After talking with a friend last week about our garden plans, I realized how nervous some get when trying to figure out their garden plan. One year I helped a friend start a vegetable garden from scratch. A plot was tilled. Plans made. We drove to the greenhouse to pick out a few things. With great expectation, seeds were planted and watered. But the harvest was somewhat of a disappointment. Why? A lot had to do with the conditions. Soil, lack of fertilizer, children trampling and pulling out plants…too many factors.
We also discussed the enormous gardens of our childhoods and how it’s hard to scale down the methods to fit a much smaller property. It’s a whole different mentality.
I certainly have had my share of fails and disappointments but over the years I’ve figured out what works and what doesn’t work for me. Some things just don’t make since for me to grow. I grow a lot in my small gardens, favoring things that do well for me.
There is nothing wrong with dreaming big but there is a need to be realistic. Someone I know planted a whole bag of store bought potatoes in hard ground, then expecting potatoes to eat for the rest of the year. That didn’t really work out. Do some research. Put your thoughts on paper. Draw a plan. Make lists. Keep a journal that can be used as a reference next year. Write down your observations, successes and failures.
Think about how much time you have to maintain your garden. Are you going to plant the garden then never look at it again? Keep the plot manageable to ensure you can keep up with it. Try just a few reliable things like tomatoes and green beans.
So, you’ve got big dreams of self-sufficiently but it’s okay to start out small. If things work out, add more the next year. The biggest piece of advice I have for you is to JUST START! Every year you will get a little more experience under your belt and gain more garden know-how. Go get that shovel out and get digging!
Are you starting a new garden this year? What are you nervous about? Thanks for checking in on the blog this week! Consider subscribing and you won’t miss a thing here at Everlongardener!