Saturday, 6 October 2018

Stepping Out Challenge - Day 6 - Getting the most from your Garden

Welcome to today's post, I am taking part in a 31 day blog challenge where I post everyday in October.  I love creating challenges for myself and joining ones by others.  My challenge for the rest of the month is to reflect on some of the series I created for myself and inspiration that I have taken away.

Listen to the Podcast

Today I am going to continue with the second part of the series I did on my Gardening Channel called 31 Plants in my Tropical Garden  

Gardening can have it's challenges, ups and downs but it is also extremely rewarding.  I have spoken on the previous post about the joys of growing your own.  I get a real buzz from being able to go and pick some herbs for cooking or fruits and vegetables for a smoothie or salad, and I am increasing the plants that I am growing all the time.

 One of the things that the garden has taught me is the need for patience, at times it felt as if I was checking on the seeds that I had planted every day, expecting growth and nothing would happen, like with my Basil and Coriander seeds.  Then at other times it would seem as if plants just grew over night when I wasn't watching such as with my Mexican Sunflower plants.  Patience also taught me that just because you want to do a particular job in the garden, doesn't mean that it is going to get done and some jobs take a lot longer that you might have originally thought.

I have learnt how to adjust my soil and deal with sloping land and also had to learn not only how the weather will effect the plants but I had to spend the first 6 - 8 months understanding how the lay of the land and what would work in regards to the type of plants that would thrive in particular places.

The space that I was growing on had quite a large slope, I didn't have money to bring in additional soil to balance it out and so I had to figure out how best on a budget to stop the soil from washing away during the heavy rains, and during the dryer season deal with the cracks in the heavy clay soil.  It has definitely been a challenge, but I am glad I persist and take it as it comes. I ultimately want the land to work for me and look at the examples found in nature.

As an artist I have been very excited to find plants that can be used in a creative way, either as fibers or as natural dyes and I have found a number of plants that can be used in the Art Studio - such as the Clitoria Ternatea, Clammy Cherry, Banana leaf, Mahogany and other trees around the garden, and some of the leaves create natural dyes.

I have been adding to the 31 Plants growing in my Tropical Garden over time and I think that I probably have double the amount of plants growing in my space. These are many  different plants that I have been able to successfully grown from seed or friends have given me cuttings or small plants.  I was recently given a Tamarind Plant and Sour Sop plant and then the Sour Sop seeds that I planted amazingly started to grow, and I popped about 20 seeds into the tray.  I am hoping for a tasty harvest.

I feel very fortunate to be able to spend time in the garden and grow all the plants that I have always dreamed of growing, it is such a blessing and it is great to share the information on my Gardening YouTube channel.

I am transforming the landscape and creating a haven and it is definitely one of the coolest things that I have been able to do and I would love you to join me on the adventure.

If 'growing your own' is something that you would like to do then I encourage you to think about how you can use the space you have to grow something whatever size.  It is a therapeutic activity, even weeding can sooth away the stress and there is much to learn as you gain more confidence.

Here are the tips again If you are on a budget and want to start growing your own:

  • Why don't you start with growing some of the seeds that come from the fruit or vegetables that you eat, 
  • Sprouting pulses is another quick way to start growing
  • Many of the seeds that you can purchase are quite economical and you can start quite quickly.
  • Check out your local Pound Store/Dollar Store they usually have a garden section and you can pick up some supplies for cheap.  

Keep an eye on my Gardening Channel - for those who want to grow and garden on a tight budget I will be sharing some hints and tips so please subscribe and click the notification bell so you know when a new video has been uploaded.  I currently post 2 or 3 new videos every week.

Have you had anymore thoughts on what your approach needs to be to your green space?  
Check out some of the resources, you only need a pot and some soil to start growing. If you don't have outdoor space you should get some pot plants that come in all sizes.  Most of the indoor plants that grow in a colder climate are found outdoors in the Caribbean and with the right care can thrive with no problems in your home. 

Tomorrow I will share the what I have been doing with my Art Journal Series.  I hope during this month you find some time to challenge, be creative and stretch yourself.

    Why not join me each day for the rest of October as we dive into to some exciting challenges and look at ways in which they can impact on your own life. 

    I look forward to seeing you tomorrow, it is never too late to start! The main thing is to take one step at a time and do something that you find interesting.

    Stay blessed and be a blessing.

    Ps:  If you are on a budget and would like to check out some gardening supplies/books at a discounted price, check out one of the links below:


    1. My attempt at commenting failed! I'll try it again! This was a really great blog post. I love gardening and I know that it can be a long-term project. Mostly, I take care of other people's gardens, but I'd love to have a spectacular garden on a low budget.

      1. Thank you for commenting Alice. Taking care of other peoples gardens must be equally rewarding. I will have to get on with creating a garden on a budget as I have progress I have seen many ways that I could have saved money.


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