"But I Have a Black Thumb!"

When I talk to people about gardening, sometimes they'll tell me,

"I have a black thumb!"

They mean that they can't garden, that they have no natural ability to garden. Do you know what I think about that?

What a load of manure!

Gardening is a skill, like so many other skills. Once you couldn't ride a bike... but likely you really wanted to. So, what did you do? You got a bike, you had someone help you get started, and then you practiced, practiced, practiced! You had motivation to practice - you wanted to go places, play with your friends, feel the wind in your hair, or something like that. 

Really, all you need are a little knowledge, a little motivation, and a little practice

A Little Knowledge

Chances are you already have the knowledge you need to get started. You know that to grow things, you need seeds or starter plants. You need good soil. You need a few tools, water, and sunlight. 

Look, the way I see it, any homesteader in the US frontier during the 1800s pretty much had to garden for themselves if they wanted to eat. They didn't have stores down the street, and even if they did, the distribution system to keep the stores stocked wasn't very reliable. The real possibility of starving is a pretty good motivator. 

You are probably way more educated than those pioneers. Somehow they survived and figured it out. You will too. 

A Little Motivation

Why did you start to think you might like to garden? 

Unlikely you'll starve if you don't garden... so what's your why?

Growing your own vegetables is empowering. You know exactly what you are eating and how it was produced. You don't have to depend on grocery stores for everything. 

Growing your own vegetables can take your cuisine to the next level. You can select for your personal tastes and flavor preferences. You can grow the herbs or vegetables you want, not only the ones that sell the best at the grocery store. 

Have you ever looked at a seed catalog? If not, check out Johnny's Selected Seeds (one of my favorite seed vendors) or Park Seed (another one I like). Then find the page with all of the carrot varieties. 

Holy smokes! Look at all those carrots! Light orange ones, deep reddish orange ones, purple ones, cream color ones, super long ones, short stubby ones! Who knew there were so many?

Gardeners, that's who. 

Your motivation might also be

  • teaching your children or grandchildren a valuable life skill
  • making a small positive environmental impact
  • figuring out why others find gardening so captivating
  • exercising and getting out in nature
  • having fresh bouquets of flowers every week
  • supporting your community - donating  your harvest to food pantries

I'd love to know what your "why" is. Please comment on this post!

A Little Practice

Walt Disney famously said, "The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." 

You need to do it for yourself to understand it. Nobody ever had a harvest by reading a lot of books about gardening!

You will experience failures. You might spend a bit too much money because you didn't know something. You might get sore muscles, bug bites, or a sunburn. 

But you'll learn.

You'll also experience successes! For example:

  • pulling a mature carrot out from the ground
  • picking a tomato that's picture perfect
  • tasting a green bean right off the bush
  • smelling the herbal scent of blooming marigold

You are here on my little blog, and that's a great place to start (ahem, if I do say so myself... ha ha). I really want to you to succeed. I will help you choose the right varieties of vegetables that are almost guaranteed to grow. I will guide you to plant at the right time. I will help you learn how tend to your garden well so you can begin to recognize what your plants are telling you. 

So don't go telling me you have a black thumb. 

That's a load of crap. Which is better off in your compost pile, anyway!

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