Growing Plants and Gardening - Is It An Expensive Hobby

By: Marshall Clewis


Before beginning your garden consult one of the maps that certain books, magazines, agricultural bulletins, and seed catalogs print, showing temperature belts, or one of the weather tables showing the date of the last probable frost in each state. Find out who the best gardeners are quite near you, preferably by watching whose gardens seem to do best, and then boldly ask their advice on when to plant, which things do best, which things need special attention, and what kind of attention. Whether you are a beginner or a newcomer to a community, most of them will be quick to help.
By now you may be wondering whether gardening is not a lot of work. I cannot answer that one, because the word "work" means different things to different people. If you mean by work something disagreeable that requires a lot of effort to do but that you do in order to get paid money, I can only answer that gardening in order to make money, or even to save money, is hard work.
But if you mean by work doing something intelligent that involves both your mind and your body, and doing it for so sensible and primary a purpose as to grow your familys food, then gardening is delightful and rewarding "work." You plant grains of corn, cultivate the cornstalk which the seed produces, harvest the ears when the silk gets brown, and eat delicious corn. The work of planting, cultivating, and harvesting is so plainly connected with eating good corn that it is interesting: we know why we are doing it.
Finally, gardening is something a whole family can do together... father, mother, and even quite small children with no fear that unequal skill will spoil the fun. In a garden families learn to work well together using garden hand tools in order that they may eat well together. A home garden just like tiller tools has dimensions and meaning which few hobbies possess.
Is it an expensive hobby? The answer is an emphatic no. Like every other hobby, gardening can be made to cost a good deal of money: through expensive and often unnecessary tools; through interesting but expensive experiments. But a good vegetable garden can be run very cheaply. The basic tools are few and simple: a shovel, a spade, a steel rake, a "draw" hoe, a trowel, and a ball of twine to stretch between sticks to run a straight row. Before long you will want a wheelbarrow. These tools should be kept clean and dry when not in use.

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