Posts Tagged ‘Gardeners’


(It’s time to start preparing for your summer garden. There are plenty of blogs and sites that tell you how to do this, but not many that provide information to nongardeners on making themselves welcome in their friends’ gardens. Hence this slightly revised repost from a couple of years ago.)

basil plants

If you know people who garden — and you don’t do it yourself — here are a few tips about making yourself welcome.

Don’t walk in vegetable beds unless they tell you it’s okay to do so. The soil in beds is usually (at least it should be) loose, which is good for the spread of vegetable roots and for water absorption. Walking on soil compacts it, which isn’t good for those roots or for absorption.

This should go without saying, but don’t pick anything unless they invite you to do so.

Don’t be pushy. If you can see they only have a small amount of something, don’t ask for it. If you do, they might give it to you, but they’ll probably resent doing so and quite possibly won’t invite you back.

It’s okay to ask if they have anything extra, but unless you can see they have a lot of what you want, don’t specifically ask for it.

If they invite you to help yourself, they’re probably assuming that you can do the gardening equivalent of walking while chewing gum. Well, unless you’re a gardener, you probably can’t. If you don’t ask for guidance you’ll quite possibly do something destructive that will induce face-palm time in your host. If you’ve never, for instance, harvested lettuce or other greens, ask how to do it.

Help out. Even small gardens require a lot of work, and gardeners appreciate those who lend a hand. They’ll appreciate even five minutes of weeding. (Unless you’re familiar with local weeds, ask what to pull and what to leave alone.)

Do all of these things, and your gardener friends will likely be generous with their produce and will very likely ask you back — especially if you help even a little.