23 February 2011

I'm going to be a gardener!

I like growing things. I'm not very good at it, but I love seeing life sprout out of the soil into a living plant. There have been many a potted plant that has came to it's end on my porch, but they are beautiful while they live. I've only really grown flowers because we live in an apartment, but I've really been longing to grow food. I've heard about the square-foot gardening thing, but it just never seemed the right thing. I know you don't need a ton of space to plant certain things, but I wanted a garden. A real, in the ground garden.  So imagine my pure delight when a few months ago there was an email that went around our community about the possibility of putting in community garden plots for the residents!

I jumped on that right away and shared my desire to be a part of it. A few months later they are done and my family gets to have one! It's not huge--10x5--but I think it's perfect. We are so thrilled to be able to grow some food. Big Sister is especially excited and I'm really excited about the opportunity to teach her my limited knowledge of gardening.  I grew up with a garden in our backyard for many years. My mom was an avid gardener. She grew blackberries, corn, beans, peas, lettuce, tomatoes, squash, carrots, strawberries--you name it. And that's not including the fruit trees either. We had an abundance of fresh food when I was growing up. I loved it! I want to have my kids working next to me in my garden.

The problem is, I have no idea how to garden! What have I gotten myself into?? I helped my mom weed, plant seeds and water the plants, but it was always under her direction. We bought a few seed packets last weekend and will see how much space we have after really getting to do some spacial planning this weekend.  Despite not knowing anything, I really am excited about the adventure. Now to go get a copy of Gardening for Dummies. Does that book really exist??

Do you know a lot about gardening? Any tips you can give me?


Shellybythesea said...

Great!!! Wish more people would experience the wonderful joy of growing their own food. Soil preparation??? Very important. Use a good manure compost...cheap at any gardening supply store including Home Depot. Mix with about half of a good planting mix....miracle grow for gardens is great! The combo will bring your garden alive. Water by hand...that way you pay attention. And weed regularly. Don't overwater....underneath instead of spraying over the tops of plants is best. I never used weed or bug killers. Just loved my plants and bought gopher gassers for those pesky critters...and chicken wire to keep the rabbits out. Have fun!

The Roz's said...

My dad knows a TON about gardening! We always had a garden growing up.
I find it really comes down to knowing what you are planting and how to take care of it.
How much sun does it need? How much water? How long does it take to germinate and bear fruit? What things go together? For example if you are planting tomatoes, it's great to plant marigolds next to them because they keep the bugs away.
There's a great book you can get on half.com for cheap called Sunset Western Garden Book. It tells you all about what zone you are in and what grows well in that zone.
Good luck and hope it all goes well!

Staceygirl said...

You go! I want to grow tomatoes, but I have no clue how to do it. My dad is growing a whole field of barley right now, and I am just amazed since we never grew anything when I was a kid. My dad a farmer... who knew? Good luck with your garden. Keep us updated on your progress!

Melissa said...

We haven't tried to garden since we left Oregon :) Check and see about talking with a master gardener. They have groups all across the US and they are usually VERY helpful about sharing their information! We had a lady in our ward in Oregon who was one. She knew what would grow and what time of the year to start planting... it was so fun!!

Julie P said...

Gardens are great. That your entire feed shows up in my reader is even better. ;)

Square Foot Gardening is a great first gardening book. Probably the best, easiest, most simple. :)

flip flop mama said...

Thanks everyone!

Melissa, I didn't even know there was such a thing as a master gardener. I'll have to look that up.

Julie P, I thought people would like that. :)

Cynthia said...

You can do it! Just don't over-think it. Gardening is science in action, you're supposed to experiment. Get Mel's "Square Foot Gardening" book (from the library if needed) and just try some stuff. You'll be amazed- it's not as hard as it seems.

Funny I read this post tonight as I've got to spend the weekend drawing up the plans for a community/ refugee garden I volunteered to design. Sigh.

Sharon said...

I stick to the things that have worked best for us - tomatoes and squash, sometimes cucumbers. We don't have to put in a lot of work with those. My tip is to get the weeds out when they're tiny! Tomatoes love sun, cucumbers love water.