Welcome to Gardening for Chumps: A site for chumps, by chumps. There is a reason why this site’s not called “GardenPro” or “XtremeGarden” or the like. This is my first stab at growing my own vegetable garden and I am learning it all as I go.

My name is Sauly. I am 28. Being outside, being productive and growing things all bring me great joy. It is my dream to someday run a self-sufficient homestead, but I grew up in suburbia so I lack the necessary skills (instead, I know city things like where to park illegally without getting a ticket). I figure I should start by learning to garden vegetables, because I won’t get far feeding myself if I can’t even grow a carrot.

I live in Peterborough, Ontario- but I didn’t used to. Until very recently, I lived downtown Toronto and my gardening efforts were limited to an 8’x8’ cement box in an alleyway. And, let me tell you, I crammed  every inch of green life I could into that little concrete slab.

The Vortex of Awesome

But I flew too close to the sun. Soon, it became the block’s coolest raccoon hangout and they trashed the place every night like they were extras in a Beastie Boys music video. Dicks!


But on June 1, 2012 I get to move into my very own new rental property in a small town with a real-life backyard. Sayonara, Dicks!

It’s a big, blank slate. And I have some big plans. Here is where I’ll be documenting the whole entire mess from seed, to plant, to plate, and back to seed again. I want this site to be a record of what happened so I remember when I try to do it all again next year. I also want to show other novices like me that it’s possible to enjoy gardening even if you need to figure it out on your own.

Thanks for reading,
PS- Please don’t tell the raccoons we’re coming

8 thoughts on “About

  1. That is an awesome spot you made in the alleyway! Looks like you won’t have a hard time growing veggies! We don’t live too far from you…let me give you a heads up…the racoons know you are there and they are just waiting for your garden! I swear my husband would shoot them if he could. They ruined everything they could on us last year. No open gardens this year. Poor pants look like they are in prison now!
    Looking forward to your posts!

    • Raccoons. How can something so cute-faced be so evil?! Thanks for the heads up- any advice on prevention tactics? I get my new property on June 1 and will be preparing the beds in the next couple of weeks, so I might as well start right from the very beginning. Thanks so much for the feedback!

  2. Hi Saul,
    cool site! I grew up gardening and my mom comes from a farming family so I have a few tricks against racoons. The most efficient one being the weirdest (and kind of gross); go to a local hunting-fishing shop and ask for coyote urine (not sure what hunters do with it…) . It’s super concentrated. You (using gloves!) take small pieces of cotton cloth (2×2 inches) and pour some of the coyote peepee on and attach the pieces of fabric around your yard, on a stick or something. You will not be able to smell it, don’t worry! It works against racoons and groundhogs. That’s what most small farmers use in Quebec and it works very well, plus it’s all natural 🙂

    • Julie, you are a genius! Thank you so much. I never thought I could get so excited about coyote pee. I will keep you posted on how it works 🙂

  3. Hi Sauly, thanks for stopping by and following my blog today. 🙂 You’re cute, and funny, and I love what I’ve seen of your blog so far! I have to follow you too so I can see where these new gardening adventures take you. How wonderful for you to have your new little place to be able to grow things, I wish you the very best luck with it all!

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I maybe be less “cute and funny” when I turn into a little ball of rage when creatures start chewing on all the things I’ve grown, haha. How did your home-made anti-bug spray work out? I might need to try it soon myself!

      • Well, I’m not exactly sure, but I have a feeling not so good. We’ve had a tons of rain so I don’t know if that has made a difference, but today when I went out and checked on the condition of things I found sadness… more of my stuff is chewed up. 😦 I’m in the process of going through all of the pictures I took of it this evening and then will probably be writing about it later. I’m feeling a bit like a “ball of rage” here myself. I fricken hate bugs! Grrr!

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