Monday, March 3, 2008

The Best Gardening Advice EVER!

When I was new at gardening I went to a meeting of my garden club distraught because all of these really lovely ladies had extremely lovely gardens...and I had just killed yet another unlucky plant! "What did I do wrong?" I cried. I received lots of gardening advice (which I avidly listened to and then promptly forgot). As the meeting neared it's end a short, cute, elderly woman grabbed hold of my arm. Margaret then proceded to give me the best gardening advice EVER! She said,
"You're a Mom and a Gardener
and you want to be successful at both.
But sometimes you are going to fail.
Which one would you prefer to fail at?"
It was like a weight had been lifted off of me! So what if I couldn't raise flowers and children at the same time. My children were my number one priority and the pretty flowers were just decoration for my children's world. As soon as I let go of the "need to succeed" I became pretty successful. Oh, I still have my weak spots...seeds and the unknown veggie garden but I became much more able to absorb the gardening do's and don'ts. Why is that~I wondered? I think it's because I realized that I didn't need to make a magazine-beautiful garden to be a "true" gardener. Instead, I just had to plant a garden that made me and my loved ones happy. And as we turn our attention to our "First Ever Veggie Garden Spectacular" (okay giving it a fancy name makes the kids get excited about veggies...and the hubby too!) we need a clear cut guide of when and what to do. Leave it to Storey's for yet another pearl of gardening wisdom.
Plant as soon as ground
can be prepared
Plant 1 to 2 weeks before
average date of last frost
Plant on or just after
average date of last frost
New Zealand spinach
snap beans
sweet corn
Very Tender
Plant 2 weeks after
average date of last frost
lima beans

I'm certainly not growing all of these crops on my first attempt but at least I've got a good "guideline" as to what I should be doing...and when I should do it!
Now if it would only stop snowing...


Tina said...

Have you ever seen something called The Grow Guide? Ridiculously useful!

Dave said...

That sounds like good advice! Also that's a handy list you've put together!

Melanie said...

That was some wonderful advice. I know I killed quite a few plants before being a "successful" gardener. Still do kill some too :-(

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That is great advice! I hope your children are feeling better.

Robin (Bumblebee) said...

Nope, it's not possible to do it all. Thanks for reminding us. And yes, growing the kids is more important than growing the flowers.

Robin at Bumblebee

Anna said...

When my husband was in the Air Force, I only dreamed of gardens. There is always time no matter when or with what you start. I loved that woman's advice and it was timely given. Bravo for her. She changed your life forever.

rose said...

Good advice! Gardening is many things, but stressful it should not be!

I'm looking forward to having a veggie garden someday. Right now mine is all trees, flowers and some culinary herbs.

Kylee said...

Great advice! Have you ever read any gardening books by Felder Rushing? Or have you heard him speak? You'd love his laid-back manner and he would give you the same advice you've shared with us here. You are gardening for the enjoyment of it, for yourself, no one else! Have fun!

Frances, said...

That is a great list. We are trying to be serious about veggies this year and it has been realized how little we know about it. By the way, I am a daffodil also.

Frances at Faire Garden

Meems said...

Hi- As moms we sure try to be everything to everyone and keep up with our passion to garden. But 'first things first' and it all works out like it should.

The garden is still here but the children are all grown and married. Now I spend more time in the garden. I'm so thankful the kids all like to come home once in a while - I like to think it is because we took care of them better than the garden back in the day.

I too am starting my very first vegetable garden this year. Your list is a wonderful guideline although I think the timing rules are a little different in my Florida garden. I'm seeking out all the information I can gather at this point. Thanks for this post.

Meems @HoeandShovel.blogspot

Nancy J. Bond said...

Good advice, indeed!

Brianna @ Seeds said...

This post resonated well with me, since I'm a new mother with a 7-month old son, and not enough naptimes to do everything I want to in the garden. Thanks for the reminder that it's ok to not be able to do it all at once.

Thanks also for posting the veggie planting guide--we're going to attempt our first summer veggie garden this year. :)

Annie in Austin said...

Lovely post, Rustic Garden - your heart and head are sure together.

No doubt many an experienced mom has told you to "enjoy them while they're little because they grow up so fast".

I'm one of those 8 older gardeners who answered your poll so I can tell you that statement is true. And when plants die don't think of it as failure, you were just learning what not to do next time ;-]

Annie at the Transplantable Rose