Friday, April 9, 2010
Visit with gardening author (and a give-away)
We have a visit today from Sheri Ann Richerson, one of the authors of The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Year-Round Gardening, as well as 101 Organic Gardening Tips, 101 Gardening For Beginners Tips, 101 Ways To Self-Sufficiency Through Your Garden Tips and 101 Tips For The Secret Life Of A Gardener.
Deborah: How did you get interested in gardening? Did you have a green thumb, or did you have to really work at it?
Sheri: My grandmother grew roses and various flowers. Both grandfathers raised vegetables. My parents also had a garden. I hated gardening because I hated the spiders that lived in the strawberry patch my mother made me weed!
When I got my own place, my mother kept bringing me flats of impatiens. I planted them simply to make her feel better. Then, about a year before she died, I discovered herbs. Not only were they useful, but they were so fragrant. I fell in love with candy mint!
From there I looked for fragrant, unusual plants to grow. I have grown cloves, nutmeg, chocolate (Theobroma cacao) and everything in between including impatiens which I have grown to enjoy in the shade garden!
I must have a green thumb because most of what I grow thrives.
Deborah: What are you doing right now in your garden or greenhouse?
Sheri: I'm planting early season crops outside, under cover - sugar snap peas, spinach, cabbage, potatoes, radish, etc. We are re-doing the greenhouse and considering adding ponds under the benches to grow catfish. I am working really hard this year to grow enough food to live on as well as add more crops to the winter garden so there is more fresh produce year-round.
Deborah: What inspired you to start writing about gardening?
Sheri: I was given a greenhouse as a gift. I was sent all kinds of seeds from all over the world through people I met online. I was writing about Harley-Davidson motorcycles when I saw a post for freelance writers on Suite101. I applied to be a writer for a topic called Tropicals and Exotics. I figured I might as well write about a topic I was researching anyway. I was accepted. The topic has been retired, but I am still a writer with them.
Deborah: What do you say to people who don't have a green thumb?
Sheri: Anyone can garden! Most people make one of two mistakes - they either over-water or under-water. Once they learn how to properly water, properly fertilize and give the plant the right amount of light, they will be amazed at what they can do!
Thanks for joining us today, Sheri!
If anyone has any questions for Sheri, just holler. She's agreed to check in a few times today to respond. And if you'd like a copy of Sheri's newest book, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Year-Round Gardening, just make a comment, and you'll be automatically entered. The deadline is midnight central time Sunday.