Spring is here and it’s ON! Gardening that is! It’s SO on!!
Now in case you stumbled on this blog in search of expert advice on gardening. Ahem!! Sorry to disappoint you. Expert, I am not! What I am is an aspiring green thumber who enjoys the experience of gardening, and loves to eat healthy, home grown produce. So if you feel the awakenings of a desire in you to tread the path of sun, weeds, and bugs in the quest to grow your own vegetables or flowers, and if you feel like you don’t have a clue about what to do, but you are willing to try anyway. “Eureka!” This is the blog to read.
Even though it is still a bit chilly in some parts at least in my neck of the woods, it is the perfect time to begin planning, dreaming and PLANTING your garden. Yes! I said planting! And it all begins with the all important seed.
Call me picky, but I am becoming a seed snob. This will be my fourth year gardening in these parts, and one of the things I have learned is that not all seeds are created equal. There is so much tom foolery going on with seed production in the name of capitalism, that it is worth it to pay more, do a bit of research and get the best quality seeds as nature intended them to be. In fact, I told my husband recently that I believe that seeds will be an important part of the currency of the future. REAL seeds I mean!
So where to begin?
The Seed’s the Thing: I have decided to purchase my seeds from companies that sign the “Safe Seed” pledge and offer non-GMO or heirloom seeds. In fact, my goal as I progress in gardening is to start a “Seed Bank” collecting and keeping seeds from one year to the next. I also have a growing collection of seeds from friends who garden to add to my bank—Yes! My bank account of seeds is growing.
Have a Plan
Do an inventory of how much space you have to plant. If you don’t have a lot of yard space, do not discount the value of container gardening. Hey, make it work! Decide on what you would like to plant, get your seeds, seed starter trays, seed starter and you are on your way. Be sure to read package directions to determine which seeds to start indoors and which to wait for outdoor sowing when the temperature evens out. Or you can skip the whole seed starting thing and buy mature seedlings from a reputable garden center.
Go Organic or Go Home!
One of my main motivations for growing vegetables is to eat fresh produce that does not contain any of that yucky stuff, they put on it in the supermarket. In fact, the first time my husband and I tasted a cucumber that had made its way from garden to plate in the span of about 10 minutes, our taste buds were in SHOCK!! So this is what a cucumber was supposed to taste like! Delicious! Organic is a tough road to plow, but so worth the effort.
Plant What You Like
If you are just beginning, plant in abundance the things that you really like to eat or grow. No point doing all that work to let produce fall off the vine and die. Our garden is going to be chock full of beans, kale, collards, tomatoes, cucumbers, salad mixes etc, because we can never get enough of that stuff. I also love sunflowers, and peonies so they are in abundance in our garden and yard.
If you like tomatoes don’t just go for the tried and true roma or cherry tomato, try some heirloom tomatoes; try some purple potatoes, rainbow carrots; plant some sunflowers and nasturtium among the beds to attract bees and make the garden POP with bursts of color. Have fun with it.
And on that note, I am off to do some gardening of my own. Do share some of your own garden tales of joys or woes in the comment box.
Happy gardening all!