Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Spring is in the... somewhere

It is, really. I can almost feel it in the air sometimes. I find myself dreaming of garden plots that I've never had, on land I don't have either.

Gardening is one of those skills that I could have learned from my mom, had I been paying attention as a kid, instead of running around, climbing trees, sneaking TV, and reading. Certainly those are not bad childhood pursuits, but they left little time for learning of more practical fun skills, like jamming, knitting, or gardening.

I look forward to one day having some semblance of a garden, and harvesting things like tomatoes, cucumbers, and maybe even strawberries from it. I think about what I could use this bounty for, and learning how to can and even pickle to preserve the extra.

I am probably a good ways away from all of that though. I don't have a garden, or even a potted plant. I also don't know how to pressure can, or have a pressure cooker. I've got one heck of a learning curve ahead of me, and I'm sure that it will be full of hard work, mistakes, and inadvertently murdered plants.

I've heard that tomatoes are hardy plants, that seem to grow, despite gardener neglect, so am thinking of starting with these. As well as some herbs that are supposed to do well in pots.

And then there are things like this that seem like they were designed for people like me. People who want to grow things, but have neither the skill, experience, or space to do so. (Yes, I had a shopping channel on as background noise as I was reading one night. I must say, this product intrigued me, but I did not buy one.)

Do you have a backyard, deck, or community garden plot? How long have you been at it? And, any tips for a  (very) novice gardener, looking to get started?


Margaret said...

Find a class, or a friend, or both. That's what I did last year. I planted tomatoes in bags in a polytunnel (hoophouse?) and lettuces in small containers in the polytunnel. I planted potatoes, some in the ground, some in used chicken feed bags. Planted garlic in containers, inside and out. Worked really well. Planted beans. Didn't do very well, but better than if I hadn't planted any at all. Planted nasturtiums next door to the compost heap (they don't need that much rich soil and you can eat them!)and they went wild! ! Last autumn I got my husband to make a raised bed for me and filled it with compost and manure and planted winter japanes onions. Then I broke my leg in December. I've seen the winter onions once since then but got my daughter to dig a couple of holes for rhubarb when (if!) the weather gets better and the potatoes are chitting way, waiting to go into the other half of the raised bed.

Start small. Remember to water, but don't over water! Borrow someone else's garden (yard) if you need to.

swiggett said...

Thanks, Margaret. I didn't know lettuce could be grown like that. And fresh garlic would be very nice.

Cam said...

Margaret, I like the lettuce in the poly tunnel idea!

Em, we have a balcony (obviously) and have had great luck with herbs, especially basil. We tried tomatoes one year and that didn't do so because we didn't have enough sun.