Gardening: The hardest part is getting started {Part 1}

by Angela Davis on May 8, 2012

Guest post by Mavis from

This is my neighbor’s garden. It’s a masterpiece.  A real beauty.

So when my neighbor called the other day and asked if I would help her with her garden, I laughed. “Define help” I asked.  “Look, I’m really busy.  I will give you anything you want if you just come over and weed and plant the whole thing for me… anything!” she pleaded.

“Would you give me a case of toilet paper and a 25lb bag of sugar?” I asked.

“Are you serious?”

“Are you?”

“Fine. Yes, I will go to Costco and get you toilet paper and sugar you weirdo, now how soon can you get started?”

“I’ll be over tomorrow.”

Wahooo!  I love bartering, don’t you?

The next day, I headed over to my neighbors garden. As Lulu (my neighbor’s daughter) and I were weeding the garden beds, I asked her what she would like to grow.

“Potatoes, lots and lots of potatoes” she said.

So with pint sized tools in hand, we began to dig.  When it finally came to plant the potatoes, I asked how she wanted to plant the potatoes.  Having planted a potato tower in my own garden this year I thought maybe she would like to try it.

But she shot me down, like only an 8 year old can.  She was worried her dog would tip over any sort of potato tower, and insisted we planted potatoes the traditional way. 8″ deep, 8″ apart in rows, 18″ across.  Lulu’s mother may not have any interest in planting a garden, but little Lulu sure does.

Next, we decided to plant a few red onion bulbs (for potato salad of course). If you have never planted onions before, you should give them a try. Onions are incredibly easy to grow when started from bulbs and sprout quickly as well. We planted the onion sets 4 inches apart, in rows about 1 foot apart, and then covered the bulbs with about 1″ of dirt.  The whole process took about 5 minutes.

After the potatoes and onions had been planted, we sat on the back porch and drank a Capri Sun, gave each other a high five, and made a date for next week to plant beans and carrots.

Gardening does not have to be difficult. It should be fun. Start small, plant one garden box at a time so you don’t feel overwhelmed, and don’t beat yourself up if everything does not go {or grow} as planned.

You know what they say… The more you garden, the more you grow! But get a mooooove on.  Daylight is burning. 😉

Mavis is a Northwest gardener on a mission to grow 2,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in her suburban backyard this summer. You can follow her gardening journey on her blog

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Heather D. May 9, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Mavis, I always enjoy your posts. This one motivated me. I’m going to try something a little different with my cucumbers this year. We have some old, bent cattle panels, so I’m going to bend one into a V shape, turn it upside down and use it as a trellis, training the vines to climb up it. I’m not sure how to train it though…twist ties maybe?


Practical Parsimony May 9, 2012 at 12:30 am

Ha! I like the cow best. How many pounds of dried beans do you want for making my garden grow?


Mavis May 9, 2012 at 6:18 am

Ha Ha Ha. :)


Abby May 8, 2012 at 9:03 pm

The hardest part is definately getting started. After reading your post I decided to make the most of the dwindling sunlight and attack my daughter’s flower garden (which she has been begging me to help her weed). I spent about 30 minutes and got almost all of the weeds out. Now she can plant some flowers tomorrow.
Now there is the issue of finding a good spot and prepping a garden spot for the veggie starts that we bought a week or two ago that need to get into the ground.


Mavis May 9, 2012 at 6:19 am

Abby, the weeding never ends does it? LOL


katy May 8, 2012 at 7:32 pm

you’ve inspired me too mavis! tomorrow I’m rescuing some pallets for a quasi-vertical garden, and i’m hoping to score some “chicken scraps!”


Mavis May 8, 2012 at 8:59 pm

You go girl! 😉


Mavis May 8, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Good for you Krista! The weather is perfect this time of year. I love it!


Krista May 8, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Looks awesome, Mavis! I have been working out in my yard/garden the last few days since being inspired by all your outdoor projects this year.


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