There are going to be a lot of new gardeners this spring, eager to grow a few vegetables and hopefully some flowers. These new gardeners might be trying to save money by growing a bit of food or they may just be hoping to lift their spirits by having some fresh flowers to enjoy. I read it online, it must be true!
To help out these new gardeners, this old, as in experienced, gardener would like to reveal to them the main thing they need to be successful in their garden.
So, new gardeners, gather 'round and let me tell you what’ll need as you head out to plant your first garden.
Of course, you’ll need a place to plant, preferably with some sun, some plants and maybe some seeds, and a source of water. You can pick up any basic gardening book and figure that much out. Though, if you had to get a gardening book to figure that much out, maybe you should just ask your neighbor to plant a little extra in their garden for you and just offer to help them for awhile?
You’ll also see a lot of dazzling gardening tools in the stores, and you might think you need all of those to garden. You don’t. You can get by with a good trowel, if you are going to just plant in containers. Or, if you are going to actually garden in the ground, you should invest in a trio of tools… one shovel, one rake, and of course, one hoe, plus the trowel.
Eventually, you’ll also want a pair of pruners and while you are getting those, pick up a good pair of work gloves to wear. But skip the specialty gardening clothes. You don’t need specialty gardening clothes. Your old clothes will do just fine. Oh, and wear a hat in the sun and put on some sunscreen, too.
Once you have these basics, there is one other thing you should have to be successful at gardening. Fortunately everyone can get it, and it’s free. And you’ll be surprised at how it will improve your gardening when you have it.
If you are thinking compost at this point, well, it is true that compost helps you be successful with gardening by enriching the soil, and everyone can compost for free. But that’s not it.
What every new gardener needs, that old, as in experienced, gardeners have is…
Yes, just watch an old, as in experienced, gardener and you’ll find that they move confidently about the garden. They are deliberate, not tentative. They plant, rake, prune, and sow seeds as though they know what they are doing, even if they don’t. They make mistakes, too, but they learn from them and plant on.
Old, as in experienced, gardeners know that often plants grow in spite of the neglect of the gardener, and sometimes plants die in spite of the great care of the gardener. But that doesn’t stop the old, as in experienced, gardeners from learning, trying, and figuring out what works for them in their gardens.
They have confidence that there will be some failures, some lessons to be learned along the way, and every day will bring new challenges.
They also have confidence that there will be successes, new knowledge gained, and any day in the garden, they can find something new... a newly opened flower, a vegetable ripe for harvesting, or perhaps just the quiet satisfaction of being surrounded by their own garden.
Confidence, that’s what every new gardener needs, says this, old, as in experienced, gardener.