Thought for the Week

Chris Dudley wrote the following, and I think it has lots of good ideas. Hope you enjoy it!

“So maybe you’re thinking about learning to garden? I’ve got some advice that might make your life a lot easier.

I’ve come to believe that we all have a green thumb, it’s just we’ve lost the cultural knowledge for the convenience of the supermarket.

But you’ve got a green thumb, no worries. It’s in your genes. It just takes some patience with yourself to get it to show.

Don’t worry about failures. It can take a few years of killing off lots of stuff before you start to feel like a gardener.

It’s easy to lose motivation if you get frustrated with the drive for technical perfection. A big help for me when my motivation started dying–I was killing more than growing plants–was to just forget about all the technical stuff.

I no longer bother reading about or worrying about getting my ‘companion’ planting perfect, or my bed rotations correct anymore. I gasp, buy fertilizer sometimes where before I felt like it had to be home grown. In short I’ve learned to ignore all the rigmarole that makes gardening cumbersome.

I just plant plants. Half the time I don’t remember if it’s a tomato or a pepper and I rarely know what variety of tomato, or whatever, I planted is or was. Right now I’ve got about fifteen tomato plants growing and when it’s time to harvest I won’t know which one I’m eating, but it’ll still taste great.

My advice, set aside everything extraneous and just start planting stuff, read the directions about where, how much sunlight, etc., when you plant, but don’t go crazy about it. Just plant stuff all over, try putting one or two where they’re not supposed to go, etc.

When a plant dies just chalk it up to free mulch and drop it in an ignored heap of other plants that have died you can call a compost pile if you want to get technical about it.

That’s my advice. Seek the lazy path and the gardening journey will become enjoyable.

I never worry about weeds because I actually enjoy going out in the garden and pulling them. I’ve got a good set of headphones so I’ll listen to a podcast or some tunes, or often I’ll just try to pay attention to the sounds of the garden and nature. I have a good weed puller, though, and that’s key

So I pull the weeds up with that handy tool and leave them with their roots facing up to die in the sun. They then become free mulch, give back their nutrients and also conveniently shade the soil around the plant I want to grow.

I also let some of the ‘weeds’ grow because they’re very useful. Dandelion, for instance, is highly nutritious plus it adds nitrogen to the soil and feeds pollinators. I actually have a dandelion patch just as if it were a strawberry patch..

Come to think of it, you could probably just get an edible weeds book or app to identify and pull the noxious weeds and also leave the useful weeds and call what’s left your garden. Most of those weeds are more nutritious and useful than our hybrid plants anyway.”

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