Learning Styles in the Garden
Do you want to start gardening, but have felt so discouraged from trying in the past & feeling like a failure that the thought of a garden now makes you feel unsure of yourself? Regardless of the past, you have what it takes to bring garden success by using your unique learning styles to reach garden success.
You are not alone. I have been there. Many feel the same way you do.
And discovering what makes it easy to learn will help you connect more with the garden.
Painful Failure in the Garden
Failure brings feelings of pain and none of us want to feel pain. Right? Even thinking about attempting a garden may bring a sense of failure in many areas of life.
Significantly, how do you go back to past failures in gardening & give your heart & soul a chance to start again? To give your heart permission to fail & know that with the right set-up & timing of plants, this gardening thing can bring success. In any event, understanding your learning styles can help bring success to the garden.
What roadblocks need to be kicked down to bring success in the garden?
Overall, working through roadblocks of what stopped you in the past is crucial to seeing yourself as a gardener with success & failures for the future. Past hardships or successes don’t define who you really are. In the garden space is a place to let yourself love yourself no matter the outcomes.
Your WHY for having a successful garden is Important!
What is your WHY for wanting to garden? Let’s explore defining your why.
Did you have a mother or grandmother who gardened & those memories bring you joy now?
Alongside this, do you want to learn gardening as a new skill for your own health, the health of your family?
All in all, do you want to pass on this skill to your children? Can you imagine your kids’ children gardening with you?
At this point, how can you make this new skill happen?
Learning a New Skill
As an illustration, imagine talking to a 5-year-old who is learning how to boil water & make her own mac n' cheese from a box. She starts to heat up the water on the stove & puts a spoon to stir the noodles but spills half the water out all over the stove. It's a new skill & she doesn’t realize how strong she is & needs to learn how to control her hand movement better. Do you yell at her? Or put her down for spilling?
NO, you help her clean up the mess. Showing her how to add more water into the pot carefully and then helping by showing her how to stir the noodles safely and with the right amount of pressure. Confidence & learning happen in a positive way.
Be Compassionate on YOURSELF
In the same way, it happens to you too. With negative experiences from gardening in the past, be kind to yourself. Be compassionate. Don’t yell at yourself for not knowing how to do something the first, second, or even third time around. Give yourself space to learn, to make mistakes, and then to grow your heart & your garden. Just like you would with a child. You deserve the same respect & love.
How have experiences in the garden stopped you from trying or achieving mastery in this area? Let’s break down a few things that may help you work through obstacles from the past, so that you can find success in being a gardener for the future.
“Gaining a new skill is an investment and you need to know upfront what the return will be.” How to Master a New Skill (hbr.org)
First Experiences Can Mark Us,
but NOT Define US
Earlier in life, my first experience with trying to create a backyard-raised-bed garden was devasting. My husband built 2 beds in our tiny Los Angeles backyard. We ordered dirt that was supposed to be specifically used for a vegetable garden. I bought plants from the local nursery & proceeded to plant our first summer season of vegetables. I had no experience. I had no friends who were interested in gardening. I didn’t have websites or courses to follow many years ago. I just went out and started planting.
Within a few months, all the green on the leaves of each summer plant turned yellow. And the worst part of all, no tomatoes came, no cucumbers, no squash. NADA! I felt like a total FAILURE! All the work for nothing. I was ready to quit.
Finding MY WHY
Consequently, we called the dirt company, and they explained the dirt we received had not had nitrogen added in the mix. I had NO idea the needs of the plants from the soil. The owner came, added nitrogen to the beds. By fall, I decided to throw some kale, chard, snow pea seeds in the garden to see what would happen.
I stopped the watering with the cooler weather and then I just watched things grow. I mean really grow. The kale was like mini trees. The snow peas were plentiful. My kids couldn’t wait to pluck a snow pea and eat fresh from the vine. I started going out to the garden each morning to pray & write in my journal.
The beauty of growing things stole my heart that season & I knew that this new skill had to be grown. I found my many reasons of WHY I wanted to garden.
Finding the WHY for Gardening &
Success Amidst Failure
So, let’s explore the next step of making gardening a daily reality for you.
Firstly, how do you learn best?
“Learning styles have had a huge impact on education in general.”
Specifically, there are four main kinds of learning styles. And honestly, everyone needs a bit of each of these to learn. It’s really about your preferences & how you enjoy learning the most. Which types of learner are YOU?
Types of Learners
This learner understands the content best when she can see the information in a visual representation. Using visuals helps to remember the information. Our brains are set up to remember visually. Many times, I make my planting guides for each season in a different color to help me visually remember what plants go in each season & when. Placing the colors on a year-long chart also helps me remember the rhythm of planting.
Learning in this way is done by listening to the information & being able to talk & process about what she learned. Consequently, going through online courses, podcasts, & talking with friends who garden helps me to process out problems in the garden or ideas to help improve the garden. This type of learning can be essential in improving the skill set of a beginner & advanced gardener.
Kinesthetic or hands-on learner
These learners do best by doing and moving. Learning happens most effectively when the information is then seen in real-life experiences. Evidently, getting into the garden & moving plants, soil, harvesting, pruning & watering daily helps me to connect to my need to move & learn.
Reading & Writing learner
Some people thrive on reading the information & then can learn a new skill by this one modality. But I place the reading learner as one who then also needs to have hands-on practice, enjoys listening about the new gardening skill, & wants to hear others’ experiences. With gardening, there are new things to discover or try. I read all that I can on that part of gardening & then go and try it. I use reading as a problem-solution strategy with my garden. Another tool to help make gardening a success.
Let’s review how to make the garden habit a reality for YOU!
Figure out your WHY to wanting to garden. Write it down. This will be something you can come back to when you feel discouraged. This will give you a reason for what you are doing.
Learn to be compassionate in your heart for past failures.
Loving yourself doesn't mean perfection. It means appreciating what you are learning & loving yourself in the process.
Explore how you learn best & use that knowledge to grow your skill. It's an asset to know yourself & your learning styles.
Create a reasonable plan for success.
Making a reasonable plan builds you for success!
For this reason, at Create My Garden, you will find resources that help you to make this dream of gardening a reality!
If you live in the Sacramento- El Dorado Regions (excluding Tahoe) check out our raised garden bed kits to provide all that you need to start a garden.
Create My Garden, specializes in consultations in new garden installs & renewing gardens that have seen better days. Check out these two options that can be done in-person or on zoom. Sign up on the website.
There is also a 10-week online class being offered. Sign up on the waitlist to be notified or to sign up for the class called Simple Gardening Methods with Kids. Or sign up below in the link. 🙂
In conclusion, resources to support you with your kitchen garden each month in your inbox. Sign up to receive weekly support, tips, & freebies. A habit tracker for the garden is available through emails that you sign up for that come to your inbox each month. Sign up with your email below to receive the Growing Herb Guide for free.
This will allow you to Grow Herbs Easily & with a simple plan to follow
And finally, more resources with online courses will be coming your way, so be on the lookout for blog posts, Instagram, and email announcements to resources that will help you grow, maintain, harvest, & be successful in your kitchen garden.
In any event, our goal is to make your raised-bed garden a simple system that you grow season by season. We are here to step each season of the way with you.