The word gardening can either make some people excited or completely scared. There are usually two types of people, those with a “green thumb” or those who can’t keep plants alive to save their lives.
But gardening doesn’t have to be scary!
In fact, gardening can actually be very much enjoyed. Especially because of living in southern California.
We live where most of the year it’s over 75 degrees. But with the warm weather means lots of sunshine days to grow fruit and vegetables. While other gardening zones have frozen ground most of the year, we get to enjoy driving with our windows down and smelling ripe strawberries.
I’m an avid gardener, tending to a small seedling, watching it grow, and then enjoying the sweetness of it as it bursts with flavor in your mouth. I love to smell the fruits and vegetables ripen right outside my window.
Gardening takes time and energy, which is why I feel such a sense of pride and accomplishment when the harvest comes. Finally seeing the blossoms after toiling for so long puts to rest all of the doubt I had during the months of tending to the garden.
My favorite thing to do is taste a freshly picked fruit or vegetable from my very own garden. Each burst of flavor reminds me as to why I do what I do.
And so here are a few tips that I have for gardening.
Seed Storage: place packages of seeds into a photo book. Those clear sleeves are perfect for displaying your seed packets. I have mine organized in order by seasons.
Make a gardening plan. Using graph paper, I map out where I am going to plant the seeds so I can make sure to use what little ground space I have most effectively. I plant corn and other “tall” plants along a fence, so they have someplace to lean on and when it comes time to help them stay standing I’ve used twine or a crib metal frame. While things like carrots and beets since they go deep in the ground I put them in the middle. Cabbage and other leafy items, they need shade, so they can go near the corn and be protected by the corn stalk’s shade.
Repurpose items: I’ve used a crib to let squash, watermelon, and cucumbers roam, by letting them climb the crib frame and rails. This frees up the ground for other items like your leafy vegetables to get shade. There are other things you can re-purpose instead of tossing into the trash. Pinterest is full of ideas of using bathtubs, watering cans, mason jars, even suitcases as options to create gardens. Next time you are about to throw something out, think about planting a tiny garden.
If you are short on time and want to enjoy a harvest sooner than 21-60 days. Go to a garden store and buy seedlings. It will cut down on your waiting time and you won’t have the doubts as mentioned above about the soil or the quality of the seeds.
If you are conscience about GMO’s and organic there is a great Seed of the Month Club, for a very small yearly fee 4-8 packets a month will be mailed to you. I’ve had the subscription various times over the past 5 years. All of the seeds produced large, flavorful items.
Remember to be patient, and take your time. You’ll be surprised what a little patience and persistence can create!