Ah, to this day I still remember my first gardening experience. It was such a disaster that I didn’t think I would ever want to garden again. I almost decided to turn my casual hobby into the most rage-inducing topic you could possibly bring up to me.
It all started a few weeks after I moved in to my first house. I was excited just to have my own grass to mow, since I had been in apartments and condos for quite a while. In between plans to paint walls and renovate the inside to exactly how I like, I thought it would be a good idea to start a fruit garden so that I could have some fresh produce and put my yard to use. At that point I didn’t really know anything at all about gardening. But still in my spunky youthful years, I decided I didn’t need help. How hard could it be to start a garden and grow stuff? After all, it happens in nature all the time and nobody even has to do anything.
I already had a grassless patch in my yard where it looked like the previous owner had attempted a garden. But any attempt they had made turned out to be an utter travesty. The area was full of rocks and weeds, with no signs of any agreeable plants. I spent several hours of work spread over several days to clear out the entire area, leaving nothing but dirt. At that point, however, I didn’t realize the difference between “dirt” and “soil”. I was dealing with barren, hard, nutritionless, and unforgiving land.
I made some attempt at making my garden look nice; although I think even Martha Stewart would have had difficulties. I took some stained boards that were sitting in my basement (quite convenient, no?) and used them as a border for my garden, to keep out all the pests that couldn’t jump more than a foot (I figured I would be safe from lawn gnomes). I used the pile of rocks I had collected from the garden to make a creepy shrine looking thing in front of it. I don’t know what I was thinking when I did that.
I went to the store that very day, and picked out whatever looked tasty. Strawberries? Sure! Watermelon? Yeah! I hacked away a hole in the rock-hard ground and poked the seed in. After that, I think I watered it faithfully every day for several weeks before realizing that it was not going to grow anything. But even after I had that realization, I continued to water in hopes that my seeds would pull a last minute sprout on me. But I knew there was no hope, and I was heartbroken. After all those hours of pulling up weeds and tossing rocks into a pile, I had no fruit to show for my labor.
So, feeling dejected and betrayed, I logged onto the internet and searched for a guide to gardening. I quickly ran across a site that led me to realize the true skill required for gardening. It was then I learned about soil consistency, nutrients, ideal watering conditions, seasons, and all those things. After I read up on my area and how to grow fruits, I learned exactly what to do. I learned how to get the ideal soil, when to plant the seeds, how much to water, etc. Just a night of browsing the internet and printing off sources, and I was totally ready for the next planting season.
If you’re in the position I was, and you’re just itching to start a new garden… I urge you to learn from my mistake. Make sure you do plenty of proper research on the types of plants you’re trying to grow, along with the climate. Spend money on good soil, good fertilizer, and good garden tools. Hopefully you don’t have to go through the emotional disaster that I went through.