Don’t Have a Green Thumb? These Tips Will Help You Succeed In The Garden

Have you killed every plant you’ve ever owned?  Maybe you couldn’t even get a seed to sprout, or your plant got attacked by bugs as soon as it started growing or maybe you just kept forgetting to water it.  Whatever the reason, I believe a brown thumb is the key to turning it green.

Soil First Growing

Someone who doesn’t have a green thumb is sometimes referred to as having a brown thumb.   A brown thumb is meant as someone whose plants die, but in my head I think of a brown thumb as someone who thinks of soil first.   The key to growing your plants successfully is to look at your soil.

Soil holds the moisture and nutrients that your plant needs.  If you feed your plant artificial nutrients like miracle grow, it’s like you’re trying to get all your nutrients through supplements instead of actually eating whole food.   Then on a moisture level, you want to drink enough water so you don’t die from dehydration, but you don’t want to drink so much you drown.  You also want to ensure that you drink water through your mouth as just spraying it on your skin won’t quench your thirst and if you go out in the sun after you spray yourself with water you may be more prone to burning up.  These 3 simple thoughts on your soil will guide you in the right direction to ensure your growing medium is successful.

1 – Feeding your soil the proper nutrients.  A good quality compost holds all the nutrients your plants need.  Worm castings, fish compost, or just a general organic compost is all you need for your nutrient needs.  As your plant grows you can put compost on the top of the soil and as you water the nutrients will be fed down to the plants roots

2 – Watering your plants.  First, your goal is to water the soil, not the plant.  If you water the leaves your plant can burn from the magnified sun light.

3 – Soil Moisture – You want to ensure your plant is damp, but not wet.  If your soil is more like mud then it’s waaaaay to wet.  If you can press your finger lightly into the soil and it keeps that indent, then that may be a good amount of moisture.   A plant that is well established can deal with a little bit of dryness on the surface as the roots can go out and find more moisture, but a seed will need to have constantly moist soil.


Choosing The Right Plants

A lot of beginners think that every seed is the same so they start with plants that are in lots of kits or they aim for the ones that produce expensive food.  Common plants that beginners start with are tomatoes, basil, or peppers, but these are some of the more difficult plants to grow.   These plants are the best to start with to ensure you don’t get discouraged and you can move up to the more difficult plants.

1 – Peas – What I suggest is to start with growing peas indoors.  You can grow them with minimal light requirements and even on your kitchen counter.  They tolerate a wide range of temperatures, so your normal indoor temperature will be fine.   They are fun to watch grow as they grow fast and they reach for the light.  You can also put a stick in the soil and they will climb the stick while trying to get closer to the light.   Peas are also one of the plants that will improve your soil by pulling atmospheric nitrogen and carbon from the air and placing it in the soil through it’s roots.  Peas and other legumes are also one of the best sources of protein in the plant family!

2 – Sunflowers – Sunflowers are a fun flower to grow and will benefit your entire garden.  They grow easily and can be grown indoors or out.  They are best grown outdoors and will look directly at the sun, so think about that as you plan your garden.   Sunflowers also do something pretty cool for your soil.  They pull toxins out of soil to ensure it’s safe to grow in!  Once your season is over your sunflower will die, but don’t chop it down yet as you’ll get to watch it convert it’s flower into a huge head of seeds that you can use for next season!  One sunflower seed can turn into hundreds of new seeds!   You can roast some of the extra seeds for your own Spitz or you can share with friends to inspire them to grow!

3 – Parsley – Now it’s time to move onto a herb and parsley is my choice here.  It’s a crop that is delicious to eat and brings lots of health benefits.   It’s easy to grow from seed and can be grown between crops to keep weeds from coming up.  Parsley, like many herbs, also has the ability to attract beneficial insects and deter not beneficial insects.  Beneficial insects will act as your body guards by killing the insects that feed on your plant.



Having a brown thumb doesn’t need to be seen as a negative thing.  When you think of it in a way that focuses on the soil, that brown thumb will quickly become green and you’ll be an expert grower in no time!  Just stick with it.  Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding experiences you can have.  It benefits your health and the planets health.

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