Flowers

Flowers

Friday, March 5, 2010

Avoiding Failure!

Yikes.. I was just reading a new survey from the Garden Writers Association, an organization I joined over a decade ago. Although almost 8 million new veggie gardeners took up the challenge of growing some of their own food last year in the US, over 70,000 of them gave up and won't be trying again this season. Why not? There are 3 main reasons why new gardeners give up:
  1. Starting too big - When it comes to growing veggies, it's best to start small until you get the hang of it. Even a 4 x 8-foot space will offer a decent harvest and some valuable experience. If your garden turns into a chore, something is wrong.
  2. Planting too much - Pick just a handful of crops (that means about 5!) your first season, concentrating on family favourites (beans, peas, tomatoes) and easy-to-grow types (lettuce, other salad greens, carrots, radishes, etc.).
  3. Avoiding maintenance - A small veggie garden really doesn't need much maintenance (10 minutes a week for weeding, a quick weekly peek for pests, an occasional watering if there has been no rain and a few minutes to sow more seed as crops mature) These garden 'chores' should be considered part of the experience as a whole.. Although weeds are rarely a problem in our garden, I find the time spent pulling weeds is quite rejuvenating - I'm accomplishing something, getting fresh air and enjoying the beauty of the garden - it's all in the mindset! (I'm sorry that I sound like a life coach or new age cheerleader!)
Anyway, the point is, before breaking ground on a brand new veggie garden, put some thought into it.. get a good book (again, I'm in LOVE with Barbara Pleasant's new book - see my post from last week), sketch out a plan and have fun!

Happy Gardening!

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