Research! If I have learned anything in my 5+ years of gardening, it’s how important researching is to gardening. It is a science! I have a completely new-found respect for farmers, especially those who choose the pesticide and hormone free paths. Research will let you know what plants are best for your area, how much sun, which plants do well next to which plants, what pests your plants are likely to attract, which plants do better in pots vs. in ground, and so much more.
Plan! Plants to so much better when you pair them with others that help them succeed. Tomato and basil do great together because the fragrant basil helps repel pests. Sage helps repel pests from kale.
Set aside time! Plants need lots of care! Especially if you do not use pesticides, you’ll need to devote time to check your plants for pests, trim extra foliage, water, fertilize, etc.
Don’t be afraid to experiment! Gardening has very much been a science experiment for me. Lots of research, trial and error and some success. Every summer I’ve tried to add more plants to my mix, with some successes and some sad failures (damn those cucumber beetles and squash vine borers).
Enjoy! I am already feeling the sadness of fall arriving because my options of fresh veggies won’t be as abundant. That said, I have been so lucky to enjoy lots of bountiful and delicious fruits and veggies this summer; I definitely savored every bite!