I have always enjoyed being surrounded by plants, but until several years ago, I never considered myself a gardener. My parents had huge gardens, and those gardens helped defray food costs all year because my mom canned anything we did not eat in the summer. I always enjoyed eating the fresh foods that came from those gardens.

Several years ago, I began experimenting with gardening and my husband saw how much joy it brought me, so he built me a garden enclosure with some raised beds. My time in the garden gives me peace and a sense of accomplishment. The peace comes from tending to the plants while I talk to them and sing, and the sense of accomplishment is growing food that I can bring to our table.

Since I started gardening, several friends have mentioned they have always wanted to garden, but they don’t know where to start, or what they need, and they are afraid they will fail. I would love to see more people find the joy that I feel when gardening, so here is a very basic guide to getting started.   

My daughter used one of the excuses that I have heard several times for not being able to garden. She said she did not have a yard, so there wasn’t anywhere to grow anything. You can use containers to grow plants anywhere. I started my tomato plants and my mint inside containers. I have many containers in my actual garden because I don’t have any more room for beds. Make sure there is a hole on the bottom of the container so water can drain through, and if it is a bigger container, put the garden liner in first.

Experiment. Don’t worry about failure. If something doesn’t work the first time, keep trying. I tried potatoes, peanuts, and watermelon for the first time this year.

Ask questions. There are gardening experts all around you. Facebook has gardening groups, local gardens have master gardeners, and you can always find an expert at one of the local garden stores.

Soil matters. My husband likes to follow the rules and do things perfectly, whereas I’m o.k. with winging it. The only thing he insists on though when it comes to gardening is that I start with fresh soil. If you have compost, that is great too.

I hope you will give gardening a try, and I hope you have as much fun with it as I do.  

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