For those of you who are just beginning to garden, you are about to embark into a world full of pleasure and reward. Welcome! Enjoy your mistakes, learn from them. As my grandfather told me, “The basics are the same for everyone, but we all have our own way of gardening.”
Don’t be afraid to try and fail, learn and implement the lessons in your next garden. There is a great deal of information available to you, especially with the internet, but I’m kinda old school and still trust my copy of Carla Emery’s The Encyclopedia of Country Living more than any other source. I just bought my copy of the 40th Anniversary issue, not because it has really changed, but because the copy I had is falling apart and it was time for a new one.
This book is the essential resource for homesteading. It tells you how to do everything from purchasing land to butcher your farm animals. How to plant, when to plant, what to plant, on and on. She truly wrote a comprehensive guide to sustainable living.
With that said, there are a few lessons I have learned that I would like to share with you.
1)Have a “go to” person or book – My grandfather and grandmother taught me everything their parents taught them about gardening. I am very blessed to have had them as my grandparents.
2)Keep a journal – I use a spiral bound notebook. In it, record your garden layout – what you plant and where you plant it; a kind of sketch of your garden spot, beds, or however you plant. Keep track of what you ordered and from whom you ordered or purchased it.
At the end of the season, write down which variety you and your family liked best, which produced best, things like that. This will help you with your crop rotation and keep you from ordering something you did not like, something that did not perform well, and from a company you did not like doing business with.
3)Save your seeds – some people say this is not necessary, “We can always order seeds.” I strongly disagree with this philosophy. It is becoming harder to find reliable seed companies who have heirloom seeds and not GMO seeds not GMO seeds.
If we don’t have our own seeds for something, we order most everything from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Wood Prairie Farms. I would not hesitate to recommend these, but you may find others you prefer using. It is not a hard task to save seeds from most of your plants. See our post on seed saving.
4)You have to “visit” you garden every day – some days may not take more than 10 – 15 minutes. Other days, you may spend an hour or more, depending on your garden size. You should pull weeds or hoe them, check for signs of bugs or worms and deal with those, check for ripe fruit, hill potatoes and corn, just generally take care of whatever you see needs to be done.
I guess we’ll stop for today. That’s a lot to think about. You can find more gardening help under our In The Garden tab. I hope you enjoy your garden today. Be sure to let me know some of your own experiences.
If you are on Pinterest, check out TFL’s gardening boards.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack