Amateur Gardening Lessons

This year my boyfriend and I decided that a fun summer activity would be to grow our own garden. Both of us, more or less had no idea what we were doing and our friend internet had to help us out on a regular basis. Here are a few things we had to learn the hard way.

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Weeding our overgrown garden.
  •  Live near your garden. This seems like a no-brainer, but since we decided to plant our garden about 45 minutes away from where we live, we had to commit to the idea that there will be times that we will have to drive out to simply pull weeds or deal with other various gardening emergencies (yes this did happen).
  • Water the garden. This is also related to the first lesson: live near your garden. We assumed the rain would water it for us, but sometimes it did not rain for weeks. I feel like some of those thirsty plants could have done with a little watering from time to time.
  • Do not leave your garden for three weeks. As I am writing this down, I realize that I really neglected my struggling veggies this summer. I completely understand if you hate me (I’m talking to you peas and carrots), and I am sorry I made you feel this way.
  • Do not simply dump a whole package of seeds into the ground. Doing that resulted in a squash and pumpkin patch that completely absorbed our garden. It actually took over rows of potatoes, making them hard to hill and weed. We also ended up with a ridiculous amount of spaghetti squash.
The squash/pumpkin patch growing out of control.
The squash/pumpkin patch growing out of control.
  • Have gardening friends who live in the area. It is a great conversation topic. You can see what they are doing, I can talk about what I am doing, and then we can judge and see if we are completely screwing up this whole gardening business.
  • Be mindful of the weather, it can create gardening emergencies. At the beginning of September freak snowstorms and overnight frosts threatened the life of my above ground vegetables. This resulted in calling my gardening friend to see what she was doing and then a mad dash to rescue my veggies (see I do care about you).
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Documenting the garden’s last living day.
  • Enjoy the yield. Now I have way too many vegetables to eat and will be giving them away to my friends. Hope you like spaghetti squash… I have 44 of them.
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44 squash and 12 pumpkins.

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