I have been gardening for many years but it seems like every seasonI learn something new. Gardening can be a wonderful hobby that is both frustrating and immensely satisfying. If you are a beginning gardener you need to go into this process with a clear understanding that it does take a bit of work, some research, and a whole lot of luck some years! However, feeding your family right from the backyard is also incredibly satisfying. I control the products I spray (or don’t spray!) on my food, I save money on organic produce, and I have a handy source of food for those days when I run out of stuff in the fridge. I know everyone has to start their gardening adventure somewhere so I thought I would give you all a brief garden update and a few tips to help all you begging gardeners out there!
Tips for the Beginning Gardener
1. Don’t plant too early. I am HORRIBLE at listening to this advice. Honestly! All those lovely plants and seeds show up at the garden nursery and I just have to buy them. Here in Georgia, all the old timers KNOW that you don’t plant before Easter (or April 22nd if Easter falls early). Look up your last frost date and then STICK TO IT. Unlike me, who got caught in a late season frost and spent two nights covering hundreds of dollars worth of stuff with every single bed sheet I could find in my house. My Instagram followers were probably laughing at me for jumping the gun! Follow me on Instagram for more garden updates as the season goes on!
2. Don’t get discouraged by bugs. After 9 years of happily thriving chive plants I have lost the whole thing to an amazingly gross infestation of aphids. I have never once seen an aphid in my yard. Guess they were all hiding to gang up on my poor defenseless chives! But, I am treating them with an ‘organic approved’ pesticide and will chop them back and hope for the best. Do your research on what types of pests are prevalent in your area and be prepared just in case! And, don’t worry…plants are fairly resilient if you catch the invaders early!
3. Inspect your plants regularly. This is a great way to detect problems early but it is also very rewarding to just see a plant thrive, create blooms, attract pollinators, and provide food. Sometimes gardening is a more spiritual and emotional endeavor than it is a practical one. I enjoy taking time to smell the flowers and watch my plants grow!
4. Be Patient. This is probably one of the most basic tips I can provide for the beginning gardener. Honestly, if you are anything like me you will head out to your garden ever single day just looking at your plants and waiting impatiently for them to DO something. Something that provides you with a meal, or at least as small snack! But, especially at the beginning of the season, gardening can sometimes be a very slow process. In spring, the air may be warming up but it is the soil temperature that dictates when your seeds sprout and how fast your seedlings will grow.
I planted several different seeds a few weeks ago and now that we are finally starting to warm up, I am seeing little sprouts starting to emerge. I chose a variety of seeds to plant, ranging from a few seed potatoes to several varieties of Scott’s Gro-ables seed pods. Using the seed pods made it very easy to plant and I am looking forward to seeing them thrive as they grow into full sized lettuce and herb plants. I love having a ready source of lettuce and herbs in my backyard because those particular items I ones I use frequently but that go bad quickly when I buy them from the grocery store. Check out my tips for starting your own herb garden if this sounds like something you would like to try and watch the video below for more information.
Once you get your herbs and produce growing, remember to check your garden frequently to harvest your food! I went out to the garden a few days ago and brought in lettuce and a few edible flours for a very simple spring salad. Top your greens and pansies with a few chopped apples, shredded carrots and a sprinkling of walnuts and goat cheese for a delicious side salad or even a light meal. Remember…if YOU don’t eat it, chances are some critter will come along and do it for you! Check out the Gro-ables® Salad & Herb Garden if you want to create your own spring salad. It is an entire salad garden in a simple kit! Gro-ables® Seed Pods™ are ready-to-plant and contain everything seeds need to grow. It’s easy. Just plant, water and enjoy your fresh veggies and herbs!
Have you started your gardening adventures yet? Are you a beginning gardener or have you been doing this for a while? Leave me some of your own tips for gardening success!