Gardening and Farming are two different jobs, but they do have something in common, both are ways of cultivating food & plants, and caring about the yield. Though these two words are often used interchangeably, there are some key differences.
Farming is the practice of cultivating land in order to grow crops. It has changed dramatically since the early days, and I believe most professional farmers would say it is totally different from gardening. Gardening, on the other hand, refers to planting and caring for flowers or vegetables in an ornamental way.
Here are the main 7 differences between gardening and farming.
Table of Contents
1. Scale and Equipment
The major difference that comes to your mind may be the size where they’re done, and the equipment needed in cultivating.
Farming is bigger in scale and requires more and bigger machines (such as tractors, harvesters, fertilizer spreaders, plows, harrows, seeders), while gardening is done on a smaller size, and maybe only with your hands.
For gardening, you may only need a small garden surrounding your home to grow your own flowers and vegetables. While farming often requires a large plot of land for crop cultivation as well as some sort of shelter from which to work.
2. Business or Hobby
Farming is something you do to make money and feed your family. You will sell the yield food or others that come out from your farm to the market to feed people. If your farm yield is greatly affected by the weather, you or your family will have hard times.
Whereas gardening is something you do because you enjoy it. You grow what you eat or love. You have another job, gardening is more of a personal thing and you do it as a hobby, a pastime, or a passion. Or simply play in the dirt with your kids on the weekend. Most probably you grow vegetables and flowers for private use and do not sell.
You need to pay the cost of farmland rent, equipment, fertilizers, irrigation, pesticides, labor, and etc. In contrast, gardening does not require any land or expensive equipment. All you need is a pot, some soil, and seeds.
4. Time and Work
Farming is a lifestyle and you make a living through it, so it is everyday work and you have to put plenty of time to run a farm. For example:
- you need a seeder to insert seeds to dirt.
- you may lay down a biodegradable black plastic to stop the growth of weeds.
- You need to spray pestcides to keep away from pests eating fruits and vegetables.
- When harvest, there is more work to do, the picking work, the storage, the rubbish clearance…
While gardening is a small time job and doesn’t need much work.
Farmers may raise livestock in a farm, like cows, pigs and hens in scale, while gardening, usually a cat or a dog in the garden.
6. Agricultural Dept. Rules & Regulations
Farmers should obey the rules & regulations in farming, including the following:
- obey all local, state, and federal laws.
- plant specific crops in designated areas.
- use pesticides and herbicides only as directed.
- irrigate fields using permitted methods and times.
- how to treat livestock.
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines or even imprisonment. It’s important to be familiar with the specific rules and regulations in your area before starting a farming operation.
However, there are no such rules & regulations on gardening.
7. Knowledge and Skill
You may need much more knowledge and skill to run a farm successfully. You should be familiar with soil, climate, crops, irrigation, pest control, equipment maintenance, sustainability, management…
While for DIY gardening, less knowledge and skill are required and you can learn them in the internet.
Gardening and farming show major differences in terms of scale & equipment, business or hobby, costs, time and work, livestock, rules & regulations, knowledge and skill.
In other words, farming is work, gardening is a hobby.