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Gardening for beginners … Do you have a green thumb?

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Firstly I would like to welcome you to my site and particularly to this post. I have been an avid gardener for many years. As, was my father before me. So, as you can probably see by now, it’s in my blood. In my

Green Thumb previous post I discussed the basic gardening tools you will most likely need to purchase, borrow or … no, please don’t steal.

In future posts I’d like to discuss some of those gardening tools in more detail. But let’s start with discussing your green thumb, or maybe lack off in your opinion.

Just a Myth.

Let’s get rid of that terrible myth that you need a green thumb to become a successful gardener. It’s simply not true. A person is not born an expert gardener, nor is a beginner gardener expected to be an expert.

Gardening is a journey, sometimes a profession and often a hobby. It takes education, experience and time to become a proficient gardener. Yes, green thumb gardening from birth is a myth, but over time, it’s something anyone can develop.

My father placed a hoe in my hands when I was about seven or eight years of age. I still have a photo of me using that, what seemed like to me, incredibly large hoe. He also gave me a small plot of ground that I could use to build a vegetable garden. I can still remember my delight at planting my first crop of tomatoes, beans and radishes.

But I also had my first setback when half the tomato plants turned out to be African marigolds. In those days you purchased seedlings from a local nursery in units of one or more, and they were wrapped up in newspaper. It seems I was cheated. But I didn’t have a green thumb until I had spent many years growing, learning and developing my skills.

Does Size Matter?

If you’re just starting out on this exciting journey then I suggest you research on the net for as much information on gardening tips and information as you can find. There’s an incredible volume of gardening information out there. Information on plants, tools and landscaping techniques in abundance.

There is also an enormous amount of information on garden designs. One of the best ways to help you to decide how you are going to design your own garden is to check out the thousands of garden sites on the internet. Anything from the wondrous, large gardens found throughout the world, such as the incredibly, magnificent Kew Garden in London, which encompasses around 132 Hectares or 326 acres of land and contains some 50,000 different species of plants. Down to the far more moderate but equally exciting smaller gardens that can be found throughout the cities of the world. If you have the time, then visiting some of these smaller gardens is a fantastic idea, . It’s a great way to help you come up with ideas of your own.

Many cities around the world have garden festivals where you can visit anything from 5 to 50 gardens over a given time. One such event is held annually at Toowoomba in Australia. This stunning event is held each year in September over a delightful, colorful, fun ten days, and includes not only a flower parade, along with many other events, but also gives you the opportunity to check out many, many private gardens.

Go To It. Kew Gardens Palm House

So, getting back to that green thumb. With time, experience, exciting research, education,and by making fellow gardener friends, I have absolutely no doubt you will succeed. The most important thing is to have fun doing it.

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Happy gardening friends.

Don’t forget to leave some comments in the box below.

Jim Kulk

42 Comments

  1. Hi Jim

    My wife is alway on my case to start a small vegetable garden, she has been planting herbs for years and now she wants to be more adventurous and start growing veg, you have create a great post here and i will be bookmarking this site and following all your tips.

    Thank Chris

    • Thanks Chris. Vegetable growing can be very rewarding, I started when I was about eight years old. I still have a photo of myself with an enormous hoe. Herbs are also an incredible plant to grow. I look forward to your future visits. All the best Jim

  2. So there’s hope for me yet? I do NOT have a green thumb but I’d love to get into gardening more. I’d love to grow some herbs so I’m not buying them all the time but I don’t yet seem to have the knack. I’m looking forward to seeing more on your website!

    • Hi Melissa. Herbs are probably the hardest and easiest to grow. Try starting with some Thyme, Oregano and Rosemary and plant them in large pots. Once you have these growing beautifully you can try some others. All the best Jim

  3. Thanks so much Jim, I was immediately drawn to this article. Thank you for busting the ‘green thumb’ myth. It really is something important to let go of. I love gardening and was introduced to it both from my grand mother and mother. Most of my family garden. Therefore, I have always felt some level of pressure to succeed. I do succeed in my own way in this area – which is very much a hobby.

    But what I do get out of gardening most is the mediation style benefits. When I garden, I forget all the cares of the world and simply become immersed in soil, worms, plants and making it work all together. Once again thanks loved the myth buster article!!

    • Hi Fleur. You just described how most gardeners feel. Gardening to me is a form of yoga, extremely relaxing and the perfumes around the garden always have a calming effect. All the best Jim

  4. This year I’ve bought a house with a garden right in front of it. It took me months to get it all sorted out, but I truly enjoyed the process. So, in my opinion, it takes a passion for gardening to succeed, even if you don’t have a green thumb. You’ll learn all you need along the way.

