One of my most favourite things about offering gardening advice is the satisfaction I get when I watch someone surprise themselves with their own ability to grow medicinal and edible plants. Often, when the topic comes up with newbies or “wannabe” gardeners, the first response is:

“I wish I could have a garden, but I don’t know anything about growing plants.”

They seem to think that horticulture is a mystical craft, practiced only by a select gifted few. I have all sorts of theories about why this is such a common belief, but we’ll save that for another post. For now, just allow me to simply state that this is absolute hogwash.

Sure, there are all kinds of fancy terms and products and styles of gardening. Amazon is flooded with books covering every imaginable aspect, from composting to soil health, permaculture practices to vertical gardening, hydroponics to fertilization. When you’re just starting out, this can seem daunting.

Which is why I say: ignore everything they’re trying to sell you and tell you. All of it. Not forever, because you’ll likely find yourself curious to explore and learn more about the art of growing in the future. But when you’re ready to plant your first seed, you only need to remember this:

Nature knows exactly what its doing.

A seed needs five things to grow: soil, water, light, warmth and airflow. Mother Nature was doing just fine for aeons without human-made soil additives, chemical analysis, and complicated Latin terminology. Start small, and keep it simple.

The best teacher is experience, so instead of forcing yourself to digest a library of books before you get any dirt under your nails, just stick some seeds in a container of soil, and see what happens. Course correct as you go – I’ve learned more from my own mistakes than I have from all the gardening resources I’ve ever read combined.

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing poorly first.”

Joel Salatin

As gardening season approaches, I’ll share some recommendations for easy to grow plants to get you started, along with other tips and advice that may help you on your journey. I can’t wait to grow with you!