By Michael Jenkins
For many of us, this is the gift-giving season. At the risk of sounding a bit cheesy, here at Gardzen we think that the gift of gardening is one of the greatest things you can give another person. With that in mind, we’re going to use this blog to discuss some things you can do over the holidays to help new gardeners begin their gardening journey. While we’ve written about helping new gardeners (of all ages) before, we thought we’d take this space to explore the issue again from a different angle. Let’s dig in and talk about how we can all help new gardeners get started in gardening!
The first step in inspiring a new gardener to pursue gardening as a hobby and a lifestyle is showing them the joys of gardening! You can do this in a number of ways: sharing home-grown veggies in season, giving them fresh flowers as they come into bloom, or involving them in your own garden activities. Just by showing them that gardening is fun and beneficial, you’ll plant the seeds that may inspire a new pursuit.
Gifts for New Gardeners
Gardening is a rewarding pursuit, and while it’s nowhere near as complicated as some folks believe there’s a bit involved in getting started. You can help get a new gardener going by giving them the materials they need to get started. Containers, tools, seeds, soil—all are musts for a successful garden. However finding the right items for their space and climate can be a challenge for someone who’s new to gardening. By giving the gift of gardening supplies—all the right items to help a newcomer get started—you’ll be providing some direction and ensuring that they have high-quality gardening items that won’t disappoint them. Having the right stuff is a big step in starting a first garden, and good gardening supplies make a great gift at this time of the year.
Seeds are another important gift for a beginning gardener, and warrant their own section in this blog. The variety of seeds available these days is awe-inspiring if not bewildering, and could be quite confusing to a new gardener. By giving them the gift of seeds for plants you know they like and that will grow well where they live, you’ll be making it much easier to get their first garden started come spring.
Soil, compost, and fertilizer are two things that every gardener we know is running short on and that make every garden that much better. If you have a beginning gardener in your life, helping them get the right potting soil, garden soil, fertilizer, or compost that they need for their plants and their space makes starting a garden a much simpler task.
Passing it Along
Thus far we’ve been talking about material gifts for new gardeners—and those are important! There’s another, equally important gift that you can give an upcoming gardener: your experience. We’re all still learning about gardening, but some of us are a bit further down the trail than others. So if you have a new gardener in your life, consider passing along some of the wisdom, experience, and knowledge you’ve accumulated in addition to a gift of garden supplies. Teaching newcomers is how we inspire the next generation, and how we keep the hobby we love alive.
Towards that end, we’d like to end this blog with a final suggestion. If you can do so, consider donating some containers, tools, or other supplies to a school garden or a community garden near you. It’s a simple thing, but it can make a big difference for the folks around you. If you can’t make a material donation, consider volunteering some time if you can. Every step we take to spread the joy of gardening makes the world a better place, and we feel that’s an important goal at this time of the year!