Yeah I know, who am I right now to tell anyone how to tend to their garden? I don’t even have a ground to grow into yet. But fret not. I’m not here to preach, or even teach anyone anything because I really don’t have the experience and wouldn’t try and act like I do. But I thought it would be nice to share with you what I’ve learnt throughout my first season so far and how its changed how I’ll do things in the future.
Read the Labels.
If there is anything I’ve learnt in the past 6 months its to read the back of your seed packets or the labels that come in your young plants. If you’ve read my container garden post, you’ll know that I was naive to the importance reading the labels had on the growth and development of my crop. Which resulted in me losing some of my plants before they even germinated, and although I do have some plants growing now, they’ve bloomed later than I would have liked and I’m not sure if I’ll get any fruit from them this year. Meaning I will have to try and keep them warm enough through the winter to fruit next spring. But we’ll see how things go, I may still get small crops this year.
Don’t under estimate the weather.
Here in Newcastle, the weather is super temperamental. Especially in recent weeks. Since working in a garden centre I’ve realised how even one extra hot day can completely wipe out your plant if it hasn’t had enough water that day. and visa versa, if you have a bad day weather wise after your plants have already been watered you’re at risk of drowning them out. The best way to stay on top of this situation is to simply just keep an eye on the forecast for the coming week. Both online and physically, as the forecast isn’t always accurate, sometimes its clearer to feel in the air if you think rain is due. The weather here can literally go from one extreme to the other in a matter of hours, so its ideal to have a couple of ways of keeping track of the weather. I know a lot of gardeners that keep a garden journal or a bullet journal specific to gardening etc and keep track of the weather in there, but I’ll get into that in a later post.
Don’t over/under estimate your seed count.
Again, I know a lot of gardeners who will sow 2 seeds into one small pot at the beginning of the season and thin that down to just the one stronger shoot later on. However, (don’t get me wrong, I know this is me being too sentimental) I personally would find it heart breaking to pull out a shoot that is still growing, just because its not as strong as its house mate. But, at the same time, if you sow only one seed per plant, per pot, theres a lot riding on that one little seed making it. My happy medium I’ve found is to use my propagator tray. theres around 60 little pots in the tray that I have which quite easily allows me to grow a number of different plants and thin them out as necessary. Not because they are over taken by a stronger shoot but because sometimes it just doesn’t happen for whatever reason. I started off with around 20 tomato shoots, 11 survived their move to the propagator and I have roughly 9/10 left that still look healthy and raring to go. But I don’t really need 10 tomato plants. Thats the draw back to saving all of your shoots. Sharing is caring though and I shall be giving almost everyone a tomato plant for their upcoming birthdays.
Its okay to have mishaps.
God knows I’ve had my fair share! hasn’t everyone? One of my main flaws is that when I try and do something, whether that be a drawing, painting, sculpture etc. If something goes wrong and I’m not happy, I get frustrated and generally have to walk away from it and never come back. Gardening has been the only thing I’ve found where I feel like its okay to make mistakes with your plants, theres always a next time, next year, next plant and I’m really enjoying the feeling of being relaxed when I do hit an issue because it generally means I solve it quicker and more efficiently. This mainly comes from Hollie Newtons book How To Grow which I cannot sing enough praises about. Go and read my full review and find where to buy the book here.
Cliche, I know. But its true! you’ll not really get anything out of gardening if you don’t enjoy it, because what would be the point? Its so satisfying watching things grow due to your hard work and effort. Whether your thing may be fruits, veg, perennials, annuals, biennials or whether its just the colour, texture or aesthetics of a plant that draws you in.
I hope I haven’t bored you too much and you come away with even the slightest bit of help and advice.
If anyone has ANY advice to add to anything I might have said or something completely different that I haven’t thought of then please do feel free to comment!