Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Plant Envy

I've been growing my own food for quite a while now, and I'm pretty darn good at it too.


Despite this, I still get green with envy when I see someone else's garden and their tomatoes are taller than mine, or their lettuce is ready to harvest before mine. I can't help it! Maybe you have felt this way too.

The truth is, every piece of soil is different, and each year our own planting schedule and micro-climate is different than others'. What we need to remember is each growing season offers a bounty of lessons, if not food. The best advice I can give to anyone who is struggling with their garden or farm is to observe. LOOK CLOSELY. What do you see?

Taking time in our gardens to notice the color of leaves, the amount and type of biodiversity, the moisture in the soil, or the timing of flowering really makes a difference. If you want to go a step further, here is some free advice: Write it down. Keep a journal. How hot is it today? How wet?

The best farmers I know understand how their plants will act in response to different environmental pressures because they observe and keep track of what they see. You can be a better gardener or farmer if you take the time to look at the plants up close and let them tell you what they need. I guarantee if you are listening, they will start talking!

4 comments:

  1. I love this! I so relate to what you wrote about plant envy. Good advice!

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    1. Thanks Anna, let me know if you observe something interesting in your garden!

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  2. I definitely don't have plant envy, I am going for the title of World's Laziest Gardener. People may have taller tomatoes or earlier lettuce, but if they have to work harder at them, they're welcome to them. Yet while keeping a journal sounds like too much work, I definitely have to agree with you on the observation part, being keenly aware of what is going on in your garden is key to cutting down on unnecessary work.

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    1. At least you get outside and garden! Many people just think about it and never step outside!
      I always find that the amount of effort I'm willing to put in to my garden (especially record keeping) isn't for everyone, but it IS amazing what can happen when you just sit and look around. Thanks for your comment, and happy gardening. Keep me updated on your observations!

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