Hello, my name is Nicole and I blog at Help Mama Remote. Anjanette asked if I would share some helpful gardening tips with everyone. My husband and I have learned a lot since beginning our garden a about 8 years ago, so here are the 5 things I wish I had known about gardening when we began this adventure.
With Great Intentions
No matter how many things we may want to do, try or master there’s always the unexpected. No matter how much research we do or how many questions we ask, there’s always something we wish we knew ahead of time. It’s always that one, two or three things people forget to tell us. My husband and I have be gardening with great intention for over 8 years now. I say with great intention because the first few years we were getting our feet wet. Not until the third year did we actually have a desire to garden and garden with the intentions of feeding our family, knowing what was in our food and where it was coming from.
I can give my grandma and aunts credit for being examples of great gardeners in my life. Although back then I didn’t know how it would come to mold and shape my gardening future, today I see how it has. I have fond memories of my grandmother and aunt cleaning vacant lots that were filled with trash and broken bottles. And creating a vibrant and rich land that would bring food from the garden to our table. Although I watched, ate the fruit of the land and asked questions there were still somethings I didn’t understand.
Here’s 5 things that I wish I had known about gardening.
1. Take it slow- My husband and I have the all or nothing spirit. When we find things we’re really interested in, we want the top notch, all the nut and bolts, go hard or go home things for our area of interest. This attitude also has us taking on more projects than we should of have more to take care of than we can. When a new gardener asks, “Where do I begin?” My answer is, take it slow. Start with two to three vegetables you and your family love and master them. Once those have been mastered, take it up another notch.
2. Focus on learning one new thing each year- This one here can piggy back off of taking it slow. After a few years of intentional gardening, my husband and I began to focus on one knew thing each year. Last year we focused on learning companion gardening.The year before that, it was storing our harvest and the year before that, was square foot gardening. Have we mastered them all? No, but we add that knowledge to the knowledge we have and it all benefits us with our future gardening intentions.
3. It’s the best you’ll ever have- There is absolutely nothing that taste better than biting down on a fresh cucumber from your very own garden. Nothing! Think of your favorite fruit or vegetable that’s able to grow in your area. Now multiply that taste by 10. The best thing ever.
4. Nature happens- Rain, no rain, pest, non beneficial bugs, beneficial bugs and everything in between can happen or won’t happen to your garden. Thankfully we’re not actual farmers with an entire region depending on us to feed them. We just have a few mouths to feed. EEK!
5. How much I would learn about life in my garden- I’m a bit on the nutty side. So, me getting all technical about my garden and politics… go hand in hand. Gardening can be so eye opening and encouraging all at the same time. Watching the birds can teach you about relationships and sowing a seed can teach us about complicated life lessons. Open your eyes and look beyond what you actually see in your garden and you will see more.
If you’re on the fence on if you should start a garden next year or this year depending on your zone? I say go for it! Take it slow. Focus on learning one new thing each year and it will be the best fruit or vegetable you can ever have. When you get discouraged on your journey just know that nature happens and learn all you can about life and relationships from the comforts of your garden.
Here are some gardening articles you may find helpful: