What does a garden coach do and how can they help you reach your gardening goals? This is a question some people ask when they find out that I am a Certified Gardenary Garden Coach. My simple answer is that I help people with their gardens. The truth is that is a very watered down answer of what I really do as a garden coach. There is so much more, on many levels. Today I thought I would share some of what I do as a garden coach to help you thrive in your gardening journey.
- Choosing the Right Placement for Your Garden – If you do not have a garden already established or plan on making an addition to an existing garden, a garden coach can help you determine the right location. Garden coaches have been trained to look for the best spot for a kitchen garden based on sunlight, existing structures, proximity to your house and water source, etc. We are able to go into a space and select an area that will give you the most success with growing some of your own food, flowers and herbs.
- Help Create a Seasonal Planting Plan – A big part of having success in the garden is knowing when to grow each plant. Each plant thrives in certain conditions and temperatures, an example is cilantro, it actually likes cooler temperatures and will bolt or go to seed in warm temperatures. Knowing what each plant likes and choosing the correct season to grow them in helps to ensure successful harvests and thriving plants. A garden coach can either create a personalized planting plan for you based on the season after a brief consultation with you about what you want to grow or they can teach you how to create your own planting plans, utilizing the Arc of Seasons, plant families and selecting plants that work for your wants.
- Teach You How To Start & Save Seeds With Optimal Timing – Starting your own seeds opens up a whole new world of textures, flavors and colors for your fruits and vegetables! At most nurseries you will find common and standard seedlings/starts for your garden, but when you sow seeds you have the option to order from some pretty amazing seed sellers. There are more varieties of seeds available than most people could ever grow. This is a bonus because it allows you to find varieties you and your family really love. (I always say grow what you love.) Learning how to save seeds brings you that much closer to food sovereignty and self sufficiency. Saving seeds helps ensure that you will have something to grow if something suddenly isn’t available. This can happen when seed farms lose crops due to some natural disaster or other issue. A certain mustard green was unavailable for 4 years because of wildfires. It was brought back to market because gardeners had saved seeds and helped share seeds with the seed farms.
- Teach You How to Plant Intensively – A garden coach can teach you how to maximize your growing space by showing you how to plant intensively. By utilizing intensive planting, you will be able to pack in more plants for more harvests in the space you have. As a garden coach, I share my personal experience and training with intensive planting, sharing key tips and tricks to get the most out of your garden. Over the years I have had a small garden space and learned how to make the most of it with intensive planting.
- Show You How to Tend the Garden – Whether you plant intensively, the way I do and teach, or you plant another way, your garden will need tending. Tending your garden by pruning, taking care of any diseases or pest issues, feeding the soil, watering, protecting from harsh weather, dealing with weeds, etc. helps your garden and plants stay vibrant and thriving. Tending the garden regularly helps you see any issues before they become too much to handle. It is also one of the best ways to really connect with your garden.
- Teach You Best Harvesting Practices – Once you have set up your garden, created a planting plan, grown and tended to your plants, you will want to harvest all the delicious goodness you have grown. Knowing when and how to best harvest what you have grown will make your food that much better! The same goes for any herbs or flowers that you are growing. A garden coach can share from their experience tips, tricks and hints for the best harvest.
- Bonuses (I Teach Beyond Garden Coaching) – Not only am I a Garden Coach, but a Holistic Nutritionist, Culinary Nutrition Expert, and Culinary Instructor, I also offer private and public cooking classes. I offer my garden coaching clients the option to book cooking classes, teaching them simple and delicious ways to prepare their fresh garden harvests to create wonderful meals. I also can teach them different ways to preserve the harvest through fermenting, dehydrating, freezing, etc. (I also can teach you how to make plant medicine.)
A garden coach can teach you so much more than what I have listed here. It is through working with one personally that you can pick up on the nuances of growing food, flowers and herbs in your kitchen garden that is beyond the scope of a single blog post. You might be surprised by what can transpire in a coaching session as you talk, learn from each other and connect to the garden. Developing a relationship with a garden coach by working with them through the seasons can help you bypass some growing pains of beginner gardeners. If you are interested in working with me as your garden coach, you can find details here: Garden Coaching