When I was a teenager, I planted a tomato seed.  I got a small plant from it; only one tomato.  But it was a large one – 1-1/4 pounds!  I was really happy about that.  I didn’t really have the opportunity to plant a garden until after had my own house.  I remember planting seeds with my young children – again, tomatoes.  It was nice to see the kids watching the tiny sprouts coming out of the soil, and then quickly grow.  It was really wonderful to watch their amazement.  Once the tiny tomatoes were ripe, they enjoyed picking and eating them. 

For many years, we just planted tomatoes, and maybe some peppers.  I only had a small spot to use as a garden.  It was maybe the size of a welcome mat.  After a few years, we moved, and I had a small garden – maybe the size of  a table.  I planted every year, with mixed success. 

When my children were young, I got divorced, and moved to a rental home.  It was the end of the summer; too late to plant anything.  The following summer, I tried planting some things in the little back yard, but the squirrels ate anything that grew more than a few inches tall.

When my new husband and I bought a house, he made a little plot ready for me to plant.  After the lack of success at the rental home, I know he was just doing it to make me happy.  He didn’t expect anything to come of it, I’m sure.  Luckily, it was a great year for tomatoes!  Every year since then, our garden gets bigger and bigger.

My youngest graduted from high school this year, which means more time for myself and my husband. 

We both really threw ourselves into our garden this year.  More on that later.

I was talking to one of my sisters, and she mentioned wanting help starting a garden for 2022. Her daughter and I have also been talking about seeds and plants.  Then I realized I also have more time, and I decided to start writing again (I haven’t had much time or energy for the past few years).  What better topic than my renewed gardening passion?

So, I’ve decided to do a gardening series.  It can help people I know – and why not those I don’t know? – who are interested in starting to garden, or those who want to increase/improve their gardening skills.  I’m not an expert, but I have years of experience, and I’ve had the chance to get better each year.  I hope at least some people find this interesting and/or helpful.




The author Suellen

Suellen is a horticulturist and social matters writer for Human Diaries. Her writing has appeared in various magazines since 2004.

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