TAKE A WALK: No idea what to plant? Strolling around the neighborhood is a way to brainstorm what plants to buy. This gives one an idea of what will thrive in the climate. Would a xeriscape plan or flowers do well in the area? Soils vary so this is a good indicator of what plants will be successful. If there is a pretty plant in a neighbor's yard, then ask them about it. This is a great way to introduce yourself and meet fellow neighbors.
SNAP A PICTURE: Get the plant's name from an app designed for that or show the picture to a gardening store. This allows people to get the right one without having to search the entire store. Gardening stores can usually tell customers more about the plant and if it will do well in the area.
GARDENING TOOLS: Basic tools that every gardener should have are a trowel, spade/shovel, rake, garden hose, watering can, and pruning shears.
PLANT WITH A PURPOSE: If there is room, planting food is a great way to cut out the middleman and eat healthy. Plants that are easy and popular are listed below.
- Tomatoes - high-yield whether the Beefsteak or the Cherry tomatoes.
- Zucchini squash - julienne the squash to make a delicious and healthy "spaghetti."
- Peppers - a pop of color and high in vitamin C.
- Beans - great variety to choose from.
- Lettuce - with four categories - crisphead, butterhead, romaine, and looseleaf.
- Beets - a colorful, easy way to get essential nutrients in one vegetable.
MAKE GARDENING FUN: Involve the kids/grandkids. Children love to play in the dirt so why not make it educational? Supervise them while planting and watering the plant. Get them excited about caring for the plant.
PROPER WATERING: One of the cornerstones of a successful garden is proper watering. New plantlings need more water at the beginning and careful monitoring. Experiment to find the right amount of water to nourish the plant without causing root rot. Watering the roots rather than the leaves will get the water to the main distribution system of the plant.
GRAB A MAGAZINE: Gardening magazines are a great way to get the scoop on all things gardening. Many are on-line for easy reference. Who couldn't use a few tips and tricks from the professionals?
ASSESS ONE'S SKILLS: Discern one's skill level and dedication. A garden should bring people joy, (not frustration) so be sure to take into account what level of commitment one is willing to make.
NO PLACE FOR A GARDEN?: There are herb or spice kits that grow in the space of a windowsill or hanging pot. Most take little care at the beginning and one only needs to water it.
HAVE FUN! Make someone's day by sharing a bounty of fabulous flowers or vibrant vegetables. If members can garden in the nude, celebrate World Naked Gardening Day by being at one with Mother Nature.
The original article written for The Bulletin by Linda Weber in April 2020.
Posted with permission from American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR).