The best garden type for you is a...
So what does this mean exactly?
Watch the video below for a brief description of your garden type and read on for some specific steps to help you start taking action.
Why is a HOBBY GARDEN the best choice for you?
A hobby garden is all about your enjoyment of the whole gardening process. It may not make a huge difference in your annual grocery budget or your overall self-sufficiency, but that's not the point. A good hobby garden will give you great satisfaction, unique challenges, a sense of purpose, and of course the added bonus of tasty food. Based on your quiz responses, this is the best garden style for you because…
Your garden is about more than just the food you produce. The rewards you get from the exercise, outdoor activity, and interesting challenges are equally valuable to you.
You are frequently trying experiments and making room for new varieties of crops, so no two years are ever the same in your garden.
Your growing space is the smaller side but you're still committed to keeping up with the maintenance needed and you enjoy tinkering in the garden whenever you've got some free time.
Not quite right? Take the quiz again.
If that sounds like you, let's get to work!
Since we are on the same page now, I have lined up some specific suggestions to help you start to take the right first steps. Here are three tips for making your HOBBY GARDEN work for you.
Select crops that interest you.
Every garden should be unique as its gardener, but this is especially true in your case. Don't let your neighbour's garden or the typical backyard vegetable selections sway you into planting crops that you just aren't interested in growing. If you want to build a passive solar greenhouse to grow tropical plants in a cold climate, go for it! If you want to tinker with an aquaponics system that uses fish and plants in perfect harmony, go for it!
To get you started, here are five crop suggestions to grow for interest's sake. These selections will give you unique challenges, options for customizing the growing process, and a variety of maintenance requirements throughout the season.
Lettuce may seem like a simple choice, but I want to suggest if for its flexibility. It's a great plant to start with if you are interested in building a vertical garden, a container garden, or a floating garden, and its quick growing cycle gives you plenty of opportunities each season to seed, grow, and harvest.
Indeterminate tomatoes are a sub category in the tomato world used to group together tomatoes that have stronger vining tendencies. This type of tomato is typically taller and will require some pruning attention and support from stakes or trellis. This will introduce you to the art of pruning and give you small tasks to perform throughout the season. Indeterminate tomatoes also spread their yield over many weeks so you'll never be swamped with buckets of tomatoes you need to preserve.
Carrots may seem like a pretty standard crop at first until you discover that they come in different shapes, flavours, and colours! That's right, they're not all orange. The carrot germination process will also give any grower a test of their seed starting skills. Once you've mastered the planting of carrots with perfect bed preparation, timing, and spacing, planting most other crops will be a breeze.
Pole Beans are the crop for you if you want to get creative with your trellising. Their tendrils can masterfully cling to any support system and they can go the distance too. They will happily cover a sunny netted wall, an arched trellis, or any other assembly of stakes and string that you have creatively intertwined. They are easy to plant and grow fast once the weather is warm, so if you just want to have some fun with trellising, play around with some pole beans.
Peppers are a warm season crop that need a little babying especially if you are in a cool climate like ours, but that's part of what makes them interesting to grow. You really need to tune yourself to their needs to get optimum results. In addition to that, there is incredible variation in flavour and heat in the pepper world, which is sure to keep your pepper experiments interesting for years to come.
2. Know your numbers.
Harness your creative energy.
Hobby gardeners are blessed with plenty of ideas and enthusiasm, but with these two gifts, it can sometimes be difficult to follow through with every project. The tendency is to start more projects than can be finished or to leap blindly into a new plans without doing any of the research. Even if growing food is primarily a hobby for you, it's still going to be most satisfying for you if your plants actually grow!
The longer I live in this world of cheap fixes and hacks, the more I believe that anything worth doing is worth doing well, so take your time and give every project idea your full attention until you've seen it through to the end. There is a lifetime full of experiments to be done in any garden, so remember that you don' have to do it all in one year. This is so important that we help each of our Seed to Table students build their own personalized growing plan so they can focus on the most important tasks each season.
Personally, I enjoy the solitary nature of the gardening work that I do, but despite my introverted tendencies, I also find that I really appreciate opportunities to talk with other growers. Believe it or not, there are plenty of other people in the world who love growing vegetables just as much as we do! Surrounding yourself with some of these likeminded individuals can help nurture your passion for growing and expose you to a wealth of new ideas and techniques at the same time. I encourage you to make an effort to meet other growers at your local community gardens, workshops, or seed swaps, or even organize a neighbourhood work bee to get to know some other growers in your area. You'll also find many of these folks right here at the Vegetable Academy, so you are welcome to dive into our Classroom community and show us all what you've got growing.
It's time to take action.
A good garden plan is critical to making this dream of yours a reality, so if you’re serious about growing your own food, I want to invite you to join us for our upcoming GARDEN PLANNING BLITZ.
In this live 4 part workshop, I will walk you through the process of defining your garden type, help you lay out your garden plan, and show you what it takes getting results you can count on. These training sessions are free and they will be taking place inside our online Classroom. Request an invitation below and I’ll send you everything you need to know to join in the fun!
Join us for the 2021 Vegetable Academy
SEED TO TABLE COURSE
A step by step guide to creating the vegetable garden of your dreams.
The Seed to Table course will help you navigate the wild world of vegetable growing so that you can approach your garden with confidence and finally achieve dependable results for your family.
Get to know your instructor...
Jared Regier is an urban farmer and educator from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan who is passionate about building a more sustainable future. He loves teaching people how to grow their own food because it is such a powerful vehicle for positive change in individuals and communities.
Today, Jared runs an award winning urban farm so he's obviously pretty comfortable in the vegetable world, but his life experience doesn't begin there. His first career as a high school teacher also helped him develop an ability to simplify and communicate complex ideas. So when the farm started to get noticed and people began to ask if they could learn how to grow vegetables like that in their own backyard, it was only natural for Jared to answer the call. Now, his teaching and farming experience have found perfect harmony here at the Vegetable Academy where he aims to put the knowledge and tools of the vegetable farmer in the hands of the home gardener.
Jared's approach to teaching is organized, logical, and light hearted. He loves to learn and enjoys passing on these lessons to his students and watching them experience success. His practical lessons are always rooted in first hand experience and/or scientific studies because there's no sense in passing on misinformation. Jared delights in helping others take responsibility for growing their own food, and the limitless number of learning opportunities in the vegetable garden are sure to keep this work interesting for years to come.