Starting a Garden: Guidelines For Having A Better Gardening Experience

Gardening is one of the best stress relievers I know, unless you unintentionally turn it into a stressful experience. Starting a garden and maintaining it is supposed to be fun and the end results of your efforts should be pretty flowers, healthy bushes, beautiful trees, not to mention…herbs and veggies galore. Sadly for some wanna-be gardeners, it doesn’t always turn out that way. So what should you do to have a better gardening experience? Fortunately, there are common sense guidelines that work. Here are three good ones worth considering!

Image: Backyard Garden by cwwycoff1, on Flickr

1. If You Are a Beginner–Start Small!

Don’t be like the kid who heaps way too much food on his plate – his eyes are bigger than his stomach. If you are just starting out, start small. Focus on getting good at small this season and then you can go bigger and better next season. I started out with just 7 tomatoes slips and three peppers. It was small and manageable. I called it my “test garden”. I was so excited when it turned out great and my family and friends gave raving reviews about how delicious my tomatoes and peppers were. Now…I am ready for bigger and better.

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2. Pace Yourself To Avoid Physical Burnout.

Fight the urge to do too much! Whatever you do, don’t jump out the door and go gung-ho all day without thought to your rarely-used quivering muscles, the sunburn taking place on the back of your neck and arms, or your body’s need to take nourishment on occasion. You’ll end up exhausted and with severely aching muscles, and that’s a terrible way to start your new gardening experience.

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Remember, starting a garden is supposed to be fun! So instead of doing the equivalent of a triathlon your first day out and sincerely regretting it the next day, try just doing an hour of manual labor and see how you feel tomorrow. Enjoy your gardening journey, not just the destiny.

3. Work Early Morning or Late Afternoon.

The quickest way to have a bad gardening experience is working in the garden in the blistering heat of the day. Here’s a better idea: get out there in the early morning and walk through your garden first to see what needs attending to the most. Remember, you don’t have to do everything in one day! Start you gardening early in the morning with a meander around the yard. Pick some flowers, pull up veggies for your lunch, and check that the tomatoes are growing nicely. Can you think of a better way to start your day? This is exactly the refreshing and stress-busting experience that gardening is supposed to be about.

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That really sums it up. If you want to have fun starting a garden and maintaining it, just start small, grow what you love, and don’t pretend you still have the body of a 21 year old.

Gardening books to get started:

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About Darlene

Darlene is passionate and enthusiastic about helping women simplify their lives, develop stress resilience, regain balance, and find happiness, despite the personal storms life throws at them. She has published a popular series of stress management books which focus on simple, practical and healthy stress relief strategies, as well as provide FREE resources and services that help women become more stress-resilient.

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