Ah, to this day I still remember my first gardening experience. It was<br />such a disaster that I didnt think I would ever want to garden again. I<br />almost decided to turn my casual hobby into the most rage-inducing topic<br />you could possibly bring up to me.<br /><br />It all started a few weeks after I moved in to my first house. I was<br />excited just to have my own grass to mow, since I had been in apartments<br />and condos for quite a while. In between plans to paint walls and renovate<br />the inside to exactly how I like, I thought it would be a good idea to<br />start a fruit garden so that I could have some fresh produce and put my<br />yard to use. At that point I didnt really know anything at all about<br />gardening. But still in my spunky youthful years, I decided I didnt need<br />help. How hard could it be to start a garden and grow stuff? After all, it<br />happens in nature all the time and nobody even has to do anything.<br /><br />I already had a grassless patch in my yard where it looked like the<br />previous owner had attempted a garden. But any attempt they had made<br />turned out to be an utter travesty. The area was full of rocks and weeds,<br />with no signs of any agreeable plants. I spent several hours of work<br />spread over several days to clear out the entire area, leaving nothing but<br />dirt. At that point, however, I didnt realize the difference between<br />dirt and soil. I was dealing with barren, hard, nutritionless, and<br />unforgiving land.<br /><br />I made some attempt at making my garden look nice; although I think even<br />Martha Stewart would have had difficulties. I took some stained boards<br />that were sitting in my basement (quite convenient, no?) and used them as<br />a border for my garden, to keep out all the pests that couldnt jump more<br />than a foot (I figured I would be safe from lawn gnomes). I used the pile<br />of rocks I had collected from the garden to make a creepy shrine looking<br />thing in front of it. I dont know what I was thinking when I did that.<br /><br />I went to the store that very day, and picked out whatever looked tasty.<br />Strawberries? Sure! Watermelon? Yeah! I hacked away a hole in the<br />rock-hard ground and poked the seed in. After that, I think I watered it<br />faithfully every day for several weeks before realizing that it was not<br />going to grow anything. But even after I had that realization, I continued<br />to water in hopes that my seeds would pull a last minute sprout on me. But<br />I knew there was no hope, and I was heartbroken. After all those hours of<br />pulling up weeds and tossing rocks into a pile, I had no fruit to show for<br />my labor.<br /><br />So, feeling dejected and betrayed, I logged onto the internet and searched<br />for a guide to gardening. I quickly ran across a site that led me to<br />realize the true skill required for gardening. It was then I learned about<br />soil consistency, nutrients, ideal watering conditions, seasons, and all<br />those things. After I read up on my area and how to grow fruits, I learned<br />exactly what to do. I learned how to get the ideal soil, when to plant the<br />seeds, how much to water, etc. Just a night of browsing the internet and<br />printing off sources, and I was totally ready for the next planting season.<br /><br />If youre in the position I was, and youre just itching to start a new<br />garden I urge you to learn from my mistake. Make sure you do plenty of<br />proper research on the types of plants youre trying to grow, along with<br />the climate. Spend money on good soil, good fertilizer, and good garden<br />tools. Hopefully you dont have to go through the emotional disaster that<br />I went through.