Gardener Diaries: 15 August 2017

I am an amateur gardener and these are my daily thoughts…

This past weekend I took a deep dive into a bag of succulent mix and potted up some new adorable succs (this is our cute abbreviation for succulents) into terracotta pots to start a low maintenance greenery collection for my stoep! What I realised as my hands were soiled – and I sat surrounded by pots, plants and garden tools, feeling completely out of my depth – was that I felt so wonderfully earthed to be hands first in a large bag of soil and so excited to get my hands dirty and do something I didn’t have the foggiest clue how to do.

Its very sad to realise that fear is so often the thing that holds us back from trying something new. Without the fear of failure or disappointment we would relish in new experiences and try those things we have no idea how to do!

So for today I impart my no-fear perspective on gardening and my potting tips onto you, my fellow newbie gardeners afraid of getting your hands dirty.

Gardener Potting Tips:

Succulents are a good choice for newbies, as they are generally lower maintenance than other plants and are easy to plant up when you are still learning how.

So get out shopping and fill a trolley with your favourite selection of succulents, a variety of terracotta pots (or other varieties of pots if you prefer) some succulent mix/potting soil, a watering can and a trowel (which is just like a small spade). You can also grab a pair of gloves if you have chosen some prickly varieties, but I recommend going free hand and letting your skin get up close and personal with the soil and your new plant babies.

Then set up a work station at home – a big area where you can lay out your new buys and are free to spread soil around with no shame in being messy – and follow these simple tips…

STEP 1: Be not afraid!

STEP 2: Pair up your new succs and your pots ensuring that the pot is big enough to house the succ comfortably with some area surrounding the succ ensuring it wont be bulging over the edges.

STEP 3: Get your hands soiled and carefully grip the base of the succulent with one hand and the plastic pot you bought it in in the other hand, and gently remove the succ out of the pot with a subtle shake and pull until it easily comes loose with most of its roots and soil still in tact.

STEP 4: Place your loose succ and its roots into its new pot and press down firmly to compact the soil.

STEP 5: You may need to add more succulent mix or potting soil to the bottom of the pot before you place your succ or around the edges after you have placed it, if it is too low in the pot.

STEP 6: Press down firmly around the base of your succ and the surrounding soil (yes you will have filthy hands and dirt under your nails and it will feel wonderful – so just get right in there).

STEP 7: Water well! It is very important to give your new succs a good watering once they have been planted – mainly to give them a good nourishment after they have been fiddled with – but also to rinse off any soil that has dirtied your succs’ gorgeously fat leaves or the surrounding of your new pot.

STEP 8: Relish in your earthed hands and your wonderful achievement – you did it!

We all need to realise that we are all perfectly in process and so too are our gardening skills, as we work to become the green fingered garden guru’s we so desire to be! So embrace that process and throw away that fear. And then take my succulent planting tips above and your new found no-fear perspective and go get your hands dirty!

I hope that you learnt something new today!

Contact me on poppy@lifestyle.co.za with any questions, qualms, ridiculous thoughts and unusual brainwaves – I am here to help you out!

Sometimes the simplest of things seem complex to us when we are just a newbie gardener! So I am here to divulge my daily thoughts, unusual brainwaves, tips and solutions for gardening newbies as well as the experienced green fingered who have always pondered the accepted norms that don’t seem to ever be explained.

Loads of blooming love

Poppy

xxx

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