5 Things I’ve learned from Gardening

Gardening is hard work! Studies have shown that gardening and yard work can torch major calories. This is especially true with starting a new garden, as I’ve learned over the past week. We finally started moving into the new house, and my first order of business was getting my seed starts into the ground.

Always be prepared to change your plans

Unfortunately, the previous owner hadn’t mowed the courtyard area—the site of my garden—in quite some time. The grass was so tall that I almost lost my dog and my nearly two-year-old. This put a huge dent in my original design plans. I had intended to place my garden right next to the greenhouse, but the weeds and the ground were not going to let that happen. Luckily, I spied the border of what-had-been a garden in the past, so I went back to the drawing board and planned for this new site.

Invest in leather gardening gloves

With hedge clippers in hand, I hacked away at the weeds, which included grasses and wild roses. I had thought about using the weed whacker, but in typical fashion I forgot to take it with me to the new house. After that, I took out the hoe and started pounding away at the stubborn weed roots. The roses were the worst—they have more pricks than a bar in San Diego on a Friday night. My hands were thrashed by the time I finished clearing the area. And I still had to give up and think of another way to get rid of them.

Poo cures everything

My hubby brought two truckloads of finished manure from the stables where he keeps his horse. Since it’s a finished product, I shoveled it directly into the garden bed to supercharge my plant. The existing soil isn’t bad—in fact, a gardener couldn’t ask for better. But the addition of the manure will help nourish the plants.

Did I mention, always be ready to revise your plans

After putting in the soaker hose, I planted all of my seed starts and planted more seeds in the soil. While I had the best of intentions to plant everything neat and orderly, I had to give that up midway. My son had swiped some of my garden tools and was chasing the dog around with the weeding tool. I had to look up and yell, “Hey, stop it!” which made it impossible to plant anything in neat rows.

In the words of Beyonce, pretty hurts, especially when we’re on the subject of roses

This year will be a bit of an experiment to help me understand what grows well and what doesn’t. So far the strawberries and peas are kicking ass so we may be subsisting on that for a bit. Since the roses that had sprung up in one half of the garden were so difficult to hack up, I decided to plant a smaller garden this year, which is for the best…and it saves me from the risk of a horrible rose thorn-induced infection.

Since I’m only using half of the garden space, I can properly get rid of the weeds growing in the unused space, which will make the soil there super fertile next year—though hopefully, by then I will have found out which crops can grow well in the space, aside from strawberries and peas.

 

If you want more garden tips, be sure to sign up for my gardening class on Skillshare.

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