Sometimes gardening seems so easy, and yet sometimes so hard.
And sometimes LIFE seems so easy, and yet sometimes so hard.
Today I’d like to weed through both of ‘em.
Before I get into it today, I’ll mention that the introductory fee on my online organic gardening course – the Smiling Gardener Academy – is going up on Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern Time.
If you sign up before then, you’ll end up saving a lot of money, so if you’ve been thinking about it, be sure to check it out.
It’s definitely worthwhile if you’re looking for a comprehensive video-based course on growing an organic garden.
Hey guys it’s Phil from Smilinggardener.com and I have a couple of things for you today. The first is that I want to let you know that the Smiling Gardener Academy that’s my very comprehensive, online organic gardening course.
The fee for that course is going up on Tuesday night at 9:00pm, up to full price it’s been discounted right now. And so if you have any interest in taking this course about learning how to grow nutrient-dense food, and getting rid of pests organically and all that stuff I talk about a little bit on my blog but I go into much more detail, you want to check that out soon before the price goes up because you can save a whole lot of money.
I’ll put a link down below if you want to check that out. Now the other thing is, over the next few days I’m putting out a series of articles and short little videos for free for everyone based on what I feel are really the three main questions I get asked a lot in comments and in emails. And the first question is really just a general question about how can I grow a better garden this year?
Often its because people tried gardening last year, it didn’t work out very well and then found it very frustrating and they just want to know what am I doing wrong? How can I do better? So that’s what I’m going to talk a little bit about today.
Then the next one is going to be about the thing that I get asked a lot because it’s kind of my area of expertise – which is: How can I grow really nutritious foods? How can I fertilize and improve my soil and really get nutrient-dense food? because that’s what I really like to talk about.
So that’s coming up in a couple of days and then in a few days I’ll be talking about controlling pests organically and kind of an interesting perspective on that I hope! So today, I’m not going to go through all this in the video because it’s going to be kind of long so I’m just going to point you to the blog post below to read what I want to talk about. But the main thing is I get this question about What am I doing wrong in the garden it’s just so difficult?
and I was thinking about how it’s kind of the same in life as you guys who follow me know I’ve been going through a pretty challenging situation in my life for the past couple of months. I haven’t really talked about what that is much and I don’t really plant to but it has been really difficult at times and so I’ve gone to get some help.
I’ve seen a therapist a couple of times which is awesome. I went and studied vipassana meditation, did this 10 day silent meditation course that I told you guys about in a blog post recently. And I’ve been studying buddhism a little bit and just reading a whole lot of books. A whole lots of – I don’t know- self-help books and stuff and it’s been really wonderful.
So the last couple of months at times it felt like life is just so hard sometimes like I don’t know what to do. And at times, and that’s kind of where I’m heading now, is life is just so easy, life is so wonderful at times.
And so this kind of happens to us in our life, right? Sometimes it feels so easy and sometimes it feels so hard. In the garden it’s the same kind of thing sometimes in a garden you can just literally just throw down some seeds and give them some water and they grow up and they become plants and you can even get food from them. It just seems so easy.
But gardening is not always that easy sometimes it seems so hard. Like you plant stuff and it gets infested by pests or it just doesn’t grow – like it doesn’t produce fruit. I talk a lot about food which I’m going to do here. Like it doesn’t produce fruit or vegetables and you’re like What’s going on?!
And so, I talk more about it in the blog post below about why that happens but mostly it comes down to the fact that gardening – unless you’re just blessed with beautiful soil – gardening takes some knowledge and some practice and the main thing I want to share today is what I want to help you with.
So if you really want to get into detail about growing a really awesome garden, nutrient-dense food, that’s where the academy comes in and that’s what you should check out before the price goes up.
But even if you don’t want to do that if you want to follow my free videos and blog posts then that’s what I want to help you with. There’s always a place where you can leave me comments and I try to answer those comments starting in June and for the rest of the year I usually don’t do as much posting on gardening I get into other tasks – other hobbies of mine.
But in the spring that’s when I do a lot that’s when you can follow me and check stuff out. I can go on forever about this but I really just hope you’ll read the blogpost down below where i’ve shared some more details on all this stuff. And if you’re on my email list or if you follow me on youtube or facebook or something like that I’ll be sharing this series of posts over the next few days.
