©2019 by Bear Independent. Proudly created with Wix.com

Aug 2

Greenhouse vs Garden, both?


Is the building of a greenhouse or raised garden beds worth the effort or is the in ground garden the way to go?

We are currently container gardening because our location is temporary. There are definitely reasons for each.


Here in FL a greenhouse isn’t necessary with a potential cold winter coming most other parts of the country could benefit from a greenhouse. Allows you to start growing much earlier in the year.


Raised beds are good for bad soil and to plant earlier when the ground is too cold. But often it’s more of a popular pinterest thing than necessary. The ground works just as well as long as the soil is amended and tilled properly.


I’m also working on learning indoor gardening with grow lights and hydroponics. Specifically micro-nutrient dense items like sprouts. Great to supplement micronutrients in the winter or when outdoor gardens are possible.

Thanks so much, hopefully the forum board here will take off.

Aug 2

@Patriotic Trucker here in SE Minnesota Raised Beds were the BEST choice for this year!! I experimented with several types of raised beds. Compared to the in ground Garden my raised beds are BIG producers of Healthy vibrant plants producing good to excellent yields! The in ground Garden looks wane and plants were way too wet. I used the kids old Red wago for my mixed greens so if we had frost warning I could wheel it into the mudroom! Great choice. I have photos. My strength Gardening from seed! Blessings

Load more replies

The raised beds are better for wet and rainy conditions than the inground method because being able to let the excess water drain out.


I believe there is no one answer fits all. In Iowa I use a combination of all three. My berry bushes are ground level, I have potatoes both in ground as well as container. Last year, container yield surpassed ground. I also have five 16 x 4 raised beds. The raised beds have been in place for 6 years, and the only thing I do is lay in fresh compost every spring, and grass cuttings covered with small wood chips every fall. Raised beds are wonderful for older people as well, not bending over as much. Yes I need that feature.😎 I also trellis garden for my cucumbers, peppers, and beans. Specific areas for my herbs that are made out of old pallets. Raised beds help with controlling water, drainage, weeding, and soil condition containers are an easy way to have a mobile garden, ground planting I use mostly for my berries and adjust ph strawberries and blueberries need opposite types of soil.

Patriotic Trucker, I think we could get a large translucent container, say 40 feet long, cut in a doorway, fill the bottom with soil, put it on your trailer bed, making you a dandy mobile greenhouse for you to take anywhere you go.

@Ron Impens what all, generally speaking, do you container grow? And what containers do you use?

@JS Badger I took a couple of pallets and arranged them into a reclining herb garden. My favorite container, 8 of them, is the livestock mineral tubs. this year and last, they have potatoes. I have also used them for bush beans and carrots.

I'm looking to have the land size to do a little bit of everything. And i mean everything. Standard row garden, raised beds, greenhouse, berry patches, fruit trees. If time and resources allow, even looking into hydro and aquaponics. Need the land first though.

@jsbadger the key is to start somewhere. Don’t wait for the land. If your considering a move soon, start with containers. That way the soil you develop can go with you. set it by the door, so that you walk past it everyday. Living in Iowa, winter gardening has its challenges. I picked up some sprout seeds And grow a fresh batch of alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, broccoli, and others. You don’t even need sunlight for them. I just need ______ first, is a curse.

@Ron Impens I try to grow containers for my geese and chickens with some kind of grass. They don't care come January and February...it's green and good. As for the food for myself, I always have lettuce growing in window boxes in the south facing windows during the winter. Not much, but better than nothing.

@Haunted55 “Better than nothing” can make the difference of survival.try putting some radish in with that winter lettuce.

Load more replies

This is a picture of the greenhouse my son and I built a few years back. The front of it was a hobby greenhouse given to me for my birthday. Not big enough, lol. It served it's purpose, but was never big enough to handle all that I start and grow. A very dear friend of mine gave me all of the old storm windows she had in her barn. Over 150 yrs. old, and I knew what to do. My son and I sized the windows and laid out three of the walls with the biggest and used the smaller ones for the end closest to the hobby part. Connected with 2x3s to make the walls and then incorporated into stick building, headers and footers. All of it sits on the landscaping timbers and gravel/sand mixture for drainage. Since I am in the north, this has a wood furnace for heat in the coldest times, as I normally start my seeds in February and early March. I can supply 3-4 houses with anything they could possibly want in their garden. All of the grow benches are made from 2x3s as well and have a full shelf on the bottom, and a half shelf on the top. It does have electricity to it and has banks of grow and full spectrum tubes for lighting. I also run fans to strengthen the plants.

Arms family homestead YouTube channel has some good gardening videos.



Hollis and Nancy's homestead channel is also a great source for gardening information.

i do conventional row gardening, containers, greenhouse, and raised beds plus soon I hope to be delving into aquaculture/hydroponics. I have a small poultry flock, a multiple of various fruit trees, berry bushes, and started heavily into permaculture and edible landscaping

Aug 10

Welcome to the forum! I would love to do the hydroponics. A closed system like that just makes a whole lot of sense. Doubtful I could ever do it, but a wonderful idea and practice.

Due to the time constraints that I have currently, I had totally forgotten about the edible landscape such as berries and harvestable trees. Thanks to everyone who really started getting my neurons Active in this train of thought

Aug 13

Sounds like a few containers would be manageable. Or snag a wading pool the end of summer that’s on the curb Trash Day and plant next years raised bed. Or do the cool thing and buy a Menard’s Compost/Manure mix in the bag. 1) flip to wrong side and take a screw driver and pike numerous holes for drainage. Flip back over. 2) cut a “Window” with a box cutter about 1-2“ from the edge design. This will leave a little lip. 3) Plant directly into your portable raised bed. 4) keeps weeds, slugs and other Critters OUT. Try a few things. 😉

Aug 22

Another thought for here. Besides the greenhouse, I have a 30 x 18 ft. portable greenhouse for the garden. It's big and I don't have it set up yet. Currently I am heavily spreading my garden with the cleanings from the bird houses. Sometime in Sept. I am going to be covering the whole mess with black plastic and letting it stew over the Winter. I hope to get it tilled, but it's not looking promising with all the rain here in the North East. I may try and get the frame work for the portable up, but not the cover. I figure come Spring I'll either have an awesome growing field or a toxic waste. We'll see. The reason I am posting this at all is I don't think I am the only one concerned with what is coming out of the skies onto our plants. I have done row hoops in the past and had wonderful luck with them and since I watered them with my well water, knew they were clean. Between the temps, weather and Harvard spraying, I am thinking the coverings are the way to go.

New Posts
  • Hey guys. I've ended up with a pretty good amount of seeds from some of our plants this year. I was wondering if any other seed savers had an especially successful harvest. If so and you'd like to trade let me know and we can work something out. Heres a list of what did exceptionally well for us this year. Marshmallow Matt's Berry Tomato Pink Vernissage Tomato French Marigolds Oregano Lemon balm Feverfew Yarrow Holy Basil Chives Calendula There's a lot more that we grow, but being new plants we prevented much of it from seeding. I'm sure we'll have some different things as the season winds down completely. It will probably be mostly pollinator flowers. I'll update as we collect them.
  • A place to brag about your achievements for the week or month, whatever or bemoan the lack of a fuller pantry. Hoping this will be an inspiration to all of us and maybe some insight into what is important regionally and maybe lacking. Maybe we can actually help out with supply here for those that cannot get the things in their area. Just a thought.