In last Wednesday's blog post, I asked you to answer one of two questions in return for an entry into our free gardening book giveaway. To my surprise, all the people who've commented on that post responded to the question, What is your biggest fear about starting your own food garden?
I thought for sure that people would answer the question about what they looked forward to the most in regards to starting a garden. But, the more I thought about it, I realized that I had a lot of the same concerns last year when my husband and I started our little backyard garden.
With that being said, I think it's important to address the fears mentioned because gardening can be rather intimidating, but is really a blessing once you learn the basics.
Fear: I will work hard and not receive any return on my investment due to adverse weather conditions.
My thoughts: The weather can be tricky no matter how much you prepare, that is true. If weather is the only thing that's holding you back, try container gardening. This will allow you to move plants around or keep close to the house (provided there's enough sunshine) for easy watering. They can also be moved under shelter during heavy periods of rain. Most plants can be grown in containers if they have the appropriate depth and width to accommodate the plants growth.
Fear: Getting to the veggies before the deer do or even getting the plants to grow enough to produce before the deer get to them.
My thoughts: Although they are cute, animals that eat from our garden are annoying. If they only knew how hard we worked for that harvest! If you foresee deer as a problem, erecting a fence prior to starting a garden is your best defense. It's definitely the best option if you plan to garden year after year.
Fear: Having time time to take care of the Garden.
My thoughts: One of the best things you can do before you start a garden is to assess how much time you will have to tend to it. Too much garden work with a busy schedule can be overwhelming and may leave you wanting to give up before summer even starts. The wonderful thing about having your own garden is that you can choose how much you want to grow based on the amount of time you have to care for it. Maybe you only have time for a tomato plant and a few herbs, which will hopefully give you enough herbs to dry or freeze (in ice cubes) and enough tomatoes to can or freeze to last all winter. Gardening is hard work, but you get to choose how hard you work based on what you want to grow. So, even if time is limited, I encourage you to start small, maybe even just one plant, and see how it works out. Some plants can even be planted a little later than after the frost date, like herbs, if you decide that you want to add to your garden later.
If you have a gardening question, feel free to drop me a note in the comments section below and I'll be sure to reply. If you'd like to learn more about gardening, we hope you'll join us for our workshop in a couple weeks! Be sure to submit an entry for the free gardening book!