First off, a big THANK YOU to all my subscribers--I am so glad to have you here!
I may have been a writer for years, but I am still a total beginner when it comes to gardening. I have loved how forgiving the gorgeous, moist Midwest soil is for growing luscious crops on a very limited budget! (Anyone here living in the Midwest!? Raise your hands!)
I used what I learned from last year's garden (my first garden ever!) and more than doubled my harvest. This year we had zucchini, sugar snap peas, cherry and beefsteak tomatoes, green bell peppers, jalapenos, spaghetti squash, broccoli, okra, onions, and potatoes. Whew! Not all of them have yielded magnificent crops, but I have learned many lessons that I will definitely be using in next year's garden. Here are some of my favorites:
1. Weed suppression is your friend! I hate weeding and my gardening budget was MINISCULE. Solution: cardboard boxes. Save all those Amazon boxes, flatten them out, spread them across the ground, and top liberally with mulch, straw, grass clippings, and/or compost. Then cut holes in the cardboard where you plant your seeds/starters. That's it! It prevents (most) weeds from growing, the soil from eroding, and it keeps your glorious garden about 90% weed-free. :) If you don't have enough cardboard boxes, even newspaper works pretty well in a pinch!
2. Tomatoes, beans, and all other plants need so much more support than you think they will! This year I repurposed a fallen tree and an old wooden ladder as plant supports and they *mostly* worked, but could have been much better. I collected lots of branches from the last big thunderstorm and I plan to get even more creative with all-natural plant supports next year. I'm already excited to try again.
There is so much more joy in keeping plants alive and growing a garden than I ever would have guessed before starting. Are you going to have some crops fail? Of course. Are some of your house plants not going to make it? Sure. But there's nothing like having a bit of green around you during a long, dark winter to help you feel alive. Growing things is a magical feeling, has a much lower entry cost than most people think, and brings us to lesson 3:
3. JUST DO IT!! Be brave enough to try. Even if every single one of your seedlings fails (I have definitely had that happen! Ouch!) or if you kill your first potted plant within a month, it's always worth trying.
How on earth does this relate to writing?
In writing, as in gardening, the only seeds of yours that will grow are the ones that are planted. Writing can let you add vines, leaves, life, and branches to what may have begun as an errant thought, and someday your work may even bear fruit. Some projects die, of course, but the ones that don't make the entire process so very worthwhile. A cheesy thought, but it's true. So go out there and plant something new!
Happy growing, my friends. :) Thank you for coming along with me on my journey.
who am I?
My name is Mary-Celeste, but my friends call me M.C. I am a writer, wife, mother, amateur gardener, sourdough bread baker, n00b video gamer, Austen enthusiast, tabletop gamer, Trekkie, and generally cheerful human being. I write Regency romances and I post about it here (among other things). Thanks for stopping by!