That’s our very first garden, back in 2011. My husband and I had just moved into our first house, and we wanted to grow some food. We grabbed some seeds that looked like food we’d buy (lettuce, spinach, beans, and peppers), and we planted it in rows. We had NO IDEA what we were doing, and through sheer dumb luck, our garden grew like crazy. We had so much food that we had to give it away.
That is NOT how gardening always goes. Over the last 8 years, we’ve learned a lot, and some of it has helped our garden grow better. For example, we learned that snap peas grow taller than the bush beans, so planting them in a row in the center of the garden is a bad idea. Whoops! So now we plant them in the back of the garden so they can grow up a trellis against the fence, and they reach 6 or 7 feet tall. We also found out the hard way that directly under a walnut tree is a terrible location to plant your tomatoes. Last year we had six tomato plants and I only made sauce once or twice, because they weren’t producing much, and some of them even died! We’ve also started using compost, a drip irrigation system, and we just know better how to take care of the plants.
But you know what? Our BEST year was that first year, when we had no idea about any of that. So don’t let your lack of knowledge stop you! Just plant some stuff and see what happens! Some will grow, and some won’t. Some will grow and then shrivel up before they give you any food. Some will produce so much that you’ll wish you’d only planted one plant! But it’s a fun adventure, and so cool to watch REAL FOOD come from little tiny seeds that YOU put in the ground! (Am I the only one still fascinated by this? I’m always shocked that real veggies show up on my plants.)
Earth Day is a great time to start a garden. Here are my tips:
- Start with things you like to eat. It’s not worth growing spinach if you hate it. Think about what you buy at the store and see if you can find seeds to grow it instead!
- Read the recommendations on the seed packs. There’s information on when to plant them, how deep to plant and how far apart from one another, how much to water them and how much sun they need. It’s great information to pay attention to!
- Get your family involved! Kids are much more likely to eat the veggies if they are part of growing them!
- If you don’t have space for a garden, or you’re not quite sure you are ready to commit to giving up yard space, do a container garden! Get big pots, fill them with dirt (make sure they have drainage holes in the bottom!), and plant your tomatoes, squash, beans, carrots, or whatever you’re growing in there!
Come start your garden with me!
On Earth Day—Monday, April 22—I’ll be hosting a fun gardening class for kids (and adults if you’d like to come too!). Be prepared to get dirty, plant a few seeds, and take them home to start your own garden. We’ll also talk about Earth Day and some basic gardening tips. We will finish with a picnic lunch. Want to join me? Check out the event HERE and let me know you’re coming!
Happy Earth Day 2019!