Preparation Is Key
By Linda Farneth
If there is one thing I have learned about gardening it’s preparation is more important than planting. I’ve seen so many people including my mother get motivated to try gardening, go out to the garden store and buy a mess of new plants, only to come home to a patch of grass or weed filled bed.
You can get such a rush out of shopping for plants and they all look so inviting at the garden store, but sitting in a big group on your driveway at home, wilting or being blown around by an unexpected wind storm is not a way to get motivated.
That being said, my first tasks are as follows:
- Go out and start a compost. I know that may sound silly and adventurous but compost can be done on a small scale. It’s so easy, “one part green to on part brown. Layer it and water it down.” (I just made that up! 🙂
- Make a list of plants I want to grow.
- Research space and care for plants I want to grow.
- Plan where I will plant the plants I want to grow.
- Then rewrite the list of plants I can grow!
- Next prepare the beds.
It seems so simple but planting starts with just getting your hands dirty. Start by marking off where you want your plants to grow. By researching the needs of your plants you should already know how much space is needed for the mature plants so be sure your planned beds can accommodate all the plants you want to (and can) grow.
Once your bed is marked off, grab a shovel and start digging, tilling and weeding. Don’t put high expectations on how much you will get done each day, that’s a recipe for disaster. Just start one day and see how far you get. If you manage to get ¼ of your bed ready, plan on 6 more sessions to finish the tilling and weeding.
No I’m not bad at math, I’m realistic. Chances are the first day you are motivated, excited and full of energy. Trust me, by tomorrow morning that will all change! So plan on doubling the time you spend completing the last ¾ of the bed and you may be pleasantly surprised. But at least you won’t be disappointed by unrealistic expectations.
Since everything is wet from last night’s rain, today is a great day for research and planning. I may even start a few seedlings inside.
That’s it for today. I’m keeping it simple!