Creative Vegetable Gardens

Creative vegetable gardens tips: take a second to consider some other more creative options!

The standard in ground rectangular vegetable garden has been the tried and true gardening method for generations. Before you resign yourself to follow in the steps of those other uncreative souls who went before you, take a second to consider some other more creative options!

Raised Bed Gardening-

This concept came to birth out of a marriage of function and form. Not only are raised bed gardens pleasing to the eye, but they can help solve a number of problems. You can create your raised beds out of just about any material. The simplest way is to use pressure treated (for durability) lumber to create a box at least 8-12 inches deep in any dimension that suits your needs. Raised beds can also be created out of railroad ties, brick, concrete block, rock, or any building material you can think of! Raised bed gardening is especially handy for people who live in areas with poor soil, and for those who can no longer bend all the way down to ground level to garden. Once you have your basic structure completed (and you can raise your bed to any height you'd like), fill it in with a combination of nutrient rich soil and compost. After that you plant and tend to your garden just as you would a traditional in ground garden.

Container Gardening-

With the rise in urban living, and increasing space constraints, folks longing for the feel of dirt on their hands came up with container gardens! Very simply, anything that can contain dirt can contain your garden. Pots, wooden tubs, metal tubs, half barrels, horse troughs... you are only limited by your imagination and the amount of space you have. Container gardens can be grown on roof tops, patios, and even inside your house! Again, just make sure you use a nutrient rich soil and organic compost and you will be good to go.

Combination Gardens-

Somewhere along the line we got the impression that vegetables should be grown in one area, and flowers in another. Whoever came up with this concept obviously didn't realize how dramatic and beautiful it could be to combine the two. Try incorporating both vegetables and flowers into the various planting beds around your house. Instead of viewing vegetable plants simply as practical producers, take into consideration the entire life cycle of the plant. Tomatoes, for example, produce lovely little yellow or white flowers before they start fruiting. Once they are done flowering they start producing brilliant red fruits. What would be lovelier than a trellis covering in a plant that both fruits and flowers? Plant some lovely little marigolds or snapdragons in the foreground and you have a combination garden!

Shape Shifter -

Who says vegetable gardens need to be rectangular? Why not plan a vegetable garden like you would an ornamental or flower garden focusing on the shape of the garden and the colors and textures of the plants you will be gardening with. Vegetable plants, just like any other plant go through several stages of growth. Many of them flower, produce beautifully colored "fruits", and then go to seed. By highlighting and taking advantage of each of these stages you can create a gorgeous annual garden. Combined with unusual flowing shapes, your garden will be the talk of the town!

By incorporating one of these ideas, or several, into the creations of your next vegetable garden you will be creating something that is not only practical, but beautiful as well!

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