My enthusiasm to start gardening overshadowed my logical thinking leading me to make some easily avoidable errors. If you’re like me and starting out with gardening for the very first time it would behoove you to do a tiny bit of research ahead of time. But if you’re like me, you might read a site or two and think you’ve got this gardening thing down. I’ll share what I learned to save you some time and heart-ache.
- Read about what plants grow best in your area. In Texas we have different farming/planting regions in this state alone. Our region is considered South Central Texas and what grows here may not grow well outdoors in North Texas. Two resources I ordered off of Amazon that have great info for my region are “Texas Fruit and Vegetable Gardening”, by Greg Grant and “Texas Organic Vegetable Gardening”, by J. Howard Garrett & C. Malcolm Beck.* The more you read the better prepared you are for what’s to come. (Sounds simple enough, but it was something I totally did not do.)
- Plan ahead. You may end up transplanting some of your seedlings so you’ll need to have the supplies when it’s time to dig in. This is when you decide how much time and work you want to invest into your garden. During this last week we’ve had to make a make-shift tent to protect our raised garden bed from the severe thunder storms that rolled in. Is this something you’re willing to do at a moments notice? If so, then don’t be afraid to sown more than a handful of plants. If not, you may be better off starting smaller with two-three varieties. Of course your space is a big factor; do you want an indoor herb garden or do you want it outdoor? Just some things to think about.
- Most importantly, have fun. Every morning my kids wake up as excited as I do to see what has sprouted and what needs tending. It’s exciting to have my little ones helping out and asking questions. When they ask something I don’t know I’m not afraid to tell them that I have to look it up. We’re all learning how to care for our vegetable and herb garden and that’s part of the fun.
- Use a whole packet of seeds in one pot. You can very well use one packet for more than one growing season; usually you only need about 3-4 seeds per spot/flower pot to grow a plant. I ended up with a bazillion Sweet Banana Pepper seedlings in a 12″ flower pot and now I have to transplant a few and then discard the rest. If I’m lucky some of my family members may want to take some of the other ones. I feel terrible trashing some because I didn’t do my research ahead of time. Plus, I just wasted money. Ugh! Definitely not something I want to do.
- Be afraid to pick seeds out of your comfort zone. My husband helped pushed me into sowing tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and peppers by buying the seed packets. Initially, my intention was just an herb garden but you know what, I’m even more excited to see if we can get veggies growing in our backyard.
- Give up if you’re not sure what to do next. Just remember why you started your garden in the first place and go back to your planning stage for some more research. If you’re not sure where to start I’d be more than happy to help or direct you to some resources for your issue. Just email me at LadybugElsa@gmail.com