Lessons from a First Time Gardener

I always assumed that I was a gardener.  Ever since I was little I could identify a squash plant from 100 paces and knew that making a salad usually involves heading outside with a pair of sissors.

During my 10 years of renting house and apartments in Utah and Oregon I always had potted herbs and maybe a tomato plant or two so I assumed I was a gardener.

Then we bought a house, built raised beds, and planted our little hearts out.  And I realized that, up until that point, I was only a wanna-be-gardener.  Helping to harvest your parents garden does not a gardener make!  I realized that I knew a lot and there was a lot a didn’t know.  This year has been an awesome learning experience with many tasty lessons along the way.

Lessons from a First Time Gardener

1. No matter how pretty and lush your tomato plants look at the beginning of the summer, by August they will just look sad. What they lack in beauty they make up for in bounty!

2. Cucumbers taste most amazing when they are fresh from your own garden (just don’t let them get too big or they’ll be bitter instead of sweet!).

3. Strawberry plants spread like crazy!  The 8 plants we bought for $8 at the farmers market back in May have at least doubled already!  We may have to dig up the yard to give them more space by next year…

4. There’s nothing more satisfying to watch grow than peas! You could literally watch them grow, you know, if you didn’t have anything better to do…

5. Some herbs are great to grow from seed, like oregano.

6. Some herbs are better to buy as plants, like rosemary.  I started these seeds months ago!

7. Herb gardens are best grown within steps of the kitchen door.

Now if only I can figure out what to do with all that sage…

What lessons did your garden teach you this year?  Leave a comment and share your tips!