Do you wish you were a better gardener than you are at this very moment? I do. Oftentimes life is so full that I do not have the time to do all of the things I really want to do. Regardless of whether we have been gardening for a while or have yet to begin our gardening journey, we often set our sights on something better than where we are, don’t we? And having dreams and goals is a great thing! But when we want more it can sometimes be easy to get discouraged or feel stuck. Let’s get our feet out of being “stuck the mud” and into the garden soil!
When it comes to gardening ideas, as with so many things, the internet can be both a wealth and a headache. When I first decided to reclaim my green thumb, I began searching the internet for tips and “easy gardening ideas,” taking note of what I found. I asked people I considered “experienced” gardeners. I wanted to learn, but it was also overwhelming.
- container gardening
- greenhouse gardening
- raised beds
- vertical gardening
- 120 cheap and easy garden ideas
- and the list goes on…
I wasn’t sure where to start. In all honesty, it took me longer than I wish it had. Looking back, I would be better off today if I’d have just started. Something.
DO YOU EVER FEEL PARALYZED?
I do. I’m pretty sure I have a tendency to get paralyzed by too many ideas. Maybe the ideas all look good and I don’t know which to start with, maybe it’s just a fear of failure. In any case, I have truly come to see that doing something is a much better idea than doing nothing, and gardening is no exception. Just getting over the hurdle of doing the thing can actually build confidence. With time and practice, the doing becomes easier and we do it more readily.
Two years. That’s how long it took me to finally bite the bullet and do the thing I had known for months (then years) I knew I wanted to try. This thing I knew I wanted was one of many (now very many) versatile growing systems available. I had picked which one seemed my best choice – it seemed to me to be a system with great expertise behind the design, as well as being clear that nearly anyone could grow with it. I started collecting an impressive list of online experts (both gardening and nutrition gurus) I followed who had used one and shared about it. It was both an “easy gardening idea” beginners used, as well as experienced gardeners adding it to their arsenal of year-round growing tools. What I am talking about is a Tower Garden, developed in EPCOT Center based on an actual NASA development called aeroponics. I was definitely impressed. I had to have one. Two years later, of course. [I write more about procrastination and my Tower Garden story here.]
It has been several years now since the day I resolutely marched into the expo hall at a homeschool conference I was attending in Nashville. I knew from the year before (see how long I sat on this?) that there was a lady who had a Tower Garden on display and sold them. I had already decided that if I purchased nothing else that weekend, I was going home having finally ordered my Tower. And I (finally) did just that. An added bonus was that the sales lady, Valerie, became a very sweet friend.
Anyway, I went home super excited and very proud of myself for finally doing this thing! It was no time at all before my shipment came. I had it unpacked and all set up in one afternoon, with the aid of easy step-by-step videos on YouTube.
Within several weeks, we were growing and eating salad greens and making smoothies from our Tower produce! My kids (and even my husband!) were super excited and impressed as well (another added bonus). I felt so accomplished! I could do this! To this day, I credit my decision to buy a Tower Garden with boosting my confidence in my ability to grow plants (especially food). I still have and use my tower, and even now “shop” for our greens on my tower rather than at the store!
BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE WHILE SITTING ON THE COUCH
Another thing I was determined to do was stop killing indoor plants. I remember asking my sister (a horticulturalist) what indoor plants are “hard to kill.” I then set out to buy a few and keep them alive. While rearranging and redecorating our living room one week when my husband was out of town on business, I bought a few palms and two Mass Cane houseplants to accent the room. To my great joy, they all lived alongside our family for a very long time. In fact, years later, I still have one of those original Mass Canes in my dining room. The other one would still be with us, had our cat not decided that it served a great purpose as a litter box. I tried to recover it, but eventually it was done in since the cat kept sneaking back despite my best efforts.
THE SMALLEST START
The easiest, smallest, most reproduceable growing I have done is merely growing sprouted seeds for my family to add to our diet. Not only are they tiny nutrition-packed plants, but they only take days from start to finish, seed to plate. A few varieties take many days, but most take under a week. I started with alfalfa, then moved to a blend of seeds, tried my hand at broccoli sprouts (which are super amazing, health-wise), mung beans, buckwheat, fennel, lentils, and more. The best tasting sprouts I have ever had are onion sprouts. A-maz-ing. Pea sprouts are a close second for me. [More on sprouts here and microgreens here.]
EASY GARDENING IDEAS – EASY CHOICE?
Not necessarily. As you see, it took me two years to actually buy the system I had decided on. In my defense, deciding to make an important purchase like that can take a little while. Only for me, it was wasted time I could have been buying less produce and feeling better about myself in the process.
Getting back to the point:
Since this site is all about growing in our gardening ability, I want to strongly encourage you to do something. Pick a thing. I often tell myself the words, “just do the next thing,” and that perfectly applies to my gardening journey.
Some ideas to get your feet wet:
- Grow Sprouts
- Grow from kitchen scraps (one of my favorites)
- Start in containers on the patio or balcony
- Consider indoor or vertical growing
- Grow your indoor plant collection
- Plant just one or two things to start with
Do you have good ideas? Something you really think is a great place to start, or continue your growing? Do it. Then, share it below. Not sure where to start? Pick one of the above ideas. Grow sprouts in your kitchen. There is very little risk involved, and you see the fruit of your labor very quickly. Ready for a little more? Plant some tomato and pepper plants in pots on the patio. Grow food from your kitchen scraps. [More on that here.] Check out the benefits of a Tower Garden. Collect some (or more) indoor plants – maybe start small.
All of these things are super doable. If I can do it, you can do it. Just do something. Let’s not get stuck in the rut of doing nothing… especially for two years.
I would love for you to share below what you are doing to “just do the next thing.” Let’s walk this garden path together.