Often, it is the little things that separate the good from the great. Little habits and tricks when done together can help beginners progress to take on more advanced challenges. In this week’s tip, we’re going to talk about a few key habits you can incorporate into your gardening routine.
One of the best tools a gardener has is their power of observation and engaging their senses. Look how different parts of the plants change and grow over time. How do the leaves feel? What do they smell like? What sounds do you hear (or don’t hear) in the garden? Do the plants look healthy and have a vibrant colour or are they looking sad and droopy? Engaging all of your senses whenever you’re out in the garden is a way not only to engage and stimulate your brain, but also a way to get in tune with your plants.
A great next step is to write down your observations in your garden journal. This will help you to see patterns and notice changes in your garden both over the short term days and weeks and longer term months and years.
The next habit is to experiment and have fun in the garden. While we may only get to experiment once a year with a springtime planting, we can do lots of mini experiments throughout the season. This can be changes in plant spacing (choosing to plant some a bit closer/tighter together), changes in watering and see what happens. And of course, if you are taking notes if your journal, you can refer back to replicate the same results next time or remember to do something different if the first experiment didn’t work!
Plants operate on a different time scale than us, especially in our busy, modern, hyper-connected society. Some plants (ex. lettuce and arugula) grow quickly and have a short time frame to grow from seed to maturity. Other plants like trees have a much longer time frame (like hundreds of years). Some respond quickly to watering, while others may be able to go much longer before signs of drought of stress show. Patience is therefore a requirement when working with plants and in our garden and we must listen and adapt to Mother Nature’s timing when it comes to having a successful garden.
These are just a few things we’ve seen from gardeners and growers we admire. Why not incorporate a few of these things into your gardening routine?