Number One Tip For Being a Successful Gardener
I’ve often had friends and acquaintances express appreciation and envy for my garden. People say “I would love to have a garden like this but I don’t know where to start” or “This is so beautiful, I could never do something like this”.
But the thing is you totally can have a garden!
Gardening is like every other art, craft, skill or profession, in that you can’t expect to start as an expert. You have to jump in and start doing it with the knowledge and skills you currently possess.
You don’t need to find a mentor, take a class, or read a bunch of books. You just have to garden.
The #1 tip for being a successful gardener is Start Gardening!!!!
No, I’m not joking or being cheeky. The key to being a successful gardener is to get started, wherever you are and whatever your space, physical abilities and finances you can start with something.
Everyone can garden!
Don’t worry, I’m also going to give you some practical advice too, so keep reading!
There are lots of gateways to becoming a gardener. Maybe like me, your parents gardened and so you picked up stuff that way.
A lot of people start with containers on their patio, or a tiny herb garden on their kitchen window. Some people start with a butterfly or wildflower patch or planting a single fruit tree. Perhaps you move to a house that already has hardscaped garden areas and you start gardening because you feel like you should.
It doesn’t matter what your motivation to start is, nor does it matter what your long term goal is. The most import thing is to just jump in with something and get started!
Starting Over, Starting Small
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Last year I had to move from a place I had lived for 10 years. 10 years of garden work is a lot to leave behind and start over at a new place.
Even as an expert gardener starting something from scratch intimidated me. I looked out at this big, flat, empty grass-covered lot and felt overwhelmed.
10 years ago I was stronger, healthier and didn’t have mobility issues. 10 years ago, my roommate, Jeff, was there to help me remove grass and prepare the beds in the biointensive gardening method I prefer.
10 years ago I wasn’t grieving for the lush, beautiful garden I was leaving behind.
I stood there feeling overwhelmed and defeated before I had even started. This new place had so much grass, and fire ants and the soil didn’t seem very good. It was so open and hot standing out there in August, in Georgia.
I thought about just not doing anything and giving up gardening.
But after everything I had given up I couldn’t! I am a gardener!
I realized what I needed was something fast and easy that I could put in and maintain all by myself.
I decided to order a pre-made raised bed, bagged garden soil and store-bought plants.
Removing the grass was the hardest part. The roots of the crabgrass went farther than you would think.
Once the grass was gone I put down weed blocking fabric because I knew the grass was going to try to get back in.
This is the bed I ordered from Amazon. I was able to put it together all by myself.
I filled it with garden soil from Home Depot or Lowe’s and added the first plants.
That was several months ago.
At first, I had trouble loving my new garden, as I was still clinging to memories of my old one.
But once it was in, I had a starting place. Since then I’ve added a path on one side, planted a few trees, started a compost pile, and even started a few tiny permaculture beds for asparagus, strawberries, and flowers.
The roosters even liked it!
Maybe the chickens like it a little too much, especially very early in the morning, right outside my bedroom window!
You can start a garden today!
- Buy a mature tomato plant already in a container.
- Ask your gardening friends for some clippings.
- Wrap a seed in a wet paper towel and place it in a warm window.
- Plant a native tree.
It doesn’t matter!
And before you know it you are going to be harvesting food or cutting flowers from your new garden!
Once you have done something, anything to get started – you are a gardener!
Next week I’m going to give you some tips and resources that will help you be even more successful.
Kitty Sarkozy is a speculative fiction writer, actor and blogger. She is Associate Editor for Pseudopod, a Parsec award-winning and British Fantasy award nominated horror podcast. She gardens and engages in a plethora of hobbies at her home in Marietta, GA. You can watch her makeup reviews, blind box openings, beauty and fashion tips on youtube.