by: Carrie A. Blakley
By now, all of the gardening folks have been well into their gardening season. For some of us, myself included, we’ve had to start just a bit later than usual, due to unforeseen circumstances which are beyond our control. Like, mother nature fitting all weather types possible into a 1 week period, for example. For anyone out there who is just starting to get into gardening, do yourself a favor…do NOT think it’s some kind of hyper-complex skill that will take you the rest of your life to master. It isn’t. Most gardeners have a ton of gardening books. They have these for one reason. Reference purposes. Want to learn about plants? Plant something, and study it as it grows. Really, it’s that simple. Don’t know how to properly plant a seed? NOT difficult. Simply get a small pot of dirt. Then, stick your index finger into the center of the pot until you reach the first knuckle. Pull your finger out of the dirt, and drop a seed into the hole you just made with your now soil covered index finger. Cover the seed with the displaced dirt. Water lightly. Oh my God! You just planted your first seed! Congratulations!
It is said that patience is a virtue. That being the case, gardeners are probably some of the most virtuous people on the planet. Like people, plants take their own sweet time to grow. I’ve had seed packets, where the contents all seem to have their own different agendas, all growing whenever they darn well feel like it, but somehow ending up fully matured within a week of each other. When you read seed packets, and it tells you how long it will be before the seed grows into maturation, trust me, it’s a ‘well educated guesstimate’. You can read all the educational material you want to, but until you plant your first few seeds, all of that knowledge will be moot.
Talking to more experienced gardeners does help. If you run into things that you think may be an issue, take a photo, and show it to someone who is a more experienced gardener. If they can’t figure it out, perhaps they will know someone who can. Never be afraid to ask questions, no matter if you think they’re ridiculous or not. Gardeners are people who can generally read plants, the way teachers read books. One look, and we have a really good idea as to what’s going on with the plant. Also keep in mind one very important note: If you’re going to plant an organic tomato seed, and hope it turns out looking like the pristine ones you see in the market, you’re putting far too much hope in nature. Chances are, nature will make it look better, taste better, smell better and cook better. So grab a packet of seeds, a few small pots, some dirt, some water….and just plant something. You’ll be happy you did.