Try Something New: Editor dirties hands gardening, appreciates experience

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I’ve never been one to get my hands dirty.

One thing I love about myself is the appreciation I have for nature and the beauty I see in it. But, sadly, I’ve never gone out and tried to create the beauty I see around me.

Since spring is here and the weather is pleasant, I decided to immerse myself in  gardening.

The process

People may think gardening is simple. You dig a hole, you put seeds or a plant in, water it, and watch the plant grow. But it’s not so simple.

Soil is key, and there are many different types of soil. One with a sufficient fertilizer will do.

In addition to picking the right soil, other necessary planting materials include shovels, pots and steel gates to help support certain plants.

I mixed the new, fertilized soil in with regular dirt in various pots. I then dug a hole in each and decided what plant would go in each pot. I also had to get rid of some pesky weeds. Some of the plants my family and I decided to grow this year are tomatoes, peppers, squash and various types of flowers for our front yard.

Now, this process seems pretty simple, but we decided to try a new gardening technique this year and started our own straw bale garden.

This process wasn’t the same as sticking a plant in a pot and called for a lot more patience. We had to condition the bales of hay by adding fertilizer on top of them and water them frequently so the fertilizer would spread. After waiting for the fertilizer to spread, we had to dig through the bales of hay to put our plants in. This part wasn’t easy because dirt is a lot easier to dig through than straw that’s stuck together.

Appreciating the work

Gardening definitely takes time and effort. Not many people, myself included, realize the process and work gardeners have to do in order to get fresh food or beautiful plants. Buying the materials and plants to make a successful garden isn’t cheap either. 

It’s easy to take gardening and the beauty of nature for granted when you live in an area with multiple grocery stores and can buy a bag of tomatoes whenever you want.

Getting the chance to be outside and knowing I planted something that will have the chance to grow makes me grateful for what nature gives us.

Instead of having to run to the store, I’ll have the opportunity to enjoy fresh vegetables and the scenery of breathtaking flowers in my own backyard.