Several misunderstandings prevent an interest or belief from becoming practice in our lives. This post aims to remove the anxiety in starting a new garden. Let’s find some solutions so you can get a peaceful start!
Excuse #1- “I’m too busy”.
You have 2-3 hours this weekend. Consider a perennial garden. Take a couple hours to shop and plant now- then sit back the next 10 seasons and look like a pro. Several plants produce food all season, go dormant in the winter and yield food as early as April. The photos in this section were taken earlier this week from my garden. All are 2-3 years old. Hardy perennial fruits include raspberries, currants, blueberries, grapes and rhubarb are effortless to maintain once in the ground. Green onions and chives come up with the tulips. Cold-loving herbs like oregano, mint, tarragon and thyme are ready as soon as the snow melts. I let them go to seed each year and they do the hard work of growing for me.
You have an hour a week- I could go on and on about how much produce can be grown with such a small commitment! Take an hour to shop seeds this week. Lightly rake seeds into the ground next week. Water during the dry season. Thin and consume greens as they grow. Pull the occasional weed. Pat yourself on the back!
Excuse #2- “My kids hate vegetables and my husband is a carnivore”!
Sneaking vegetables into everyday meals has been a fun project for our family. We cook together frequently and my kids take more pride and interest in foods planted, picked and prepared than anything out of a box.
The Petite Appetit by Lisa Barnes inspires parents to sneak veggies into meatloaf, kabobs, stews and smoothies without the mealtime battles. Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld is also a cookbook geared for the busy mom who craves tasty homemade meals. Links above are to the author’s blogs and other cookbooks written by these authors.
Excuse #3- “I have no space”.
Start an indoor herb garden or container garden. Indoor gardens are perfect for the beginner- no weeding, bugs or rabbits to worry about! Outdoor container gardens are almost equally as easy and portable. I love this book: The Container Gardener’s Bible by Joanna K. Harrison and Miranda Smith. Consider page 98-99 for aromatic gardens including those to spice up curries, create potpourri or help you sleep at night. Gardening, landscaping and craft stores also sell hanging shelves and pots for windows that can get you inspired.
Fill in bare areas of your existing landscaping with lush, fragrant low growing plants like oregano or lettuce. Mint will take over any space you give it but is another hardy, sprauling plant.
Excuse #4- “I don’t know anything about gardening”.
Remember in preschool when you created a terrarium out of an inverted 2L coke bottle, moist soil and a bean? Get some seeds, plant them in the soil, keep them wet, provide sunlight. Consider some basic protection as the weather turns cold or windy. See what works and what doesn’t. Consider reading reference books like Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman or The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour. Talk to your neighbors, friends and family about how they’ve experimented. Pull what doesn’t thrive and start new mid-season, next year… or not at all.
Excuse #5- “I REALLY AM TOO BUSY”!
I know you are! What could be worse than wanting to start gardening, only to be overwhelmed and never try it again? You still can enjoy part of the process by supporting others in your area who already are making a living from local produce. Local farmer’s markets will be starting in May. Check out Local Harvest’s listing of farmer’s markets in your area. Get online and find other friends who enjoy the process. Or come to my house and let me talk your ear off!