Gardening for Dummies (and I’m the Dummy!)

Gardening for Dummies--Funny Tips That Every New Gardener Should Know

As I spent an extremely hot morning trying to excavate my garden for the 2nd season planting, all I could think about was a silly list of things I want to remember for next year.  (I apologize in advance for my violent attitude toward garden pests.  Yes, many bugs were harmed in the making of this post.)


Rolly Polies everywhere!If you see any of these critters–don’t think–just squash them.  Immediately.  It doesn’t matter if they are your kid’s best friends.  There will be plenty left for them to play with.  I promise.  These bugs’ only goal is to eat your seedlings.  I know.  I’ve seen them.  Trust me.  They are not your garden’s friend!



Sweat dripping into your eyes stings.  A lot.  Get up early!  Even if you think you will do your gardening in the evening when it’s cool, you probably won’t, so just get up, get outside, and get it done!

Melons planted in the wrong placeIf you are planting vine fruit (melons, summer squash, etc), don’t plant them on the edge of your garden box.  They will constantly climb out of the box, and you will have to train them across your trellis–making a huge clump of vines at one corner.  (I’m not positive, but I don’t think anything inside the clump will get enough sun.) Next year, I will plant them in the center of the trellis.  (You’d think I would’ve been able to figure that out without doing it the wrong way first, but I did mention that I’m the Dummy, right?)


To learn how to make the trellis, check out this post.

Squash Bugs

Aren’t these bugs cute?  They travel in pairs and everything.  Wrong!  They are the enemy!  They travel in pairs in order to make millions more to devour your vine veggies and fruit.  There’s a reason they are called Squash Bugs–and it’s not because they live on squash plants.  It’s because they should be squashed!  Every one of them!  Beware, though.  They stink when you squash them!  (The baby ones–gray and tiny–don’t really stink, but be sure to squash the adults a few feet away from the garden, or you will smell them as you plant and dig.)


Black, dirt-filled nails

If you plan to add mulch to the garden and stir it in with your bare hands, cut your nails first!  Fingernails bending back as they rip through the dirt hurts!



Learned this one last year . . . unless you have a tall trellis, one or two vine plants will fill an entire 4×4 garden box . . . and the area surrounding it.  Use a trellis so that you can plant something else inside the box, too!

Green ThumbHaving a “green thumb doesn’t always mean that you are a natural gardener.  Sometimes having a green thumb . . . and green fingers . . . and green fingernails just means that you let the morning glory get out of hand, and you spent the entire morning ripping them out of the ground in a feeble attempt to find your garden boxes!!!



Morning GloryMorning glory may be pretty, but if your yard is basically dirt, it will cover every square inch and wrap itself around all of your garden plants if you don’t pull it out–every day!



If your garden boxes are surrounded by dirt, and you plan to plant a second harvest mid July, prepare your soil early, and plan some way to get to your garden once the July rain has turned the dirt to six inches of shoe-stealing mush!  If you can’t get to the garden, you can’t plant it.

The Incrdible Shrinking ShoesThese shoes that you thought would be perfect to slip on and off for gardening shrink a size or two (at least) when left in the sun.  (They are now the perfect size for my kids!)



Although getting soaked from working in the garden all day doesn’t feel as refreshing as getting soaked in a swimming pool, you still feel great afterward!

For all of you hard-core, experienced gardeners, I’m sure these facts seem kind of silly.  For this inexperienced gardener trying her best to garden in the desert . . . they seem silly, too!  I’m learning.

Check out some of my other gardening posts!

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  1. I actually plant my vining veggies to go outside the box – leaves more room for my other goodies. I’ve laid down straw on my garden paths so it works great for the zukes, etc.

    Popped in from Time Travel Thursday.

  2. Hi! Visiting from Happy Hour projects. I didnt know that rollie pollies were that bad for your plants! Ill have to make sure to get rid of them in the future. Great tips :)

    • I didn’t know either. I saw them in the garden and let them stay. Once my spinach started rapidly disappearing, I looked them up on the internet. Apparently they like to much on new shoots!

      • I am assuming rollie pollie’s are a bug that likes spinach is there a green product that you can use on them?

        • Probably, but I don’t really like putting much in the garden. They were a problem that one year, but they stayed away after that. It’s been a long time, but I think I used a white powder. It’s a natural product. It was a shell of something. I just can’t remember what! I moved and had to throw it away. Sorry I can’t remember!

  3. I have met many of these same pests this summer — made me laugh in recognition. (That’s sympathetic laughter, of course! )

  4. Thanks for the tips! I planted my first garden this year, just a small one, and I’m hoping to plant more next year. The info about the bugs is particularly helpful as something is eating my radish and lettuce leaves… I’ll keep an eye out for those bugs!

  5. This is a great post!! I love all the info! I didn’t know that rollie pollies were that bad for my garden! I will be smashing them A LOT more often!! I will be shareing this on my fb page. It’s so clever!

  6. NO!! Say it ain’t so! Rollie pollies are bad?? That saddens me.

    I do not think your facts are silly at all.

    • I know. Isn’t it sad? They don’t seem to bother the grass. They mostly just bother new shoots (bean plants, spinach, tomatoes, etc.–just when the plants are new). I try not to let my kids see me squash them!

  7. Thanks for the good tips.

  8. I thought your lessons were awesome. Very funny. ^_^

    One thing I learned recently (and it may seem silly to you) is that a green thumb can refer to the chemistry of the body of the gardener. If someone believes they have a black thumb and they literally kill everything they touch, they may, indeed, have a chemical issue! Such should try gardening in gloves to see if the problem is resolved. If not, they may just need to learn how to be consisten in watering and other plant care. :) I thought it was neat! :)

  9. Thanks for sharing these tips. While my mom was a great gardener, I’m a total gardening dummy, so I will now be pinning some of your blog posts. I found you from a pinch of joy’s linky party!

  10. Haha…I’m totally a “gardening dummy”. My family says I have a black thumb instead of a green one…lol. Thanks for sharing at Shine on Fridays!

  11. Great tips!! Thanks for linking up to Tasty Thursdays at The Mandatory Mooch. Hope you will link up again this week. The party will be live tonight.

    Thanks, Nichi

  12. Some of this made me laugh. Lots of great tips! Thank you for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends this week! I hope to see you again Tuesday! :)

  13. Thanks for the cute tips! I’m a newbie, and I sure could use all these. Funny ones a plus.
    p.s. I didn’t know Rollie Pollies were bad, I thought I saw someone post that they were good. Perhaps that is one reason why my potatoes never took off.

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