The Snarky Gardener's award winning zucchini in 2014
The Snarky Gardener’s award winning zucchini in 2014

Read all about the Snarky Gardener!

He started out knowing next to nothing about gardening.

A decade ago, I became an accidental gardener. Returning to my native Ohio after a 5 year stint in Florida (3 hurricanes in 4 months was just too much for me), I was living in a rural duplex.  My landlord came by one day to ask if I wanted a garden as he was already out tilling for other tenants. “Uh, sure, I guess” was my answer. Not exactly a strong commitment, but figured “What the heck. It’ll give me something to do.” The only garden experience I really had was the mental images of my parents tending our garden with us children mostly on weeding and poop spreading patrol. 

His first garden was fine (for a while).

With faded childhood memories, I began in earnest planting the newly prepared soil after a few trips to my local garden shops. Purchasing seeds and starts of familiar vegetables (tomatoes, peppers, onions, peas, beans, squash, pumpkins, broccoli, and even turnips), my garden filled out in no time. After that is when the “fun” began.

Then reality set in.

The five hundred square foot of reclaimed goldenrod and black raspberry clay-dominated land soon started fighting back. Weeds popped up, soil dried out, some plants grew poorly. All the weeding chores of my youth came back to bite me (literally as brambles and thistles are very very pokey). I had to add fencing to keep out my new found friends (those cold blooded, pea-eating, predatory bunnies), which of course they found ways of getting around as hungry herbivores are bound to do. My first garden was a lot of work, but it also give me the great feeling of accomplishment. Some veggies grew easily (yeah green beans), so at least I had something to show for my efforts besides a sore back, scratches, and less money.

He’s been where you are now.

I’ve spun this story of woe not to get sympathy (though that would be nice), but to show you that I’ve been where you are going. With all the conflicting information out there on the Interwebs and what not, growing your own vegetables may seem daunting. I’ve learned a LOT over the last ten plus years. With my advice, your first (or next) time out in the garden will be successful while cutting down on the mistakes many gardeners make. 

Here are some of our most popular and useful posts:

Top Ten Best Vegetable Crops to Plant in Northeastern Ohio
How to Succeed with Your First Garden
Shade Gardening in Northeastern Ohio
Building Raised Beds Using Hugelkultur
Permaculture Awkwardly Explained
Permaculture While Renting
Growing Potatoes with Leaf Mulch
How To Avoid Weeds in Your Garden
Northeastern Ohio Edible Garden Weeds

The Snarky Gardener using Big Blue, his favorite broadfork
The Snarky Gardener using his favorite broadfork Big Blue

Don Abbott (aka The Snarky Gardener) is a gardener, blogger, author, educator, speaker, reluctant activist, and permaculture practitioner from Kent Ohio. Professionally he’s a software developer but spends his spare time producing food at Snarky Acres, his rented .91 acre urban farm. Don’s blog – thesnarkygardener.com – assists others with growing food in Northeastern Ohio and beyond. He is a regular contributor for aroundKent Magazine, a local, regional magazine highlighting the greatness of Kent, Ohio and the surrounding area. Don is the author of “The Snarky Gardener’s Veggie Growing Guide: Create Organic Abundance By Embracing Your Garden’s Wild Side“. He is the founder of the Kent Ohio chapter of Food Not Lawns. In 2015, Don received his Permaculture Design Certification from Cleveland Ohio based Green Triangle.

Please like him on Facebook as he likes to be liked. https://www.facebook.com/thesnarkygardener/

Please contact the Snarky Gardener at thesnarkygardener@gmail.com

The Snarky Gardener learning to prune apple trees.
The Snarky Gardener learning to prune apple trees.


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