Guest post by ‘NRP’
Got your garden hat? So you finally were able to get your hands on your own little piece of Paradise and want to build / grow a Garden.
I’m writing this article to describe some of the different aspects one must know for this adventure. The different gardening hats one might wear, so to speak.
[Ken adds: ]
Looking for actual gardener hats? Check these out:
Best Gardener Hats on amz
Which Gardener Hat Are You Wearing Today?
I am not an expert on the subject of a “Master Gardener” (I can grow a heck of a batch of weeds though). But I want to touch base on some of the steps in taking that ‘hunk of land’, or as I call the above ‘my little chunk of dirt’ and turn it into something that you can be proud of.
To be a gardener, you might have to wear a variety of different hats:
The Hat of a Geologist
When you put on your Geologist hat:
What is the layout of your land? The rock formations, do you have a slab of Sand Stone 2 feet under your Garden Plot?
Is your land rich in Humus or is it good for breading more rocks upon more rocks?
Is the spot in a slight valley that will flood when a storm hits? How well does your dirt “drain” or does it stay soggy for weeks after a storm? How about when it dries, is it a piece of Concrete?
You must be a Hydrologist to understand where the Water is going to come from:
Do you have a well on your land? How deep? Is the water ‘Good’?
How about a fresh water spring or creek? Does it dry-up in summer?
Do you have Irrigation Water, how long will you need it per year?
How about expensive “City Water”? At what cost?
Put on your Chemist Hat
What chemicals are in the water you have to use? City Water for example may have a LOT of chlorine in it. Too much chlorinated water kills microorganisms in garden soil, organisms beneficial to plant growth and health.
What about the PH (alkalinity) of your water? Is it good or bad for what you’re going to grow? Is your soils Acidic or Alkaline, do you know the difference?
Does your irrigation have run-off from HUGE commercial fields that have sprayed pesticides in it?
Are you someone who wants nothing to do with fertilizers or are you good to go with Miracle Gro and a shot of 20-20-20 once a month?
Equipment Operator Hat
You’re going to plow, roto-till, backhoe that original Hard-Pan dirt just to break it up into football sized chunks.
You will work that soil till it’s at least workable with a Shovel. This laborious step sometimes takes a very long time. Working the soil, then reworking it till it becomes “Fluffy” so you start to amending it into “Garden Soil”
Now for the fun part, ya must be a Scavenger.
Finding all the Horse poop, Cow poop, tree trimmings, cut grass clippings and anything else you can find to add to that soil to break up the chunks and add the nutrients.
While you’re out scavenging keep a lookout for the ‘Stuff’ you’ll need to build the Shed, Fence, Gates, so-on.
Carpenter | Plumber | Electrician
Ya need to be a Carpenter to build that Tool / Garden Shed. Don’t forget that fence you’ll need to install to keep out the critters.
A Plumber to install the Faucets or Irrigation to the Garden Spot.
Also you might to put on your Electrician hat to add a electric fence to deter persistent critters from ruining your garden.
The Hat of a Laborer
Here we go with the Back Breaking part. Gardening is a laborious thing.
You will become very familiar with the shovel as you dig and then dig some more to turn in additives to the soil for example.
You’ll need a good Hoe & Shovel!
We having fun yet?
Do Meteorologists Wear Hats?
You need to be a Meteorologist too.
Which plants will survive your climate? What climate zone do you live in? What seeds / plants are suggested for your area?
How long is your growing season and what affect will that have on the varieties you choose?
Do you get a lot of rain during the summer? Too much? Not enough?
Next we need to be a “Smart Shopper”. Do you buy and plant seeds? Or do you get a jump on things and spend 20 times as much on “Starts”? Maybe a little of both?
Here we need to decide whether or not to buy more soil amendments, or take a chance with what you’ve already done will suffice?
How are you at Biology? Do you know the “Good Bugs from the “Nasty” ones?
Do you have a problem with squashing a Horn Worm (you do know what that is right) that’s munching on your tomato plants?
How are you going to keep the gofers and moles out of the Garden?
Birds, Grasshoppers, Cut Worms. Can you recognize a Honey Bee or a Hornet, are both good?
NOW we’re ready to toss in a few seeds. Cool, what do you want to grow? Now you need to be a product manager and decide what is going in the dirt.
You’ve got to plan the garden. Know what grows well together and what does not grow well together.
Know how much surface area you need for each plant variety and plan accordingly.
You will be wearing this hat A LOT! Can I say, WEEDING? I’ll leave it at that.
Kitchen Cook Hat
Now we harvest 50 pounds of tomatoes, so now you become the Cook, Canner, Dishwasher, and Head Tomato Peeler, along with the other 500 pounds of Harvest that all comes in at the same time!
It all seems to happen at once. So you will be putting on your kitchen hat and be very busy in there for awhile!
Ohhhhh yes, one more, are you a good Gambler?
Someone tell me that Gardening is not at times a Crap Shoot!!! HAHAHAHA!
In conclusion; Are you a Gardener? Think about everything involved in the process!
Please, Enjoy “getting your hands dirty” it’s good for the Soul.
Best Garden Hat?
FYI, this is the most popular garden hat on amz ;)
Continue reading: Vegetable Garden Yields To Expect