The best gardening tip you’ll ever hear
Step 3 of 30 Steps to a Better Garden
click here for the previous step
I know, what a presumptuous title, right? The best gardening tip you’ll ever hear? Yes, it is:
Make a new habit of going and visiting your garden every day. They say that a grower's best fertilizer is their own footsteps and it is true. Walk down each path, look at each plant, touch a few and enjoy yourself. Not only will it bring you a little peace, but by seeing your garden everyday—and hopefully a few times a day—you’ll be able to catch any sign of disease or pests before they become detrimental. You will be able to monitor growth, how much sunlight or shade each area gets and so much more.
If your schedule allows, I highly recommend an early morning walk. I know in our house full of little boys, getting ready for school, work and and everything else makes it a challenge to get out in the early morning light, but we try and do it as often as we can. Why? Because most pesky bugs come out at night and you’ll be able to see what has been nibbling away at your lettuce or spinach in those early morning hours. Turn over leaves and see what you find, stick your finger in the dirt to feel if the soil is wet, and take a good look at everything to see how close you are getting to harvest time.
Last fall we found out what was nibbling away at our cabbage leaves on an early morning outing. Tonight, set the timer on your coffee maker and tomorrow wake up an extra 10 minutes earlier for a garden walk. Pick a few flowers (or have them picked for you by your little ones) along the way. I promise taking a regular garden walk will result in a much healthier garden. And better mental health for you too.
Scott and Kendra Spencer are a husband and wife team who maintain a modest little third of an acre in Sonoma. With farmers as ancestors and a passion for edibles, they make the most out of what they have. They’ve read countless books, magazines, research documents and articles on organic gardening, but when it comes down to it they are experimenting and finding what works along with the rest of us. Read more at A Sonoma Garden.