|with Liz Sacks|
Gardening is my favorite!
There are so many reasons that I love gardening! As a Mom, it is great outdoor play, keeps my kids busy, they sleep better after spending a good afternoon gardening, and I'm thrilled about the whole saving money bit. Its so healthy, no pesticides, organic, good exercise, and it is a good source of Vitamin D all by its lonesome! Not to mention, a healthy mix of edibles and flowers makes my yard look gorgeous!
As a teacher I'm thrilled too! It teaches science firsthand, nutrition, responsibility, routine, consistency, and last but not least, self discipline in the joy of a long term project well done.
You would be hard pressed to find any drawback for gardening tucked into my long gushing fountain of praise.
So, how to garden? A few years of doing so and I've learned some valuable lessons. Had I known these first time around, things would have gone a bit more smoothly. It might be gardening for dummies, but I honestly never thought it through that far until year two or so.
- Research before you plant! Get your paws on any and every bit of materials about that eggplant you're dying to plant! Find out the soil type, planting area, zone area, and amount of sunlight needed before planting it! Research till your head spins!
- Never assume anything! I assumed these cool lookin' bugs were caterpillars once, thought they were so cute. Left them there to be butterflies. They never did. They just ate my plants.
- Read that label! Don't buy a type of cucumber that you have to stake if there is a bush variety. Not all seeds are created equal and the picture on the front tells you nothing. The back will tell you amount of space needed between seeds, amount of watering needed, when to plant etc. Don't buy until you've read up! Or, better, ask that nice associate over there with the button on their vest saying "Ask me!"
- Plan before you plant! Know how much room you will need, what you will plant, where you will plant, then plant! I planted too close to find that my carrots didn't grow well. Guess I should have followed rules 1-4...
- Find a gardening buddy, preferably someone who has been doing it for some time. They will not only know alot, but they will most likely have more veggies than they can possibly eat that first year when your garden seems quite pitiful in its harvest. They may bequeath you with a healthy bunch of advice and support, and they will almost always share their bounty, or at least show you how to can!
- Gardening is not as complicated as it seems! Know your stuff, do your research, and it all happens pretty naturally!