As I wrote in my very first blog we are in the newbie stage of homesteading, and gardening is one that we are definitely learning from. Our first garden last year was not a success story. Our lettuce grew amazing, but honestly that was about it. I could have easily been defeated, but instead I tried to figure out where I went wrong. This year I am going to be smart about it (well…lol). First, I am picking seeds that I know will grow best in our climate. Secondly, I’m not putting dozens of a seed in each hole (I know…I hang my head in shame) so they have room to grow. Finally, I’m learning not to over/under water. I am going to start with baby steps, and not the gigantic leap I took last year.
I started an indoor herbal garden a couple of weeks ago, and the seeds are already sprouting! I made sure I planted the right amount of seeds, and spaced them properly. I have planted Parsley, Basil, Cilantro, Scallions, Chives, and Dill. I am looking forward to fresh herbs, and being able to pull them right out of the garden! There is something so amazing about the taste and freshness.
What have I learned about gardening? More importantly, what have I learned from my mistakes (which is how we all learn)? I have been making sure I do my research, so I am more prepared this year. I am enjoying the process, instead of rushing and being impatient. Here are some tips I learned for beginner gardeners:
🥕Make sure that you plant in a sunny location. My herb garden is placed by our dining room window that gets light from all sides. Most of the vegetables you plant need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Some leafy ones can tolerate some shade.
🥕Plant in well-drained soil. If the soil is too wet that means you will get wet roots, which in turn makes rotted roots. A raised bed works well for drainage. If you don’t do a raised bed, make sure you till and remove any rocks, because that will interfere with root growth.
🥕Plant where there is not a lot of foot traffic, or that is prone to flooding (we had areas that flooded).
🥕Start small! That is what I didn’t do, and over seeded on top of that. Plant what you know your family will eat.
🥕Plan out your garden. What will you plant? How many rows do you need? How long will it be? Did you leave room in between rows for you to be able to access them? What vegetables grow well in your climate?
Some of the easiest vegetables to grow:
What would you add? What other tips do you have for beginners? Again, enjoy the process. Gardening can be very therapeutic, and you gain lots of fresh vegetables and fruits! Remember…learn as you grow!