Oh ya! I do have a question for you! Really what I want to know from you is What is your most challenging situation in your garden right now? or, if you’re kind of in the North like me and you’re just getting started in the gardening season right now, tell me what happened last year – What did you find very challenging and frustrating in your garden?
If you tell me that I can well maybe offer you some advice but it can also help me figure out what kind of lessons to put together for you guys over the next little while. So that would be great if you would go and ask me that question down below. And if you think you might be interested in the Academy, go click the link and go check that out, too.
We’ll see you soon!
Getting ready to film…
So back to today, as many of you know, I’ve been going through a challenging situation in my life, and have found some help in Buddhist teachings and Vipassana meditation.
I also saw a therapist a few times when I was really struggling, which was pretty cool, and have been reading many books like ‘Emotional Intelligence’ and ‘The Power Of Now’ and others you’ve probably heard of before.
I’m not going to say much about the situation itself, but basically, a relationship with a person I very much cared about fell apart and became a source of negativity and pain for both of us. May not sound like much, but it’s been hard – I just didn’t have the tools to deal with it.
(By the way, it’s not my ex-wife Heather – we’re still friends.)
Instead of throwing myself into my work or dark chocolate or some other method of avoidance, I knew I had to hit this thing head on and get some guidance, which I did, and although it’s still difficult at times, I’m overall happier than I’ve ever been, and life is starting to look wonderfully up again.
That’s the cool thing about life’s most difficult situations – they have a way of turning into life’s most positive opportunities for personal growth. That’s what I’ve learned here.
So yes, sometimes life seems so hard, and yet sometimes so easy. Today I’m back to saying THANKS! to life when it throws curve balls, because a lot of good can come from it.
So, now to the garden and the reason I’m sharing this today.
As with life, sometimes gardening seems so easy. You throw some seeds on the ground, water them, and they grow. You hardly do anything and they grow, and you get FOOD from them!
But it’s not always that easy is it? I know this because I’ve been gardening forever and I still have at least some sort of issue every year in my garden.
Plus I regularly get emails from people who had planted a garden last year, found that nothing grew, and are ready to give up.
The most common 2 complaints are 1) pests eating their plants, and 2) fruit and vegetable plants that don’t produce much in the way of… well, fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes gardening seems so hard.
But what I tell them is that it takes time to learn how to garden, just as with learning to play the piano or anything else, and it takes time to build up a soil that grows plants that don’t get attacked by pests and that produce abundant fruits and vegetables.
So if your garden didn’t do as well as you were hoping for last year, that’s okay, don’t sweat it. You were just like a person learning to play the piano, working on your scales.
And this year you get to practice some more.
Plus this year you have an opportunity to dramatically improve your soil, and to work on boosting overall garden health.
Here’s an email I received from Academy member Leidy who had a great year last year after joining the Academy, after having had a more challenging year before that:
“[I’m now doing] weekly foliar & drench fertilizing. Last year this time it was a different story so seeing this improvement is really incredible. I have about 100 fruit on 3 plants. I also have a container grown habanero last year that produced more than 300 fruit; had a control plant that produced less than half that amount.”
I wanted to share this to show you that things will get a little better this year for you, too. They usually do.
One of the most important things is to not worry, to enjoy the process as much as you can rather than worrying about it too much.
That’s really what I wanted to share today, just a reminder that it’s okay when things go wrong in the garden. It’s just part of nature and it’s how we learn and it doesn’t mean you’re a bad gardener – you’re just learning like the rest of us.
And I’d like to help.
Some of you will want to go all out and join the Academy before the fee goes up on Tuesday, while some of you will just read through my occasional blog posts.
Either way is cool with me – I just want you to have a successful gardening year.
But I’m not going to give you much in the way of band-aid solutions. I do love a good piece of dark chocolate once in a while, but that’s just short term happiness. Ten seconds later, I just want more chocolate, you know?
Instead, I’m going to give you the therapy, the Buddhist teachings, the meditation – the long-term solutions that focus on the root causes of our gardening problems – also the root causes of our gardening successes.
Like how to create a plant so healthy that the aphids go away entirely. In fact, I just talked about that here.
Or even better, I recently shared some tips on how to create such a healthy soil and garden that your food plants not only produce food, but tasty, highly nutritious food too, and lots of it!
For today, I’d be interested to know:
What is your most important gardening challenge right now, or what did you struggle with last year?
Let me know in the comments down below and I’ll see if I can help. Plus your question will help me figure out what kind of lessons to put together for you guys over the next little while.