Gardening 101Date: 06/18/2021
I am obsessed with my garden. Seriously. It brings me such joy to watch a tiny little seed turn into nourishment – nourishment for my body and my soul. I encourage everyone to try growing – whether it is a windowsill herb garden, strawberry pot, or raised garden beds – just try it! I am not a natural “green thumb” but over the years I have learned a few tips and tricks that I want to share with you.
- Start – just like anything, start and things will naturally happen. Buy living basil from Trader Joe’s or a packet of lettuce seeds from the farmer’s market. Get the family or friends involved for added fun. Once you start to see and taste gorgeous produce that you have nurtured, you will be hooked. I promise.
- Location – Do you have a backyard, patio or windowsill that gets great sunshine throughout the day? Determine the best location for sunshine and then see what kind of space you have to work with. If you have a great windowsill – stick to herbs and a pot that you can easily move to the sink to water or move to the kitchen when you are cooking to cut fresh herbs into your culinary concoctions. A small patio is great to put a terra cotta pot with leafy greens and a tomato. I have seen “pre-made” salsa pots at farmer’s markets that have cilantro, tomatoes and jalapeno for all the key ingredients to whip up fresh salsa. If you are putting in larger, raised garden beds in your yard, think about the sun and how it will change throughout the season. I love seeing my garden through the windows while I am inside. Don’t be afraid to put your garden front and center!
- Good soil – The foundation. Like a classic Chanel blazer… spend the money and get the good stuff. Organic, local (if possible), nutrient dense garden soil is the best. Throughout the growing season, use organic fertilizer to feed your plants and each year, add new soil to the top. I use a no-dig method with my soil so that the natural process remains undisturbed. This allows the natural organisms to thrive along with the overall health. Just keep adding good stuff to the top.
- What to grow? Well that is easy… what do you like to eat? Start there and then start to narrow down the list with appropriate options for your growing region. I order seeds from Territorial Seed Co. which is a great resource on growing regions, recommendations and how to plant and grow your crop. Some of the easiest things to grow are radish, lettuce, beans, spinach and kale. Start off with easy ones – success builds more success!
- Water – have a plan for watering. If possible, set up an irrigation system that can be automated. I tried a few years without, and it was just awful to forget one day and come back to unhappy plants!
Start talking about it! As you start to talk about your garden and your successes/failures you will start to build a community of “advisors”. Talk to the vendors at the farmer’s market or your local nursery and ask for tips. Local growers will know what works best in your climate and areas.
Good luck with your gardens and keep me posted – I would love to see your progress.
In good health,
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