ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Types of Vegetable Gardening Styles

Updated on October 31, 2019
cygnetbrown profile image

Cygnet Brown currently lives in the Missouri Ozarks. She loves writing, researching history, trivia, and gardening.


Numerous Vegetable Gardening Styles

Over the years I have come across numerous gardening styles. Although this is not an exhaustive list, here a few that I have used or are preparing to use.

Planting in Rows

When I was growing up, everyone I knew planted their garden in the traditional row style of gardening. It stems from the fact that farmers plant their monoculture plants in rows for easy machine planting, cultivation, fertilizing, and harvesting.

Many gardeners still plant this way and certain crops often do better using the single row method. Corn and tomatoes typically are planted in single rows, allowing the corn to pollinate easily and for tomatoes to spread upward and outward when staked.

Using Wide Rows

As I grew older, I found that I didn’t always have a lot of space to grow my gardens. Often I had a small area in which to plant so I started growing my garden plants in wide rows.

Wide rows work well for garden crops that I plan to harvest all at once, plants like green beans. I usually planted them two rows wide. This cut down on space because I was able to grow twice as many green beans in the same area. In addition, it made hand harvesting easier because I could straddle the rows as I was picking and could pick both rows at once. This saved me time.

Vertical Gardening

To save even more space in my small garden, I started growing my garden vertically. I found that I could utilize space by planting along a fence and I could also put up fences in the garden beds to grow tomatoes, pole beans, sweet peas, cucumbers, melons, vining squash, and even small pumpkins this way.

Mulched Rows

Mulching the vegetable rows is a real time saver. Once the garden rows are established, to avoid having to weed, throw some mulch materials between the rows and weeding becomes a thing of the past. These mulches hold nutrients and water and as they break down, the nutrients become available to the plant life.

No Dig Gardening

One of the early pioneers in the mulching movement was Ruth Stout. Ruth was a woman who learned that you could throw hay out onto a garden bed and plant directly into that hay and the plants would grow without the weeds, at least for that season. Often the hay had weed seeds in them and the following year, volunteer grass and weeds were a problem to the practitioner of this method.

Another form of the mulched rows is the Back to Eden Gardening method popularized by Paul Gautschi. His method is similar to the Ruth Stout Method in that in his method he uses wood chips laid on the garden instead of straw or hay.

The main difficulty in this method is that during the first couple of years, the wood chips lock up the nitrogen in the soil, so it is not released to the plants. After a couple years, this problem gets corrected by the soil biology.

A number of years ago I learned about raised beds from Square Foot Gardening a book by Mel Bartholomew. He combined several of the other methods and made it easier for people who wanted to grow more in a small garden. He showed that plants didn’t need to be grown in rows but could be grown in beds where everything could be grown by the square foot.

Lasagna gardening combines all of the above gardening styles and adds to it. The process involves laying down dampened cardboard or heavy paper on a garden bed and layering compostable materials in the form of yard wastes into a pile of about three feet deep. This process is done in the fall and then in the spring the gardener plants directly into that composted material.

Hügelkultur is a no dig gardening system that starts by burying logs under a garden bed so that over time the logs break down, holding nutrients and water in the soil under the plants.


All of the learning that I have come across from these other gardening systems have led me to permaculture.

Permaculture is not just a method but has become movement. It is a set of design principles centered on whole systems thinking, simulating, or directly utilizing the patterns and resilient features observed in natural ecosystems In permaculture, gardening becomes part of a bigger system that includes the usual annuals we consider in a garden, but also incorporates fruit and nut trees, perennial berries and vegetables from root crops to mature trees and vining plants. Even animals both domestic and wild are included within this system in which humans are no longer an adversary to the natural processes but becomes an ally.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cygnet Brown


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)