  5. Hi Jim! It’s good to know I don’t need a green thumb to have a garden because I swear I have the brownest of brown thumbs. And it’s weird because I love the idea of growing my own fruits and veggies!

    My Dad grew up on a farm, and a few of his siblings are still farmers, so I feel like it’s in my blood. But whenever I try to grow something, it dies.

    But you’re right. I think I just don’t know what I’m doing. I need to research more about when to plant things and how.

    Do you have any experience with growing vegetables in pots? I live in a townhouse which means I have no land to have a garden. So I would need to resort to growing in pots. Can I be successful with growing veggies in pots?

    • Hi Christina. I will be doing a blog in the not so distant future on growing plants in containers. In it I hope to touch on both vegetables and herbs. But a quick answer for you today would be ,yes, it’s very possible to grow vegies in containers. I’ve seen Tomato’s, lettuce, and various other crops doing well in them. All the best Jim

  6. Hi Jim,
    My mother and I love gardening! She grows all sorts of fruits and veggie like lemons, limes, green apples, plums, pomegranates and flat beans! However, she has little land to work with, just because of landscaping. How do you suggest we proceed with the flowers and food once they start to outgrow their pots?

    • Hi Janani. In the case of vegies you would just put in a new crop. However, with plants like citrus etc., I’d firstly make sure you have the dwarf varieties as the normal one aren’t suited to pots. If your tree is a dwarf one and is outgrowing the pot you can move it in to fresh potting mix into a slightly larger pot. Trim the roots on the plant before moving it and make sure you cut back the foliage back by about a third as well. When you have repotted it soak the soil with a solution of liquid seaweed as per the instructions on the bottle. You can use a similar process for flowers and herbs. It’s possible to divide many plants, repot them in a fresh mix and give some away as presents. I do intend to do a blog shortly on container gardens. All the best Jim.

  7. Such a wonderful post. Whew, I am so glad that having a green thumb is just a myth. I have always tried to garden but only recently have truly had the desire to keep at it.
    There is just something about planting in the spring and then watching everything grow.
    we now live in a rural are and are seriously thinking about doing a vegetable garden. We are in the research process as where the best place to put it will be. We have a creek that flows with our property as well as a LOT of wildlife that comes through.
    I will definitely be watching for more articles from you.
    Thank you

    • Thank You Lee. I will be doing a blog on vegetable gardening in the future. I hope you return to have a look at it. Jim

  8. Awesome post. Growing up my parents had a vegetable garden and I thought that was pretty cool. My wife and I have been thinking of growing a garden but just haven’t. I will be looking forward to more of your posts. Thank you for a great article.

    • Thanks Tim. I will be discussing the vegie garden in a future blog. I appreciate your positive comments. All the best. Jim

  9. Can’t wait to see what you have to say about growing tomatoes. I try every year and get 2 or 3 and then bam!! Nothing.

    • Hi William. Tomato growing can be a challenge. But what’s life without it’s challenges. I will be doing a post on Vegetable growing in the future, I will place a section in it on tomato’s . All the best Jim

  10. Hi Jim, and thanks for your wonderful post.
    I had been gardening for years, but have recently moved out onto an acreage, and am starting all over with landscaping. My daughter now has the gardening bug and even though we don’t have an official garden yet, she’s been starting new seedlings and planting them in pots, lol.
    We hope to have everything ready for next spring. Can’t wait to enjoy the fruit of our labors.
    Cheers,
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne. They greatest way to stay healthy and fit is through gardening, well, in my opinion anyway. I hope you have loads of fun landscaping your new property. Jim

  11. Hi Jim,I’d say I have more of a brown thumb when it comes to gardening. As a chef, I love and appreciate all things green…and not so green. I felt that since I was so good at cooking food I should know how to grow it. I purchased a seed catalog and had a ton of fun picking out my packs upon packs of seedlings and was so excited when they arrived.I did good maintaining my garden for maybe a couple of weeks and then I guess I figured that mother nature would take care of the rest. Guess I’ll have to check out some of your other posts and give this whole gardening thing another go. lol

  12. I was surprised that my gardening skills yielded good vegetables and herbs from my humble vegetable patch and so I believed I had some percentage of a green thumb, perhaps the rest of the thumb was real flesh…. 🙂

    But I totally agree with you in that it is something you cultivate over time and become better and better at it day by day, month by month, year by year.  I have found gardening to be quite therapeutic and very rewarding.  It’s amazing to see that from a seed you can watch a vegetable grow and then use it in cooking a hearty meal to feed the people around you.  Very rewarding indeed!

