Are you thinking about gardening? Do you have dreams of being more self reliant? Or want to embark on a new hobby? Anyone can have a garden from anywhere and at any time. There is no right or wrong way to do it. Let me explain…
Fear typically initiates the following responses, “We don’t have a yard?”, “We don’t have room”, or “It’s so expensive to get started”. It is perfectly natural to have an automatic response of fear when we are about to do something that we are not sure of, that we aren’t knowledgeable about, or have proved it works. We are not professional gardeners, you will find no expert level skills here, nor have we been doing it all of our lives. What we are is a work in progress, growing and learning all of the time. When we started, we had nothing but a standard apartment balcony made of concrete, in the middle of two buildings. Yet, we had a beautiful container garden. Did we have hiccups…yes. Was it a trial and error…yes. By keeping at it and doing a little research, we were able to grow vegetables and herbs in nothing but discarded containers and a few bags of good soil. This is how we started. Very cheaply. No expensive gadgets or tools needed.
Use containers you’d throw away to start seeds like yogurt cups, sour cream containers, butter containers, milk jugs, take out plastic containers, mayo jars, pails, buckets, etc.
Get creative and grow root veggies or lettuce in things like a plastic comforter bag for potatoes, a reusable shopping bag for garlic, or a storage plastic bin for onions for example.
If you can put something in it that’s plastic, you can grow in it!
Gardening can be a very therapeutic and mind cleansing type of experience once you get going. It takes patience, nurturing, love, and faith. Nothing will grow just because you planted a seed. Constantly evolving and adapting to our surroundings, environment, and geography is the name of the game. There is no cookie cutter, universal way to garden. In the beginning I thought surely! there is a way step by step on how to do a basic simple garden for the best success! Wrong. There is no such thing. What grows easily in Florida may not so easily grow in Oregon. By using a few simple inexpensive resources, a few tips, you can have a successful garden in no time.
To Get Started:
- Browse through past posts for tips, failures & fumbles of our gardening experience.
- Decide if you want to garden in the ground, above ground, or in containers.
- Depending on the method you choose will depend on how many bags of soil that are needed. A trick we use is to not worry about feeling stupid because it will save you money, in the store aisle line up the bags of soil to create the size plot you want to have. Then double the number bags laid out to get the depth of soil needed. This gives you by estimation a more realistic view of what to buy versus guessing then realizing you over purchased or purchased not enough.
- Choose seeds or young plants. Seeds require much more patience. Young plants are a great alternative to get you started as they are already on their way. Buy plants that have started flowering already and look good. Those flowers are good indicators that it is near bearing fruit. Next, decide if you want non GMO seeds, Organic Seeds, or just regular seeds that you can find anywhere.
- Choose what to plant based on your geography and amount of sunlight. Look on the back of the package or on the plant tag to get an overview of when to plant, spacing, how deep, and how much sun or water it will require.
- Keep a list of seeds you purchase or like we do, keep the packaging in a sandwich zip lock bag for future reference. Otherwise, if you forget what you bought last time, you will be spending time looking at all the packaging every season. And that is time lost.
The rest is sit and wait. Now there are diseases and such that could possibly arise but that is more advanced gardening. If you spend just 10 minutes a day looking in on the garden, you’ll get a good feel for what is doing terrible and what is thriving. Next season, make changes and adapt to the hiccups you faced. See where adapting and evolving comes in 😉 In the ground gardening can be costly as you have to alter the soil to accommodate what you are planting. It more or less is a bare canvas. Above ground involves simple raised beds that you can make yourself for less than $75 and containers which are easier to take care of and free.
Hopefully now the fear is almost gone and you can get started! Remember, nothing is built in a day and you won’t be an expert when the season’s over. Be sure to check back soon for updates on how our own garden is progressing. If you have a question, please feel free to ask! It make help someone else.