After a long year has come to an end, I find myself eagerly waiting for my first seed catalog to arrive in the mail. It should come this week or next but meanwhile I am busy taking inventory of my seed stash and get an idea of what to do in the garden. Some people get overwhelmed with gardening, usually it’s because they try too much too soon. So if you’re a brand new gardener wanting to start your first edible garden try starting only one or two types of seeds this year. My suggestion is leaf lettuce and green onions. Seem unimpressive? Well, a window box size container filled with leaf lettuce seeds can supply you with fresh salad greens for lunch for a couple months. Trim off enough greens just above the soil line and they will regrow repeatedly. Only trim off what you need for your salad for that meal, this will keep it producing with less waste. Leaf lettuce is easy to grow and is very little maintenance beyond needing sunshine and water. Green onions are similar, they are easy to grow in pots, you can trim off the tops of the green onions and chop up to put in soups, marinades or top salads! Both these are easy to grow in an apartment type setting….no yard? Do you have a front step? A window box? A small patio or balcony? Then you can start a garden!
For you more seasoned gardeners, I want to challenge you this year. If you are doing a garden see if you can make it a “giving garden”. Whether your garden is big or small see if you can find a way for it to give back. Do you have anyone in your life who might enjoy gardening with you? Then give back and teach them how to grow food or flowers! Do you have neighbors who could benefit from fresh produce? Share your harvest! Anyone in your circle interested in art, photography or cooking? Invite them over! You’d be shocked what an art student can do with flowers from the garden! The more of us who have home gardens the less we will have to depend on the grocery store. We can enjoy food from our own home and get the added benefit of stress relief! Whether you have a green thumb or not I can almost guarantee you could find some place in the garden that you enjoy!
Some years my garden has more to give then others. I remember one year I had a harvest of almost 2,000 tomato’s, dozens upon dozens of cukes, zucchini and summer squash. I was desperate to find people to take the produce! I would box up the extras and send it with my husband to give to employees. We also set up a “free” table out front with boxes of produce for neighbors to take for free. It was a lot of work that year because the harvest was the biggest I’d ever had! Last year was a very very small harvest, I’ve been gardening for over 20 years so for all you newer gardeners please don’t get discouraged by a bad harvest! It happens! Every garden season is different! Some years I have terrible tomato plants, other years the pumpkins are out of control, you never know what will do better and what won’t work that year. That’s part of the fun! Start with good soil, good seeds/plants and HAVE FUN! You’ll learn something new every year, as a very seasoned gardener myself I can tell you that every single year I learn something new! So start thinking about how big or small you want your garden this year and keep checking my blog to find more gardening tips!!!