NOTICE: This is the first in a series of my popular OG 365 Timeless Gardening Tips. If you’re one of my subscribers, you’ve already seen these tips in their shorter incarnation in a series of emails you received when you signed up for my blog. For the complete series, click here.
Before you germinate any seeds or put a single plant in the ground, you must ask your self these questions:
- Why am I gardening organically?
- What are my goals?
- What kind of commitment will I, and others, make to the garden?
I would encourage you to discuss these questions with whoever will be working with you or benefiting from your garden. And write down your answers.
OG 365 Timeless Gardening Tip #1: Write out your motives and goals for gardening organically.
You’re probably thinking…
“What is this, a business meeting to set up quarterly sales goals? Why do I need to write down my gardening goals?”
Hey, it’s just a suggestion. But I totally recommend it.
In your business, when you get crystal clear on your motives and goals and are honest about how much effort you can put into a project, the results will always come out better. No surprises here.
The same is true in gardening.
And it’s a good idea to rethink these questions every year or two. Because things change: your family’s needs, how much time you have, etc.
So take a few minutes and give these questions a thoughtful response. It can make a big difference in how successful your garden will be.
Why do you garden organically?
Is it just a passing fad? Are you doing it just because everyone else is and you want to be part of the “growing” trend?
Save some money. Have you checked out the prices of organic produce at the store and/or farmers’ market lately? The day of the $10 bag of groceries is ancient history. When you grow your own, you save big time.
Home-grown tastes better. ‘Nuf said.
No poisonous chemicals. Maybe, just maybe, you decided you don’t want to feed your family all those pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Plus your kids and pets are safe in the garden. And to top it all off, you won’t kill all those great earthworms and beneficial bugs in the garden.
Protect the environment. “1” is the most important number. Every single person who gardens organically makes a crucial contribution to the decrease of poisoning our planet. Add all those 1s together and they become powerful.
I’d love to know why do you garden organically? Please share below in the comment section.
What are your goals for your organic garden?
- Do you just want a small plot to grow a few tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers?
- Or do you want to grow all the food you can for your family?
- Will you include chickens, goats and other livestock?
- Do you want to use your garden as a teaching tool for your children?
- Will you grow enough to share with others?
- Or how about growing enough to sell to neighbors, local restaurants, or at the farmers’ market?
- Will you learn to preserve extra produce to enjoy during the winter?
- Do you want to learn how to extend the growing season?
These are just a few ideas. Everyone’s goals are different and they change. What are yours?
What kind of commitment will you, and others, make to the garden?
So you have your reasons for gardening organically all squared away. And you’ve got your goals in mind.
But the real question is: Will you follow through with all your grand plans? How much time will you spend on the planning, planting, maintaining, harvest and clean up?
It’s easy to be all gung-ho in the spring when things are fresh and you’re anxious to be out of the house after a long winter. But your garden needs you during the long, hot days of summer too.
Sometimes you have to get out there in the garden whether you want to or not or…
- the peas will over-ripen
- the late blight on your tomatoes will ruin your whole crop unless you act NOW!
- or the weeds will take over and go to seed. Ugh!
You know the drill.
Will you make sure your garden has enough water? What has to be done today?
If you have kids, here’s a great opportunity to delegate some chores. Get everyone to help. I recommend talking about this with everyone as you plan your garden.
The more your kids participate, the more they’ll feel ownership of the garden and the gardening process. And giving kids responsibility is like putting compost on your tomato plants. It makes them grow stronger, faster, and better.
Make the commitment
Yes! Of course you can make the commitment to whatever it takes to make your garden a success.
And if you are new to gardening, or gardening organically, don’t worry, you’ll make some “mistakes.” But you’ll learn from them and go forward.
So get out your pen and paper. Write out your reasons for gardening organically. Write out your goals. And write out a declaration of commitment.
Yep. Write ‘em down. Let them guide you. Revise them when you need to.
And have fun in the process!
Why do you garden organically? What are your goals? I’d love to hear from you. Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Here’s to your bountiful garden,James Early Organic Gardening 365 Dedicated to helping you get more out of your organic garden all year long.
P.S. In the next OG 365 Timeless Gardening Tip, I’ll talk about the best place to write down your gardening goals and how to keep track of all your gardening ideas.
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