Communal Beat

Green Thumbs are Cultivated Through Experience

 Green Thumbs are Cultivated Through Experience


Growing a garden is like learning a language.

You need to learn it and then use it. Some very basic information is needed and then you immerse yourself in the environment and you learn more and more as you go. If you are like me gardening is an endless and fascinating education. There is always something more to learn about plants and their environment. The benefits to your health and well-being are a given but the language you are learning is open to endless new and wonderful experiences. It is my hope that this column will be informative and engage you in participating and practicing gardening with new enthusiasm and eagerness.


Green thumbs are not born.

They are learned like almost everything in life. We wouldn’t go to a doctor, lawyer or any other professional without trusting that they have completed an education and have some experience. This is something we have come to expect from anyone out in the work world. Growing good, healthy and strong plants requires those same qualities; education and experience.


Seed catalogues are arriving.

If you are like me I am excited like Christmas and even though everything is online now I still love to have a real catalog and cup of coffee or tea and settle in for an hour or two and “ooh” and “ah”my way through the pages. There is always something new and potentially different to try.


All seed catalogues are not the same.

First of all look for the ones that are appropriate for the maritime climate we are in here on the coast. The main influences here are typically cool summers, wet winters and rarely does the ground freeze solid to any depth or for any length of time.


From about March 20 until September 22

the Vancouver Island region receives 12+ hours of daylight. This is the optimal growing season for us here on the coast. Plants number one requirement is sunlight so they can convert it into sugar and energy for growth.  When we eat plant foods this energy is released. We are actually eating sunlight as kinetic energy for movement and growth ! All the more reason to eat your vegetables, fruits and grains.


a list of seed companies that are all maritime orientated and most grow and cultivate their own seed. All can be found online and have lots of great information.


In next months article I will talk about starting seeds in late January/ early February to get us going into the 2015 growing season.


Plants are amazing. As I said there is no end to what we are learning about them. I am excited to help guide you through a year of great gardening.


Be kind to the plants. We breathe because of them.


By: Barbara Odegard

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