3 Types of Gardens for New Vegetable Gardeners

4 Materials
3 Hours
This is the year to start gardening! Here are the pros and cons of three popular types of gardens. These vegetable garden types are common and are well-suited to new gardeners. Choose which one suits you and your home best!

Before you get started planning your garden, grab your free printable garden planner. It works with all 3 of these types of gardens. I also love getting a new tool from my gardening wish list every spring. I never seem to have enough garden tools (or garden books!)
Flat-Earth Gardens (Grow in the Ground)
Type 1: Flat-Earth Gardens

Plants in flat-earth gardens are grown directly in the ground. If you have a yard, a flat-earth garden can be an easy, affordable way to start. You’re able to use the natural soil in the ground rather than having to buy soil and then rebuild a natural growing environment.

The main drawback of flat-earth gardens is that they’re not the easiest to maintain. They are sometimes located far from the house. You have to bend over to plant seeds, pick veggies, and pull the weeds that naturally exist in the soil. Lastly, the soil in the ground takes a long time to warm up each spring, delaying planting. This is particularly true of heavy clay soil, which can generally be a bother to garden in.
Container Gardens (Grow in Planter Pots)
Type 2: Container Gardens

Container gardens are perhaps the easiest way to get gardening. There are many crops that are quite easy to grow in a container. You can grow them on your apartment patio, on your deck, or indoors.

Because the containers lift the plant up off the ground, the soil warms up faster, allowing for earlier planting. Additionally, because you fill the planter with soil yourself, you have complete control over the soil in which your plants are growing. Containers have the added benefit of being portable. This is really nice if you’re new to gardening, because you can move them around your space to experiment with different light and precipitation amounts. You can also bring your container gardens inside in the winter if you live in a cold climate.

Container gardens can also get out of control, with too many containers to water effectively or to harvest from. Drainage holes can also leave water spots on concrete or wooden decks. In the worst cases, this can lead to rot. Some types of containers tend to break down over time, meaning you must buy new ones.
Type 3: Raised Bed Gardens

Raised bed gardens are a type of garden that combines the best parts of flat earth gardening and container gardening. They are basically giant containers that are connected to the ground.

Because these beds are raised up off the ground, the soil warms up earlier in the spring. You can start growing veggies earlier in the season. Building the raised beds also allows you to garden successfully if you have less-than-perfect natural soil, such as heavy clay or contaminated ground. You also don’t have to bend down as far to maintain your garden.

Raised beds can also be built with features like automated watering, built-in hoops for season extension and pest control cloth, and even fastenings for attachments like a cold frame. The downside of raised beds is that they can be expensive and time-consuming to install. Wooden raised beds may have to be replaced after many seasons of use.

Which Type of Garden Suits You?
Which type of garden suits you? Do you have a mix of types of gardens? How do you grow your vegetables? Do you use a different type of garden for your veggies? Enjoy your gardening season!

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Home for the Harvest | Mary Jane Duford
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