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AT HOME | a blog by Joanna Gaines

Gardening: Start Small

May 2, 2016

 

Gardening: Start Small
About 4 years ago, Chip bought a flip house that I didn’t love. I just wanted to get it done and sell it and move on. But Chip had other plans and before I knew it, our family was packing up and moving into that little house that I had no vision for. In attempts to make our new home inspiring, I got the idea to design a fun outdoor space and wanted to try my hand at gardening. Which is funny because before this, I struggled to even keep a few house plants alive.

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Here are some old snapshots from my very first garden. It wasn’t perfect and it was a learning experience for sure. Trial and error definitely happened and things died now and then, but the sweetest thing about gardening was that I got to spend so much time with my kids. They loved helping and learning along with me. Their sweet little hands planting and watering and harvesting what they worked hard to grow was my favorite part of this newfound hobby.

I’m no pro, but over the past five years I’ve learned a fair amount about gardening and picked up on a few things that could help you get your start. So here are five tips that will hopefully give you the confidence to try your hand at your own garden.

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  1. START SMALL:
    The key really is to start small and keep it simple. I started with herbs and learned that they were pretty easy to keep alive! They’ll actually run rampant if you let them. Herbs really don’t require much care and are great for beginners. Just start with one or two that you love in the kitchen windowsill, where they’ll get light and you won’t neglect them because they’ll be there every time you go to the sink.image00
  1. LOCATION:
    Not everyone lives somewhere where there is enough room for a garden, a greenhouse or even a square foot garden, so try your hand at container planting. Find fun vessels, drill holes in them for drainage, and plant directly in them. This method softens up the feel of your patio or balcony and makes it a pretty place for friends to gather.

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  1. STARTER PLANTS:
    Easy starter plants for me were my rose bushes, tomato plants and, of course, the herbs. I love them all for different reasons. The roses look pretty in a small, fresh arrangement, and the tomatoes and herbs are useful. But even though I can now appreciate a challenge, I still grow these same plants I started with.

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  1. ASK FOR HELP:
    When starting any kind of plant bed, your local nursery is going to be your biggest tool. They will be a wealth of information when it comes to your weather, your soil and what grows best where you live. They’ll also be able to tell you what grows in direct sunlight versus shade. This was definitely the difference maker for me. That one relationship has been able to answer all of my questions over the years.

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  1. ENJOY:
    Gardening has become medicine for my wellbeing. Being with my kids in the dirt, watching them learn the lessons the garden has to offer, and reaping the reward has been so worth the time spent. I hope you’ll take the time this season to plant something, even if it’s just a seed packet of herbs in your windowsill.

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It’s taken me time and lots of trial and error to feel like I can navigate my own garden. Having the greenhouse has been a huge learning experience and I’m much more comfortable now than I was a few years ago. I hope this little “rah rah” gardening post encourages you to go for it. Because it really is so worth it.

May good things grow!

in DIY

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