There is a great wealth of knowledge within the homesteading community. Often I’ll see something on someone’s blog or a pinterest picture or even a YouTube video, and say, “What a great idea. I’m doing that.” Unfortunately, I often find that the disclaimer “results not always as shown” should be listed in many of these areas. So here’s some of the things I’ve found that are the do’s, the don’ts and the duh’s I’ve discovered along the way.
Do: plant your seeds indoors to give them a head start to get out in the garden.
Don’t: spend weeks coddling your precious seedlings only to expect them to thrive the first day out in the real world.
Duh–plants can’t put on coats if it gets chilly or stick on a hat because the shady spot you placed them in is now in full sun.
Do: try new things like planting seeds in mini-greenhouse milk jug containers and sticking them outside to acclimate naturally.
Don’t: think that the moisture you used to plant the seeds is going to be enough if you leave off the cap top (per the pictures) and you live in the high desert.
Duh–milk jugs are light. When there is wind, you will have milk jugs all over the yard. Either put rocks in the bottom of the jugs or secure them to the table or place where you have them.
Do: plant items where they grow best. Roots and shoots need full sun.
Don’t: use the seed package recommendations for full sun. Look to your environment, your altitude, and your weather patterns. Full sun is going to mean two different things in Colorado Springs, Colorado with an elevation of 6035 and no humidity versus San Antonio, Texas with an elevation of 650′ above sea level and high humidity. Six to eight hours of full sun in either of these places may destroy your plants.
Duh–look to nature to ensure that your plants do well. Using permaculture principles, create food guilds that provide the right amount of sun and shade.
If you “do” anything in homesteading, you will find the don’ts and duh’s come with the territory. It’s great to see all the shiny successes but more often than not, it’s the don’ts and the duh’s that help all of us to learn.