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Published on Mar 12, 2012
Learning from experienced gardeners can help you make a good start on your own backyard plot. Dr. Weil provides some quick tips, including how to identify ripe fruits and vegetables that are ready for harvest.
Video Transcript: Beginning a Garden-Gardening with Dr. Weil
I think the best way to get into gardening, if you have never done it, is to associate with somebody who knows how to do it and spend time with people who garden, work in their gardens, have them help you set up a garden of your own. I think that’s much better than reading books or trying to get information other ways. You just work with people who know how to do it and you’ll pick it up from them. You know, for a basic garden I think the main thing is to have a space in which you can do it. So that means finding a space in the right location, protecting it from animals and pests, getting the soil right, getting the right kinds of plants and seeds and starts for your area and the time of year for your space. And having some basic tools like a trowel and a claw, a bucket and a hose, and some basic soil amendments and fertilizers. I think growing a garden does require some patience but that is part of the fun. Watching things develop, planting seeds. Some seeds may take ten days or more to germinate and it can be frustrating if you have never done that and you go out and there is nothing happening, then one day you see these little sprouts come. Watching plants grow and watching fruits ripen; it’s really an interesting exercise. With fruits, often the fruits we get in stores have not been left on plants until they actually ripen and when plants are removed prematurely they don’t develop the full sugar content and other nutrients. So with fruits, berries for example, you can tell by the texture when they begin to feel soft, they lose their gloss, and you can taste them to see how they do. With vegetables, I think it depends on each individual vegetable. Carrots - you check around the soil to see the diameter of the developing carrot, same with beets and radishes. Lettuces - you can pretty much tell by the size and fullness of the head. Broccoli – you want to get when the heads are full and compact before the little yellow flowers start to open up. This is a matter of having experience that you get from people who know it.