Gardening 101: The Very Beginning

A shovel in front of a future garden bed

Mike and I talk to a lot of people about gardening.

Sometimes, it’s because they ask. Other times, it’s because they make the mistake of saying something innocent, like, “I had a cucumber salad for lunch,” and being the vegetable-obsessed types we are, we manage to turn that mention of a salad lunch into a half-hour lesson on cucumbers. “Did you know there are all sorts of different colors of cucumbers? We grew a really great white variety a few years ago, but it freaked people out because it wasn’t green. Would you eat a cucumber that wasn’t green? Cukes are pretty easy to grow, but we have found that when we trellis them they’re more prone to get sunburn. Did you know plants get sunburned? Sun scald it’s called. It happens to tomatoes, too.”

We generally continue in this vein until the listener’s eyes cross and we realize we’ve overdone it…again. Any mention of vegetables around us can have lengthly conversational repercussions.

We apologize in advance, should this ever happen to you.

But one of the perks of having this socially awkward tendency is that we talk to a lot of people about fresh food and gardening and about what it takes to produce your own fresh food in your very own garden. One of our most common questions (or statements, rather) is, “I like the idea of having a garden, but I don’t even know where to start.”

In that case, we’re your people.

We’re channeling our boundless enthusiasm for all things vegetables into a series of posts for beginning gardeners. We hope that by doing this 1) more folks will dig into (literally!) the journey of producing home-grown food and 2) we’ll find a socially appropriate outlet for yammering on about veggies, reducing the amount of conversations we hijack and steer toward onion seeds and turnip greens. (Did you know that if you grow onion from seeds, it looks like flats of grass? And that onions don’t start to bulb out until after the longest day of the year? And turnip greens are edible. Quite tasty, actually. And turnips themselves were what was used for jack-o-lanterns in the old world before settlers came to the new world and discovered pumpkins. Fun facts!)

Alright. The honest truth is we’ll probably never stop with the vegetable talk, but at least here we can put it to good use.

So if you’ve never gardened before, follow the links below as they’re added. We’ve outlined all the aspects of gardening that we’ll cover and will be aiming to add an additional post with its link every 1-2 weeks. We’re always happy to answer follow-up questions in the comments.

Get out in the sunshine. Smell the dirt. Put in a few plants. Disconnect from all the hubbub and technology of life and watch nature do her thing.

One tiny pea tendril at a time.

Gardening 101 posts and links:

(These will be updated every 1-2 weeks until all are live)

  1. Location, Location, Location – Where do I plant? How do I build beds? Raised beds or in-ground beds? How much sun? Access to water?
  2. The Dirt on Dirt (the super mini-version) – All soil is not created equal. What are the very basics you need to make sure something grows?
  3. Selecting Seeds – Where do I get seeds? What’s the difference between heirloom, open-pollinated, and hybrid seeds? What about organic vs non-organic seeds? An overview of zones and growing season considerations.
  4. Planting Times and Tips for Common Vegetables – Not everything in a garden is planted at the same time. Basic information on spring and summer crops, cold-hardiness, and planting tips.
  5. Common Pest Solutions (Colorado specific)- some of the most frequent bug issues we see in Colorado and how we deal with them.

One Reply to “Gardening 101: The Very Beginning”

  1. I love everything about this post and the ones that will be coming. I feel like four years in, I’m still beginning and have no clue because I’m always trying something different. Bring the veggie talk.

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