Are you wanting to start a garden this year and are not sure what to do first?
Gardening is a wonderful hobby that is both fulfilling and relaxing for many people. There are many types of gardens but this time of year in my area, many people are getting ready to start vegetable gardens in the spring and some are interested in starting seeds themselves. So let's look more in depth on getting started on a vegetable garden.
Why do you want to start a vegetable garden?
Generally, when anyone decides to start gardening, they have a deep reason why they want to do it.
Figuring out your why not only helps you determine your goals for the season, it can help you find the motivation to continue when challenges come up. Your why has to be stronger than the work required if you want to finish the season. Plus, you will have your goal figured out so you will know if you have achieved it.
If you want to produce food for your family, are you wanting fresh veggies for the summer months in season, or are you wanting to preserve some for the winter?
Do you like the visual aesthetics of the garden and flowers?
Do you like the success of growing something?
Do you want plants that most tend themselves or do you like to fuss over them and check them everyday?
Do you consider yourself to have a green thumb or are you just beginning to learn?
Each of these questions can result in a different version of success, depending on how you answer it.
For me, my desire to garden is more focused on food growing... I like plants that are working for me.. I can kill house plants like nobody's business, if there isn't another plant in the area that produces something. In the winter, I have to mix my herbs in the shelves with the cactus, aloe, orchids and decorative trees so everyone gets watered.🤣 The only seeds for flowers I start are beneficial companion plants that deter pests from my vegetables. 🤣🤣
After the why, I look at gardening as 20% science… plants need nutrients, sun, water…. And 80% art… we can’t control the weather. Even predicting is tricky, so if you have hotter weather, less rain, cooler temps and more rain… than usual this all affects the outcome of the season. Set your expectations in reality. If you are just starting out, starting small and learning the first year how to have fresh vegetables in season is a reasonable goal.
I look at it this way, If I grew something, got something to eat, and learned something new- it was a successful gardening season. Each year I increase the yield goal but I’m still doing those 3 things every year. Learning something for the next year can be just as valuable as food, because it could help me grow more food another time or be more successful with a specific plant the next year.