Starting Small

My first foray into gardening was with a tomato plant in a pot on our first apartment patio. I got up every morning and with my coffee, checked on it and watered it. I didn’t have proper sun, I didn’t know what I was doing, but we still got tomatoes from the plant! And honestly, they were delicious, maybe even more so because I grew them myself.tomato-food-nutrition-plant-161554.jpeg

Not long after that, the landscapers around the apartment complex had to do some work in our small patch of dirt in front of the patio, they tore things up and ended up leaving bare ground. So I dug that up too and planted squash and lettuce in maybe six square feet of area. The plants did great! I went out and watered them with my tomato plant again the next growing season, and I was so happy to be having fun and experimenting! Then the deer showed up and ate all the lettuce, no surprise there really. But then later, the landscapers showed back up and weed-whacked the squash to stubs. Needless to say, even though we tried new things, we only got tomatoes that second year too. Still delicious.

We moved into our first house the following year. I had gotten a taste of gardening and I wanted more. Almost as soon as we moved into the house, we built three raised beds in the front yard (for the best sun) using wood from Home Depot. We got fertilizer and top soil and mixed them together for the beds to see what we could grow. At this point I was still hand watering the three beds every morning and we got an amazing amount of squash, peas, carrots, onions, and herbs! We still didn’t know what we were doing, but things were looking up, we were learning every year, and not fighting with the deer or landscapers in the new house. The only barrier we saw to growing more was the sideways glances of the neighbors when we tore up the front yard to grow food. We ignored the looks and eventually made friends along the way.

If this is your very first time gardening, start small! Pick one thing and start there. Maybe it’s an indoor plant, or just one tomato plan, or a small herb garden on your front port or balcony. Don’t make it complicated, just do one thing today, and see how it feels. You never know, you may end up with a farm of your own someday.