A Beginner's List
By Marion Owen, Fearless Weeder
for PlanTea, Inc. and
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Are you new to gardening? Or maybe you just moved north, or want to grow something besides roses. If so, this article's for you.
Later, as you set about trying your hand at some of the following suggestions, relax and know that making mistakes in the garden is how a gardener learns. To put it another way, "There is no such thing as a garden mistake, it's just a compost opportunity," says Marianne Binetti, a Seattle Guru of Dirt.
Though it's been since 1987 when I grew my first head of lettuce in Kodiak, Alaska, I consider myself a beginner. I feel I've barely scratched the surface of all there is to know about bugs, seeds, weather and Nature's laws. If gardening is a work in progress, then I'm the perpetual student.
Back to lettuce. It wasn't the seedlings' fault. No, lettuce is more durable than that. I was so intrigued with how lettuce looked outside the store's produce department, that I completely forgot to harvest it. When I finally got around to picking a few leaves, not only had the plants bolted to 3-foot towers, they tasted so bitter we couldn't eat them.
Since that first year, I've make an annual list of what I grow in the garden. It shows what plants flop and which ones flourish. It also reminds me that there are a lot of easy-grow vegetables, flowers and herbs that are ideal for the beginning gardener. What follows is a collection of top performers. (For tips on starting plants from seed, visit my Seeding is Believing article. If you buy transplants, read about how to choose a plant). I've posted seed and plant sources at the end.
AND PLANT SOURCES
In spite of my laughable first attempts, lettuce remains an annual favorite,
along with new additions such as asparagus and artichokes.
Though finicky, these can be grown in cool climates. Experience
is your best teacher. Like any skill, to learn how to garden, you first
must want to garden. "'Green fingers'," says Russell Page, "are
a fact, and a mystery only to the unpractised. But green fingers are the
extensions of a verdant heart."
P.S. When you're finished with your garden catalogs, there are a variety of ways to recycle them!
Thanks for visiting and please stop by again. I'll put the coffee on!
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