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Gardening. Or, How I Created a Beautiful Obsession

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I still haven’t gotten it right.

Every year I toil and till… every year I walk away with some level of disappointment.

I sincerely hope this makes you feel better if you too are a wanna-be gardener!

Fifteen years in Colorado and I still haven’t figured it out. But I’m closer.

One year I discovered compost. Another year, I planted a raspberry bush in faith. Each and every planting season stirs in me this insatiable urge to put dirt in small cups with a variety of tiny seeds. I water them, put them in a sunny place and believe that something is going to grow.

The good news? Sometimes it does.

Even better news? Three years later that raspberry bush started producing berries! Right on schedule.

Now, if I could just get the squirrels to stop eating my pumpkins…

One weary gardener to another, here are a few words of encouragement as we look ahead to the promise of beautiful and tasty things growing by our hands:

  1. Focus on doing a few things well. The “salsa garden” seems to be a real winner with hobby gardeners. You don’t have to grow everything you’d find in the produce department.
  2. Know your soil. A testing kit is a small investment for the information it can give you. Bad soil makes for bad gardening. Not only that, make sure your soil has a good irrigation system. It really, really matters.
  3. Grow it because you love it. I used to plant zucchini every year because it would grow gobs of squash. Problem? No one in my family wanted to eat it! {And, honestly, you can only make so much zucchini bread.} So, I cut it out and tried planting more flowers instead. Having cut flowers in the house made me much happier than shredding zucchini anyway.
  4. Ask someone who knows what to grow! Your local nursery and County Extension office are excellent resources to help you know what will grow well in our climate. It’s tricky, no doubt about it! Especially if you are a transplant {Ha, ha!}, take the time to ask locals with knowledge – they love to be asked!
  5. Grow with a friend. Some of the best gardening experiences I’ve had have come from enjoying the process with friends. Split the growing and share the crops! Split seed packets. Water for one another when someone is out of town. Try new recipes together with your garden booty! It’s just more fun when you have someone to cry with when the lettuce withers or jump up and down with when you find your first tomato.

Regardless of the size of your plot, take the leap and decide this is the year to grow something! Have ideas about what to grow or how to do it? Please share!

Jenna lives in Littleton with dirt under her nails from about March to September. Her favorite moment of gardening is the early morning weeding when it’s still quiet and cool outside… second favorite moment is when the last veggie is harvested. It’s usually eaten before it gets to the house. Learn more at Organic Gardening 101: A Practical How To Article. 

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Comments
  • comment avatar Jessica June 28, 2015

    So beautifully shared. I’ve recently fallen in love with gardening, too!