Garden guidance

Fatherly advice to garden like a pro

My dad puts his heart into his garden, and it shows.
My dad grows all the pumpkins used in his annual pumpkin carving party.

As long as I can remember, my dad spent all summer long tending to his garden. Even after a long day at work, he would spend the entire evening outside.

When he went away for work during the week, I was tasked with the responsibility of watering the garden at the wee hours of the morning. Most of the time I failed to get out of bed before sunrise to do this or I would forget that the water was on, but he someone managed to produce a beautiful garden.

Now that I’m out of my stubborn teen years and enjoy the simple things in life, I can only hope to have a garden as great as his one day.

When I asked my dad about giving gardening advice for the paper he said, “We can try.”

With a beverage in his hand and fresh out of the Arizona desert, finally on vacation, my dad shared everything he loves about gardening.

When asked what sparked his interest in gardening, he replied, “There’s nothing better than eating fresh produce.” Most of our meals were always accompanied with vegetables from his garden, and he’s right — there’s nothing better.

Gardening is easy… anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. It’s not that hard. It just takes patience and a lot of dedication.

-Roy Hofmann (My Dad)

We shared a laugh when I asked what he likes most about gardening. “Well, it ain’t picking weed,” he laughed. “I like starting stuff from seed and watching it mature.”

I should have known that his answer to his favorite thing to plant would be, “pumpkins” because he hosts an annual pumpkin carving party. Each year his goal is to grow bigger and bigger pumpkins.

Jokingly, he gave advice for first-time gardeners: “Buy it at the grocery store.” Then more seriously, “Be patient. Stuff will actually grow. Gardening is easy … anyone can do it if they put their mind to it. It’s not that hard. It just takes patience and a lot of dedication.”

It’s hard to believe, but my dad turned pro-gardener was once an amateur. The best advice he was given was to make sure that the soil has good nutrients and that it isn’t clumpy.

“What does your dream garden look like?” I asked him. After a bit of thought, he replied, “There isn’t such a thing. They’re always good gardens.”

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