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us!  I wish you many, many more years of gardening and wonderful reaping of many harvests! 🙂

    Edu

    • Hi Edu. It’s a pleasure to share my experiences with a fellow gardener. You are certainly correct, watching a plant grow from seeds is a real delight. All the best. Jim

  13. I’m not a Gardner but I do enjoy tending to my garden. I tend to try and have a wildflower patch at the end of the garden to encourage bees and butterflies.

    You don’t have to have a green thumb or be an expert to tend to a garden, but I’m learning quite abit from your website and I’ve veen enjoying your posts. 

  14. It’s nice to see someone lay it on the line for once and explain that you don’t really need to be an expert, or a green thumb, to get a garden up and running. 

    I’ll admit – I’m not the best gardener in the world, but I had to start when we moved into a bigger house…with a back garden (in good condition!). You do learn by your mistakes as you go along, and making those mistakes is probably the quickest way to learn – don’t you agree?

    • Hi Chris. We have all been at the beginning of our journey in gardening at one point of our life and we’ve all made mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them. Jim

  15. Hi Jim,

    Definitely green thumb is just a myth. For me gardening is about dedication and learning the right information even if it is through fail and succes. Usually my herbs die because I left them on the direct sunlight for too long :(.

    Busy life needs flowers who don’t mind busy owners haha. Do you have any recommendation for plants for beginners?

    Thank you for a great article!

    • Hi Andrea. Gardening certainly is all about dedication, but also satisfaction. If you’re after planting some herbs you can’t go past Parsley, Rosemary, Basil, Thyme and mint and being easy ones for beginners to grow. Jim

  16. Great post and in my case it will motivate me.

    We bought a house with a small farming size, and I never did these kind of things, but because we have this now, my wife wants to plant things and I need to help her.

    I don’t have a green thumb nor I have green fingers, but looking your post, I’m confident I can do it.

    Thanks for sharing it with us!

  17. This is a genuine educative insinuation . I am consequently glad that having a green thumb is just a myth. I have always tried to garden but by yourself recently have in fact had the sensitive to save at it.There is just something very more or less planting in the spring and with watching everything grow.we now sentient in a rural are and are seriously thinking approximately pretend a role a vegetable garden. We are in the research process as where the best place to put it will be. We have a creek that flows following our property as skillfully as a LOT wildlife that arrive through.

    • Hi Adeboya. I hope your vegetable garden comes together soon. There’s nothing more satisfying then home grown food. Jim

  18. Hey there,

    gardening always seems very exciting and captivating  in my eyes, it’s so cool to be able to actually plant something, take care of it daily and see it grows and developes! It’s a very beautiful natural phenomenon which requires a lot dedication and careness from human part. Therefore, it can greatly benefit a person by giving the ability to learn patience, how to stay calm as well as increase the interest & desire to learn how nature functions, the improtance of it and most importantly, why we, humans should respect it and take care of it. And like You’ve mentioned, it can be a great hobby! Thanks for such interesting and inspiring article, keep up the good work!

  19. Hi Jim, When it comes to Green Thumbs, my sister-in-law was blessed with two. She could take last years dead branch and push it into the ground and by next year have a 15 foot high tree. As a kid, my dad also had me work in the table garden he had each year. His mantra at the end of each day planting was  “Live and grow.” I remember long hot days but I also remember some great meals made even better just knowing that it was food I helped to put on the table. Good advice to visit whenever possible gardens. You get the chance to see what is working and what may be a over reach and can usually get some good advice from the farmer. Thanks for the article!

    • Hi Sanders. There’s always someone in the family whose thumb is a little greener then the others. It;’s usually because they have had a little more experience in the field. Like you, I also remember long hot summers where the family gathered for lunches provided by my Mother and the food provided my my father and me straight from the garden. . Jim

  20. Thanks for your post. There is no greater satisfaction than seeing a garden grow at this time that seems to run too fast. It’s a good way to keep up with the natural speed of things and not get caught up in the madness and speed of everyday life. Everything seems to happen faster and time seems to be always short … but the garden always grows at the same speed and keeps us connected to the rhythm of the planet! 🙂

    • Thank you Daniel,and how very true. As you say, time might seem to be speeding up but the plants take there time as usual. Jim

  21. Hi Jim, thanks for that enjoyable article. It’s good that you don’t have to be born with a green thumb, you can just learn this stuff. There is so much to know about horticulture, you could spend a lifetime and still be learning. In Australia back yard makeovers and gardening have become popular with TV shows like Backyard Blitz and Burke’s Back Yard. It seems everyone is into landscaping and gardening. I live in a townhouse so have very little land to grow things, but I’m gradually landscaping it and searching for small back yard ideas on the internet. I’ll bookmark your page for future reading. Thanks for a great post.

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