When I was working as a project manager in the advertising world, one of the things I enjoyed most about my job was conducting a “lessons learned” or “post mortem” meeting at the close of every project…big or small. Now that I am a project manager in the home making world, I still enjoy documenting lessons learned from all the fun projects I conduct around the homestead.
I’ve already learned a few lessons since starting my garden. Here they are:
- Do NOT underestimate the deer. Even if you don’t see them, they are there…lurking behind every tree, waiting until your back is turned to viciously attack your precious plants. They are four legged ninjas.
- An annual garden should, literally be right outside your backdoor…close enough that you will go out and snip some herbs or grab some lettuce for a salad while cooking dinner. If it’s not (at least for me) you won’t use it as much as you think. We are working to put a big “kitchen garden” in our backyard right off the deck and stretching back the length of the house. This will be our “store front” garden with pathways and garden gnomes. Our beds out in the back 3 acres will turn into perennial, squash and pumpkin beds.
- Go with your gut! It won’t always lead you down the right path, but (for me) that means that I didn’t do it right in the first place. You will learn a lesson or, in many cases, multiple lessons and “grow” your garden knowledge.
- People will give you advice…not as a criticism…but because they care and want to help you be successful. So don’t worry over it. Say thank you. They are imparting lessons they have learned from their gardening experiences. That being said, don’t be afraid to try new things.
- Set small goals. We did, but we also bought every seed in the nursery to start this year (exaggeration of course…sort of) and somehow ended up with 80+ tomato plants. I have put some back for next year already because, even though we set only two goals this year (beans and tomatoes), in my heart I set many more and I have already been disappointed by my broccoli.
There will be more lessons along the way…especially when we get to canning. I know I may sound like a Negative Nelly, but I am maintaining my positive attitude toward the two goals we did set. Everything else is just icing.