Stop Reading About Growing a Vegetable Garden and Start Growing One

Posted on Aug 26 2009 - 3:30am by Mike Lieberman

I’m back “home” in Philly this week visiting friends that I haven’t seen in a while. My old roommate and I got to talking about the gardening thing. He dropped a comment saying that I should read some books on gardening and stop with all the experimentation.

If I were to do that, then I’d still be reading books, get overwhelmed with unnecessary info and likely get frustrated and just give up. Which is I’m sure has happened to some of you if you’ve even gotten that far.

What did people do hundreds or thousands of years ago? They certainly didn’t Google “starting a vegetable garden” to get their instructions. Nor did they pay thousands of dollars to get some certificate declaring them an expert.

Not sure what they did, but I’m sure it was much more simple than what we’ve made it into.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m making gardening simple again. I’m not claiming to be an expert and maybe I just have beginner’s luck, but my gardens have been productive so far.

Of course there is room for improvement, and I have lots to learn, but in order to learn you have to do.

Honestly, I’ve read about a half a book and have skimmed like two others to get a basic idea.

Here’s a perfect example from my experience – from the little reading that I’ve done, nearly everyone recommends a peat moss based soil for containers instead coconut coir.

I decided to make my own organic soil using peat moss, but also bought some coconut coir based soil because it was available for cheap in my neighborhood at the Lower East Side Ecology Center.

From what I’ve read the coconut coir soil retains too much water and is bad for container gardening. Thus far, the plants that are in the coconut coir soil are producing just fine.

Now stop reading this and start growing your own garden. You have no excuses.

  • Grace_G

    Hey, if you've got the time and inclination, experimentation is definitely worth the effort. You can look up as much as you want, but learning from mistakes is pretty useful and lasting.

    What are you planning on growing during the winter? Or will you go on hiatus?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Most definitely. I am most certainly going to extend this out to the winter. I am definitely thinking kale, chard and spinach. Might also do some broccoli, cabbages and bok choi. Still need to figure it out, but there will be no hiatus.

    Also need to figure out how protect from frost as well. Going to be a fun challenge.

  • Grace_G

    Hey, if you've got the time and inclination, experimentation is definitely worth the effort. You can look up as much as you want, but learning from mistakes is pretty useful and lasting.

    What are you planning on growing during the winter? Or will you go on hiatus?

  • Mike Lieberman

    Most definitely. I am most certainly going to extend this out to the winter. I am definitely thinking kale, chard and spinach. Might also do some broccoli, cabbages and bok choi. Still need to figure it out, but there will be no hiatus.

    Also need to figure out how protect from frost as well. Going to be a fun challenge.

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  • http://www.adriennemartin.com/ Adrienne

    The title of this article should say ‘Dear Adrienne…’ and then the rest!! I’m gonna get there, I am! Thanks for the inspiration as always. 

  • http://www.UrbanOrganicGardener.com Mike Lieberman

    Get on it!