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.
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.