Cultivating Change: A Gardener's New Year Resolution

As we embrace the promise of a new year, the age-old tradition of crafting resolutions takes center stage. While I'm not one for grand "new year, new me" declarations, I've chosen to focus on a specific facet of my life—the garden beds that have become my personal sanctuary.

Entering the third year of my journey into growing food, I find myself still learning and striving to be more organized, especially when time isn't always on my side. Patience, a virtue I confess isn't my strongest suit, is a prerequisite for anyone venturing into the world of cultivating their own sustenance. If, like me, you're looking to enhance your gardening game, here are a few amateur tips to get you started.

Start Small: When it comes to garden beds, size isn't everything. Whether you opt for pots, repurposed water tanks cut into rounds, or a raised bed, starting small can be more manageable and less overwhelming. The key lies in the soil—ensure a well-balanced mix of compost and quality vegetable soil. In my own experience, mixing in some nutrient-rich duck poo has kept my veggies content.

Quick Results with Seedlings: If you're eager to see results sooner rather than later, consider starting with seedlings. Lettuce, a versatile and easy-to-manage green, is an excellent choice. Unlike some crops, you don't have to harvest the entire plant at once. Instead, pick the outer leaves as needed, allowing for a continuous harvest.

Planting Seeds with Kids: For a family-friendly gardening experience, involve the kids by planting seeds together. Radishes are an ideal choice for this venture. These vibrant beauties grow rapidly, providing a visual delight for children as they witness the results unfold sooner than with other crops. It's a hands-on way to teach them about the wonders of nature and the joy of nurturing living things.

Looking Towards Winter Vegetables: As we approach the end of summer, it's the perfect time to start thinking about your winter vegetable crop. I've just ordered beetroot, broccoli, cauliflower, leeks, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and parsnips for my own garden. If you're more organized than I am, consider planning and ordering your winter vegetables to ensure a bountiful and diverse harvest.

This year, my resolution revolves around bringing order and efficiency to my garden beds. While I may not be the most patient gardener, I've learned that starting small, choosing the right plants, and planning for the changing seasons can make all the difference. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a beginner, the beauty of cultivating your own food lies in the journey, not just the end result. So, as we transition into the new year and the prospect of winter vegetables, remember to start small, prioritize soil quality, and relish the joy of witnessing nature's miracles unfold before your eyes. Happy planting and be patient, for in the garden, as in life, good things take time.


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