Hi there! Welcome to my new blog. I am starting this blog because I have an interest in gardening and I wish to chronicle my experiences (and whatever "wisdom" I might acquire from them) in a place that is inherently organized, and publicly available. I am not a gardening novice, but neither am I an expert. I have dabbled in it over the course of my life, and now I want to get a bit more serious about it.
My interest in gardening stems primarily from two main sources. First, I just love it. I have never made it a large priority in my life, although I have made attempts to do so. Second, I believe that as far as is possible, a person or family should be self-sufficient, which implies that my gardening will be primarily focused on fruit/vegetable gardening, rather than decorative. Now, I realize that the term "self-sufficient" can mean different things to different people, so let me describe what I mean with a question. "Can I provide my family with the necessities of life without shopping?" If the answer is "Yes," then I have achieved self-sufficiency... I was going to write more about that, but that gets me far away from where I want to take this post, so I'll leave that subject to your comments.
Returning to the types of gardening available, I am partial to Mel Bartholomew's "Square Foot Gardening" method. I have a limited amount of actual experience with it, and that experience was dismal. However, the problem was NOT with the SFG method, but rather due to my habit of wanting to rush into something ill-informed. I created a square foot garden a number of years ago, having only read a little bit about it. Recently, I have educated myself a lot better and realized that I took only a few pieces of the method rather than following the whole system. I didn't understand some very fundamental reasons about WHY it works, and therefore, I failed to take care to meet those fundamentals. I will be starting a square foot garden next year, much better prepared. I will let you know how it goes.
In the meantime, it is July 2, 2011, which means the growing season is well underway and harvests have begun in my area. I live in Alabama, near Birmingham. From what little research I have done, that puts me in Zone 8. I'll have to do more research into what this actually means for me. My plan is to start a few plants in the next couple weeks and see how well I can do with them, beginning so late in the year. I plan to have a couple herbs, tomatoes and cucumbers. I was originally going to have just the herbs, because I was going to keep them in pots so I could move them inside later in the year. However, my wife prevailed upon me to start some hanging tomatoes and cucumbers. I will post photos when I get things rolling.
As for the herbs, I will be growing some Basil (haven't decided which variety, yet) and Mint. Probably Spearmint, but we'll see. If anyone has any suggestions I'm open to them. Not promising anything, but feel free to comment!
Well, that's about it for now. I will be posting at least once a week and letting you all know my progress. Have a great weekend, and for those of you in the United States (or who are citizens, but currently abroad -- especially our wonderful servicemen and women!) have a great Independence Day celebration!