moisture can escape the soil easier.
Plants that do well in rows include potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, beets, radishes, and plants that have sprawling vines like melons, cucumbers, and squash.

If you have gardened using single rows, share with us what you liked or didn't like about it.


ali said...

Thank you for sharing! I'm starting a garden for the first time this year. I will probably have to start small. I'm currently a student and that takes up a great deal of my time, but I'm so excited to get started! Can't wait to see what else you post!

Thanks. :)


Row is best. No need to reinvent the old wheel. With row gardening you can easily install drip irrigation to conserve on water use.

How will you orient your rows if you choose row tillage? north-south or east-west? I have read that n-s conserves soil moisture by reducing the drying effects of wind. My rows are n-s; but there isn't any science to it.

Thanks for including us in your garden progress.

Green Griffin said...

So hard to get to get those hoop houses to go in circles. Rows are so much easier for this and all those engineering aspects of gardening, like moving a wheel barrel in a straight line or counting (nevertheless, I still prefer integrated beds and mulch paths for their space efficiencies and beauty)

Mike said...

Ali: My next article is on square foot gardening., This might be the best choice for you if your space is limited.

Maybelline: We haven't decided on the row orientation. I have read so many differing opinions and ideas that I don't think it matters much. What do you like about the north south rows you have?

Green Griffin:i like the idea of integrated beds as well. We will definitely use some integrated beds in our front yard.

daisy said...

Mike-I have a square foot garden. Looking forward to your insights!

A. Edwards said...

We have 25 different seeds all starting to grow and four 5' square raised planters started. We are going with square foot gardening in the raised beds so I look forward to your next post.


I prefer n-s orientation for the even sun exposure. Plus, my irrigation system is set up for gravity flow (n-s) or drip.

Rows are just so much easier and efficient for me. Just take a drive down a country road. I wager you will not see any farms that are not row farmed with the exception of those crazy corn mazes grown for fall entertainment.

Please get yourself a copy of the "Have-More" Plan by Robinson. It details a homesteading venture from the 1940s. Very practical advice on farming, gardening, animal husbandry, etc. Check it out and see what you think. Very helpful.