Hello and happy August!! For any new readers, this is the month where I feature a handful of millennial gardeners in hopes that their combined experiences can help each of you with your own gardening journey. They are provided with a questionnaire and asked to submit their responses as well as some photos of their garden(s). I then piece together their post and let their answers do the talking. This being said, if I’m going to make them populate a questionnaire and send in pictures, I feel it is only fair that I endure the same. So, without further adieu, here is my feature.
Name: Meg Rice (Instagram: @earthymrsrice)
Grow Zone: 7a
Gardening style (container, raised bed, tilled plot, etc.): All of the above!
How long have you been gardening: My whole life. Some of my earliest memories of my grandmother are of time spent with her and my cousins weeding the flowerbeds behind her house.
Why do you garden: Mostly the therapeutic properties that gardening has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy the sense of accomplishment, the knowledge that my food hasn’t been tainted by chemicals and the unparalleled flavor that garden fresh produce has to offer. However, it’s the quiet moments that allow me to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life that keep me coming back year after year.
Do you typically garden alone or with friends/family/pets: Despite my continuous efforts to recruit others to join the fun I most often find myself alone in my gardens.
Biggest success of 2020 season: Touchon carrots – in previous years I have struggled with carrots. My soil is too rocky, they don’t get enough sun, I don’t thin thoroughly enough, I pull them too early; it’s always something. This year I had a fantastic carrot harvest. I prepped the soil properly, thinned twice and I was patient enough to let them gain size. Carrots were a success in 2020.
Most unfortunate failure of 2020 season: Yukon Gold potatoes – I’ve grown them several times in previous years harvesting successful crops, but this year was a bust. I think it was a combination of an extra cold spring and lazy planting methods. We had a full week of frosts one full month after our forecasted last frost date, I drilled holes instead of trenching and I opted to forego hilling. My yield was dismal, at best. Then to top it all off, I harvested when my soil was quite wet and ended up with bacterial growth that worked it’s way through my harvested spuds, rotting them in my pantry. Epically unsuccessful.
What is your most used gardening tool: Scissors – I use them for everything; cutting, digging, harvesting, constructing supports, opening seed packets and fertilizer bags, propping, smushing, all of it.
Favorite plant that you’ve ever grown: I grow an assortment of fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs each year and every year I make a point of trying new things. But, one staple in my garden that will forever have a place in my plot is the Sugar Cube cantaloupe. They are claimed to be one of the most disease resistant melons on the market and they produce 15-20 single-serving sized, decadently sweet cantaloupes per vine.
What are you most looking forward to growing in the future: More beans – this is the first year that I have grown shelling beans specifically for dry storage and they have done extremely well. I’d like to try varieties of other sizes and flavors to use in winter soups and chilies.
One last piece of advice for our readers: It doesn’t have to be perfect. It doesn’t have to be beautiful or bountiful. It just has to be yours.
If you have any specific questions feel free to comment below. I hope you’ll check back in throughout the month to read what our guest gardeners have to say about their green thumbs. Cheers, friends!