Four years ago after we moved to Ramona, I told my husband that I wanted to plant fruit trees in our yard and to start a garden. Being the supportive person he is, he jumped on board and made me a garden box. Even though he knew I had killed every plant we had ever owned.
I was determined to learn, and earn my “green thumb”
Pinterest became my addiction as I looked for information on “how to grow tomatoes”. I read blogs, watched YouTube videos; I was determined!
That first season was trial and error. I planted everything in my little 4×5 garden box: chiles, zucchini, green beans, herbs, tomatoes, and my arch nemesis, cucumbers. Some things flourished, some did not. Yet I was not disappointed, because I received the best compliment that summer. My mother picked one of my tomatoes and said, “This is the best tomato, sweetest one I’ve had!”.
I was hooked!
Since then my little garden has turned into a 1,000sqft + area. With five mature grape vines, and four garden boxes, each bigger than the first. It has expanded to fit a garden shed as well as seven fruit trees, a blackberry bush and (crossing my fingers) hopefully this year raspberries. YUM!
Each year I try something new- wishing, hoping that it works. I pick a few new things to grow. I read up on it, and I might even buy a book or a magazine for additional information and pray that my hard work pays off. Last year it was potatoes. Wow! They were awesome, and I learned so much. I also planted seven bare root raspberry plants, but I don’t know if any survived the HOT Ramona heat. And I won’t know until this spring if they start sprouting up. If it doesn’t work, I will be a bit disappointed, but if it does work, I’ll be ELATED! The key is to keep a learning attitude.
Why I love it:
I feel closest to nature and in some odd way closest to God when I’m in my garden. I’m at peace, and it relaxes me. Weird, huh? I love speaking to my plants when I’m out there, or sometimes playing music to them. But most of all, I love how it feeds my family.
I might sound a bit crazy to you right now, but hang in there with me.
Gardening can be a fun learning experience. It is fulfilling, fun, hard work. I get dirty and sweaty weekend after weekend during the spring and when those little plants start sprouting, I feel accomplished.
I’d like to inspire you to garden this season. Please don’t feel overwhelmed with all the unknown. Walk down to your local nursery and talk to the people there, they are willing to help. You can also follow reputable people on different social media- my favorites are MIgardener and CaliKim29. They are full of information and have a passion for gardening. Again, please don’t feel intimidated.
Take it all as a learning curve.
My first suggestion is to start with something very manageable, like herbs. Or even one of those potted salsa mixture plants you can find at Costco. Keep it simple and don’t overwhelm yourself. Read an article or two. Don’t spend so much money that you feel it’s not worth it.
Also, think about the reason you’d like to garden. Maybe you are a homeschooler and would like to include gardening into your science labs. Remember that bean in the cup?
Or you might have fond memories of your mom, uncle, grandpa picking fruit, or veggies from their backyard when you were growing up. I know I do.
Get your kids involved, if ever they wanted to play with dirt; this is the time!
And when things grow! or when they don’t….it’s okay.
My teen had wanted to grow flowers a few years back, so I bought seeds. She read the instructions, planted them and waited patiently. They never grew. I know, sad right?
The next year my then four year old wanted to plant flowers, so naturally I bought her some too. She poured the whole pack into her tiny garden box and drowned the poor things. Somehow her flowers grew, and have come back every year. Sometimes there’s a bit of luck involved 🙂
I don’t claim to know everything, I just know that I love feeding our family from our garden. And I get excited when I see those little grapes spring up. Or when I have enough tomatoes to can pasta sauce for the winter (I wish you could taste my homemade canned pasta sauce made with onions, tomatoes and basil from the garden…. delicious!).
I’d like to encourage you to try gardening this year, and to get your hands dirty to reap the goodness that your garden can provide.
If you’d like to see how my garden does this year you can follow my Intagram.