My first attempt at gardening was a long time coming. I spent spring after spring desiring to plant a garden, but felt too overwhelmed by it all to actually jump in. My first attempt at growing vegetables was simple; in fact, I felt pretty proud that the vegetables even sprouted up 🙂 Now, as I continue learning more and more about gardening, I realize that preparing a garden and maintaining it isn’t as complicated as I once thought it was. Implementing these top tips for gardeners has helped me reap a bountiful harvest and left us with many canned veggies to enjoy year round!
“I’ve handed out a lot of gardening advice in the 4+ years I’ve been writing here, but some tips are just so timeless I find myself coming back to them over and over.
Here are 20 tips I think every gardener should know.
1. GO ORGANIC
You’re a big boy or a big girl. You can make up your own mind about chemical pesticide, herbicides and fertilizers. You can, if you so choose, walk into Home Depot and buy a bag of Casoron and so thoroughly poison your immediate environment that seeds won’t germinate for a year or more.
But before you do – before you spend the money and the time and get all that stinky dust all over your clothes and subject your local groundwater to the inevitable runoff – consider if perhaps a more gentle approach might work. Perhaps the tools of industrial monocrop agriculture – the hard core weed killers and pesticides – just aren’t appropriate to the scale of your backyard. Try organic approaches first. I’m willing to bet you’ll like the results.
2. GROW WHAT YOU WILL EAT AND EAT WHAT YOU CAN GROW
If you are a family of dedicated veg haters, so be it. Grow strawberries and raspberries. Look to your own larder for inspiration. If you buy a ton of pizza sauce, maybe a few nice Roma-type tomatoes and a big pot of basil would suit you best. It’s all ok!
Conversely, there is something that grows with almost no work or fuss where you live. In my area, it’s kale and most potatoes. In the south, I think it’s sweet potatoes. In the midwest, maybe squash? Whatever your local Sure Thing is, learn to love it and your gardening will always be more satisfying.
3. SEEDS ARE WHERE IT’S AT
Store-bought starts are expensive and limiting. And with most varieties of vegetables, starts are totally unnecessary. You’ll get more variety options, healthier crops and you will pay far less if you buy seeds. Peas, beans, corn, beets, carrots, greens, lettuce, kale, summer squash, winter squash, cucumber, melon and more can all be direct sown very successfully.”