Q&A With Kelsey The GardenerRelease Date: 2017-04-05
Kelsey runs our Edible Garden, and has been producing lots of veggies over the last few months! She is starting up Edible Garden classes again at the Civic Center. We sat down and had a conversation about how new gardeners can get started. Do you have gardening questions for Kelsey? Email us your questions; we’ll respond, and your question could be featured in our next edition.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a gardener?
I like the garden to table connection. When you see food at the grocery store, it doesn’t occur to you where it came from. When you garden, then you see from cradle to grave, just what it takes to grow things. I think it makes you appreciate food more. You eat food every day, multiple times a day; it’s a really big part of your life, and people don’t think about how it gets there.
Q: Do you have any favorite tips or tricks you’d like to share with your fellow gardeners?
Everyone has a black thumb and also a green thumb. I have spent probably equal amounts of time killing plants as I have growing them. You just keep going and don’t be discouraged. Sometimes it’s your fault and you can learn from it, sometimes it has nothing to do with you, so don’t take it personally or feel like you can’t grow anything else.
That’s also why something like succulents or herbs are really good, because that is less likely to perish or get infested by bugs. It bolsters your confidence in branching out later on. If you’re going to start, go with herbs. Try something simple that you will use like rosemary or dill, and maybe some cute little succulents that you can try to kill, but you probably won’t.
Q: What is the biggest challenge new gardeners face?
I think it’s killing things and getting discouraged. Also if they’re living in an urban area it’s not having enough room. But it’s amazing what you can grow in something small. With just a small box that you can fit on your dining room table you can grow a little kale plant. I like growing leafy green vegetables because you just snap off a leaf and it keeps growing. Herbs are another good option because you can snap off pieces as you need them. You also have to be able to incorporate it easily in whatever you’re eating because if you’re not using it you’ll lose interest. I guess herbs is my answer to all questions; they’re easy to grow and you’re going to use them!
Q: What advice would you give a gardener just starting out, what is the first thing a new gardener should do?
If you don’t have a lot of room, the first thing you do is get a few small containers that can fit in a really small space. Sometimes you can have just a sack or an old soda bottle and hang it over your chair. If you literally have no outdoor space, you can still do something indoors by a sunny window. Find some small containers and plant something simple like a succulent or herb.
If you do have a lot of room, I think gardening workshops are really motivational for people. It gets the wheels turning. Also, take care of your soil first. Get an organic soil and maybe some compost to go with it. If you have great soil then you’re going to have great plants, and it’s not expensive or difficult to amend your soil and make it nice.