If you have the urge to experiment with growing your own food, just do it! You wouldn’t believe how many resources are available to help you get started.
We, TransitionKW’s Permaculture Garden Group, started our own environmentally friendly vegetable garden by accessing online resources about garden planning, growing seedlings, planting, watering, weeding, using mulch, and so on. Gardening can be an exact science, but it is also a culture. People have their own tricks of the trade and quite often share their experiences via online blogs, like us. More technical information can be found on websites hosted by agricultural or horticultural professionals, and gardening magazines.
The people in your community are another invaluable resource. Friends and/or fellow gardeners can provide you with advice about where to begin. If you intend to use a community plot to grow veggies, why not talk to your garden neighbour and collect a few useful tips from them?
You also gain experience from diving in headfirst. There’s no better way to learn than from your own mistakes and to develop solutions through the process of troubleshooting. We hope that you learn something from our trials and tribulations too. After all, we are here to encourage you to get into the swing of gardening, because if we can do it, you can do it too.
So, what lesson can we teach you this week? Seedlings that are started inside in the late winter and early spring need to become acclimatized to the outside weather (i.e. direct sunlight) before they are moved permanently to your garden plot. You might consider taking your potted seedlings outside for a few hours of the day as they mature. It is also important that seedlings are well established, with a strong stem and a strong set of roots, before transplanting. We had a few related hiccups with our own tomato seedlings, but we forged on!
It is wonderful to witness how plants grow. I, personally, can already feel my growing attachment for gardening (double entendre intended). The words of Gertrude Jekyll describe this feeling so well; “The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies”.