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5×5 Garden: Keep Learning

March 19th, 2014

One of the most important parts of gardening is to be observant and to never stop learning.  You should never allow your gardening knowledge to stagnate, things should never be done exactly the same way year after year.  You should be trying new things, with failures and successes.  Ultimately, gardening isn’t really about plants, it’s about you and what you gain through the experience. So what are some great places to learn?
One of the best ways is to chat with other gardeners, they can be a wealth of information. I haven’t met a gardener yet that hasn’t been willing to talk about gardening.
Kitchen Gardening Books 1
Reading is also a fantastic resource, the library will be you friend and help save you a pretty penny. I read just about any kind of book about gardening, from garden design to growing vegetables, you can learn something from just about every book.
mushroom class 2
Workshops and classes can be a fantastic resource. Lots of local libraries and garden clubs have workshops throughout the winter. Check your local University extension for workshops and classes as well, they can be fantastic resources.
Kitchen Gardening Books 6
I have been lucky to be able to learn from all these ways, one isn’t any better than the other, they’ve all been tools that have helped me become a better gardener. Of course I should also mention that blogs are great ways to learn – especially since you’re here learning about gardening!

What’s your favorite way to learn more about gardening?

14 Comments to “5×5 Garden: Keep Learning”
  1. daisy on March 19, 2014 at 5:36 am

    I’ve been blessed to be able to learn with a mentor. I volunteer every weekend and help an older couple out with their 4,000 square-foot container garden. It’s been a life changing endeavor.

    Reply to daisy's comment

  2. Kathi cook on March 19, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Reading! I often retread the same garden books over each year.

    Reply to Kathi cook's comment

  3. Lisa on March 19, 2014 at 6:52 am

    Whenever I can I talk to other gardeners. Blogs and books are my second resource.

    Reply to Lisa's comment

  4. Marina C on March 19, 2014 at 6:56 am

    Reading, wether books or blogs, and seminars and workshops.

    I belong to a small knitting group, all 5 of us are also gardeners, so we also talk about gardening as we knit. 5 heads of knowledge are better than one for sure!

    I love winter because I have more time then for planning, reading and expanding my knowledge. As soon as the foot thick layer of snow covering everything melts, and the soil dries up a bit, we will be back in the garden.

    I have learned a lot about seed starting from you, Suzy, and I took the plunge for some of my crops last year. Doing it again now this year. Before, I always did direct sowing of seeds, nothing indoors.

    Reply to Marina C's comment

  5. Donna A. on March 19, 2014 at 7:37 am

    You were a big source of information while I was starting up my garden! Growing up my mom always had a garden, so I had a gist of what to do – but she never started her own seed.

    I do have a slew of gardening themed blogs and journals I reference to for specific parts of gardening. From starting seed to design to post control. But I’d love to read more books…

    Going to have to check out the library soon! Hehe…

    Reply to Donna A.'s comment

  6. Ilene on March 19, 2014 at 7:40 am

    Wow, I sure wish we had a younger person or two that wanted to help out in our garden in exchange for garden mentoring!!

    I have been amazed at how much there is to learn about gardening. I took it up as a serious “hobby” when I retired at 61. I’m 67 now and I sure know a lot more about it than I did when I started! I learned from the Internet mostly, by watching You-Tubes, reading people’s blogs, and joining a gardening forum.

    And yes, I’ll try most anything, some things work, some don’t, and sometimes I think I ought to just settle down and pick out one method and stick with it. What fails one year will work the next, and vice-versa. So much depends on ol’ Bi-Polar Mother Nature.

    Reply to Ilene's comment

  7. DebbieB on March 19, 2014 at 8:42 am

    I’ve learned so much by reading your blog. 3 years ago, I grew nothing but weeds and grass, now I have 1/4 of my yard devoted to growing vegetables. My husband has caught the bug, and now he’s planted citrus trees, a blueberry bush, and strawberries. My dining room has been the seedling nursery this month, with crazily rigged-up lights (next year I’ll get him to engineer some more proper lights for me, now that we know what we need).

    The best teacher has been experience. Every time we make a mistake, we learn how to do things better next time.

    Reply to DebbieB's comment

  8. PennyAshevilleNC on March 19, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I also have most of my questions answered by you right here. I utilize my local county extension office (they have a hotline manned by master gardener volunteers that is invaluable!).
    I have learned from my mistakes more than anything…. each season I am a little more prepared than the last. Adjusting to the weather is something that took me a few seasons to learn.

    Reply to PennyAshevilleNC's comment

  9. Songbirdtiff on March 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    My favorite way to learn has been working beside other gardeners when volunteering as a Master Gardener. While we work, we talk about experiences, methods and fun times. It’s so encouraging and fulfilling.

    Reply to Songbirdtiff's comment

  10. Nebraska Dave on March 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    Susy, just a couple miles from my house, a local nursery has many classes during the Spring on many subjects pertaining to growing vegetables both conventional and organic. Flowers and how to make arrangements are part of the classes as well. Yard maintenance, grass care, and landscaping are also subjects covered. Most are free or have a nominal fee for supplies needed during the practical part of the class. I haven’t been able to attend any of the classes this year. There’s just too much other stuff going on this year.

    We had another skiff of snow last night but it will be gone by day’s end as the temperature will be 54 for a high today and 65 for tomorrow. The soil temp is good for planting and the air temp is mostly ok so now if it will just quit snowing I’m good to go.

    Have a great 5X5 garden day.

    Reply to Nebraska Dave's comment

  11. Colleen on March 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    My favorite way to learn about gardening, that is a tough one. I am not sure I have a favorite way. I think a variety of ways are helpful, reading, lectures, blogs, podcasts, asking neighbors about their gardens. We live in a small community and we have a group of people who offer a gardening series. They give talks and hands on demonstrations on everything from making your own soil to bee keeping to pruning to composting etc… I am grateful to have others I can ask questions to, right in my own back yard.

    Reply to Colleen's comment

  12. MarlisB on March 29, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    Could you help? I have a about 6×6 garden spot in a somewhat shady area of my garden. One corner is occupied by a compost bin. What should I plant to have a continuous harvest all season long? We live in Eastern Iowa.


    Reply to MarlisB's comment

    • Susy on March 29, 2014 at 6:59 pm

      Not sure much of anything will give you a continuous harvest, but if it’s a shady corner it would probably be perfect for greens. If you sow lettuce seeds in a small section every two weeks you should be able to enjoy good salads all season long. Buy a few different kinds of lettuce, some that will take a little bit of heat (I recommend ‘Roxy’ from High Mowing Seeds for that) and spinach or other greens you like in spring.

      Reply to Susy's comment

      • MarlisB on March 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

        Thank you very much!

        to MarlisB's comment

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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