Get into gardening... it will grow on you

GARDENING. It's either something you love, or something you just can't stand.

And it's pretty easy to see which side of the fence people sit. It takes a second to look at their homes and you can tell.

I grew up with a father who was an amazing gardener. He had a big lot, and the back yard was virtually all garden.

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We didn't buy any vegies - Dad grew them all and he tended the garden with tender loving care.

I can recall as a little tacker working alongside Dad in his garden and I certainly learned a lot.

He was the most patient, understanding person I know, and I'm sure I tested that patience often with all my questions.

For example, Dad would be planting a row of carrot seeds.

He would have created the trench for the seeds, and then he lined the trench with salt.

"What's the salt for, Dad?" I'd ask.

"Because it keeps the ground moist and that helps the seeds to germinate."

Then he'd sprinkle in the carrot seeds. But that wasn't that. He'd come back along the row, grab some radish seeds and they'd go in the same trench.

"Why do you put them in together?"

"Because the radishes will be ready long before the carrots, and they'll help to keep the soil loose and let the carrots grow."

To which I'd sort of shake my head in wonder.

He was right, or course. The radishes took just a few days to germinate and they were ready for picking in a few short weeks.

Then the carrots would come along and we'd have a wonderful crop, mainly because of Dad's green fingers.

Why not try gardening yourself?

Pick up a copy of The Observer each day from your favourite newsagent after September 13 and you'll get a free packet of seeds each day for two weeks.

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