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My First Gardening Experience

| Articles | December 16, 2012

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.

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