When I started gardening almost 15 years ago, I had one raised bed and a load of dirt from a local gravel pit where my husband often did business. The man at the gravel pit told us that we needed top soil and that he could fill our truck with it. We said, excitedly, “YES” and got on our way!!
What we didn’t know is that our dirt situation would only be the beginning of what we had to learn about growing our own food. That first year of gardening was complicated, to say the least. I eagerly went to the local nursery, bought around 10 packs of seeds, came home planted them all in my bed of top soil, and covered them with leftover sawdust from a tree we had cut down. Mulch, after all, was going to keep those little seeds happy while they were busy sprouting.
I watered, and watered, and watered. Nothing ever came up. I watched all of my neighbors around me growing beautiful vegetables and couldn’t figure out what we had done wrong. Finally, after asking the elderly couple who lived next door, I learned….EVERYTHING!
Fast forward 15 years, and I have a thriving kitchen garden where we grow a diverse variety of vegetables year round. We have a flock of almost 30 chickens that turn our veggie scraps into true top soil that in turn goes right back into our beds to feed our plants. And, I am more in love with gardening that ever before. I have learned so much, but after that first gardening attempt, I had so many fears about starting again.
What I have learned over the years, is that most people are just like I was when they start their gardening journey. They lack knowledge and make up for it in fear. And those fears will keep us frozen or defeated. At least they did me.
Let’s conquer four common gardening fears, so that you can get busy growing your own food!
Fear No. 1 – “I Don’t Know How To Garden”
Let’s get this one out of the way right off the bat. This is an easy one to conquer because all it takes is agreeing with it to get over it. That is because it’s true, you probably don’t know a lot about gardening when you first start. Nobody does. You learn as you grow. I learned so much from my first garden, and I didn’t even have the internet. This is the year 2021 baby, you can know just enough about anything to get started. Conquer this fear right now by admitting that you don’t know it all about gardening….just yet. And instead of being frozen by this fear, ask a neighbor, someone you trust, or join the Wild Child Garden Club. It is re-opening again February 15th. This is your chance to get in for spring. Subscribe to the mailing list to make sure you know when the doors open.
Fear No. 2 – “I Don’t Have The Time To Garden”
There are many gardening options today, so we don’t have to spend hours upon hours tilling rows to have a successful harvest. It is actually just the opposite. In an organic raised bed kitchen garden, where the focus is on soil building and companion planting, around 2 hours a week is all that is needed to maintain a beautiful space with more than enough vegetables for your family.
If you can’t spare two hours, how about an hour a week? If you have an hour a week to spare, you can plant an herb garden where you will have an abundance of herbs for your family including rosemary, thyme, basil, mints, lemon verbena, lavender, and sage. You can grow herbs in any season. So why not start there?
You can even start with one container on the patio for a tomato and enjoy them all summer long. That will take about 30 minutes a week.. Don’t let time stop you from getting your hands in the dirt. Get creative and think of ways that you can still start your garden, with whatever time you have. Time slows down in the garden too, so you may be surprised at how much time you find to spend out there.
Fear #3 – “I Don’t Have Enough Space To Have The Garden I Want”
This fear goes hand in hand with time. If you conquer this one, the fear of time will take care of itself. First, again, this is the year 2020. People grow gardens on the roofs of their kids playhouses. Have you seen that? The options are literally endless. There are patio or terrace gardens, hanging gardens, gutter gardens, you name it, it is out there. Space is no long a problem for today’s urban gardener.
Herb gardens, potted vegetables, and grow bags make gardening in tight spaces a breeze. If you just work with what you’ve got, you will fall in love with gardening and you will begin to find more and more space to work with, carving out little plots everywhere to add just one more plant.
Fear #4 – “I Don’t Have A Green Thumb”
I am going to get bossy here for just a second on this one. Alright, ready? Okay, here goes.
YES YOU DO!
I used to say the same exact thing until I realized that humans have been gardeners since the beginning of time. Literally. Where were Adam and Eve? In the garden!! You do have a green thumb. We all do! I let this fear hold me back after my first gardening attempt so many years ago. I thought that the reason nothing sprouted in that first disastrous garden attempt was because of me. I told myself that I just didn’t have a green thumb, and that I should just give up. What I learned was that I just didn’t know the most basic principle of gardening.
be good to the soil, and it will be good to you.
When I learned that soil is EVERYTHING in a garden, it all turned around. Now, I grow all kinds of vegetables that I never thought I could grow. I have more time for gardening than ever before, and I am always looking for one more space to put a new raised bed. I know that I have a green thumb because I am a human. And I know that you have one too. We were made to grow our own food.
Don’t let these common fears keep you from planting a garden this spring. You will be shocked at how much you learn, at how much you can grow, and at how much you grow as a person. I am telling you….there is magic out there!
If you need a group of gardening buddies to help you along and encourage you in your efforts, the Wild Child Garden Club will be opening its doors for Spring on February 15th. If you join, you will receive the entire month of February’s material, which is a short course from the Kitchen Garden Academy….WHATTT?? Yeah, all new Garden Club members will get a short 4 week Kitchen Garden Academy course in February so you will be ready to plant in March. If you aren’t already subscribed to the mailing list, make sure you do that so that you will know when the doors open! We would love to have you join us. Get all of the details here.
Now get out there and find a spot for some veggies this year. No matter how small. Just start growing!