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Beginning A Garden | Gardening | Andrew Weil, M.D.

November 7, 2019

I think the best way to get into gardening
if you have never done it is to associate with somebody who knows how to do it and spend
time with people who garden, work in their gardens, have them help you set up a garden
of your own. I think that’s much better than reading books or trying to get information
other ways, you just work with people who know how to do it and you’ll pick it up from them. You know, for a basic garden I think the main thing is to have a space in which you can
do it so that means finding a space in the right location, protecting it from animals
and pests, getting the soil right, getting the right kinds of plants and seeds and starts
for your area and the time of year for your space. And having some basic tools like a
trowel and a claw, a bucket and a hose, and some basic soil amendments and fertilizers.
I think growing a garden does require some patience but that is part of the fun. Watching things
develop, planting seeds, some seeds may take ten days or more to germinate and it can be
frustrating if you have never done that and you go out and there is nothing happening,
then one day you see these little sprouts come. Watching plants grow and watching fruits
ripen – it’s really an interesting exercise. With fruits, often the fruits we get in stores
have not been left on plants until they actually ripen and when plants are removed prematurely
they don’t develop the full sugar content and other nutrients. So with fruits, berries
for example, you can tell by the texture when they begin to feel soft, they lose their gloss,
and you can taste them to see how they do. With vegetables, I think it depends on each
individual vegetable. Carrots – you check around the soil to see the diameter of the
developing carrot, same with beets and radishes. Lettuces – you can pretty much tell by the
size and fullness of the head. Broccoli – you want to get when the heads are full and compact
before the little yellow flowers start to open up. This is a matter of having experience
that you get from people who know it.


  • Reply kimisilv March 13, 2012 at 4:39 am

    I have a collection of the most beautiful orchids in my home but my outdoor "green thumb" is not quite the right shade of green. But with spring settling upon us, I will give it another go. Maybe I'll start with herbs? Thanks for always urging us to do what is good!

  • Reply MsPurefunk March 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    I love the idea & reward of gardening but it is HARD you have to do a lot of things to make it right & sometimes get bad results. One thing I have always had issues with fixing is bugs. How to keep bugs from destroying the plant or fruit w/o having to use harm chemicals.

  • Reply John Waters March 18, 2012 at 7:36 pm

    Great advice

  • Reply T Durden July 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Try "window farming"?

  • Reply Garden Sheds Devon February 4, 2014 at 3:47 am

    To learn the fundamental knowledge in gardening is really a great experience indeed! As I perceived, patience are the secret weapon to attain a very productive and successful garden someday. This video provides valuable tips to have a good start when preparing or setting up a vegetable garden. Glad to hear this post! 

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