How to find a garden mentor

Connecting with other gardeners is an essential factor in success when starting a garden. Experienced gardeners are often happy to help out and can point you in the right direction by answering your gardening questions! Even an experienced garden mentor will have lots of their own questions to investigate, so don’t be shy about asking for advice.

How to find an outstanding garden mentor | home for the harvest

The importance of finding a local garden mentor

Gardeners in your local area are incredibly valuable resources. They have experience growing plants in your climate and can point you towards types that will do well where you live. Recommendations from an experienced local garden mentor will save you both money and labor, as you’re less likely to choose plants that won’t survive in your climate.

General gardening books and websites can’t provide the level of climate-specific detail that a local gardener can provide. Local gardeners can also recommend reputable seed companies and plant nurseries in your area. If you don’t already have a local garden mentor yet, here are some places you can start your search:

Where to find a local garden mentor:

  • Neighbourhood/Community Garden
  • Master Gardeners Chapter
  • Organic Gardening Community Group on Facebook
  • Gardening Club
  • Permaculture Club
  • Botanical Garden or Arboretum
  • University Horticulture Department
  • State Extension Office (USA)
  • Experienced Gardeners and Growers
    • Local Organic Farmers & CSA Market Gardeners
    • Vendors at the Farmers Market
    • Family Friends
    • Neighbours
    • Employees at Reputable Independent Garden Centres, Nurseries, & Floral Shops
How to find an outstanding garden mentor | home for the harvest
Community gardens are a great place to connect with local gardeners

When discussing your plans with potential gardening mentors, be sure to specify your vision. Tell them your goal for your garden. Also, let them know that you’d like to garden organically rather than using chemicals on your plants.

How to find an outstanding garden mentor | home for the harvest
Gardening clubs and agricultural organizations host annual events for local gardeners

When you do find a great local gardening mentor, be sure to thank them for helping you get started. Get their contact information so you can ask future follow-up questions throughout the season. Most gardeners are very willing to help you if you ask!

How to find an outstanding garden mentor | home for the harvest
Our willow tree & chairs, by lightwell photo (www. Lightwellphotography. Com)

Connecting with garden mentors online

Outside of your local area, the easiest place to connect with other gardeners is online. This is especially true if you don’t know any other gardeners yet and are not part of a club such as a town garden club or a community garden. There are lots of groups on Facebook and forums around the web (like Quora) where you can ask questions!

How to find an outstanding garden mentor | home for the harvest
I love visiting local organic farms to learn from the best organic farmers!

Another great place to find inspiration is on Instagram. It’s a great platform for finding new plants to grow. Whenever I see something inspiring on Instagram, I’ll comment on the photo with questions about how to grow the plant.

Other gardeners on Instagram are usually very helpful, especially when you’re trying to grow a specific plant for the first time. If you have questions about growing a plant, why not check out the hashtag for the name of the plant and see what’s out there!?

Free garden planner printable - includes crop selection, garden layout mapping, and making a planting schedule | home for the harvest

Using a garden planner to stay organized

Once you’ve found your garden mentor or mentors, record their contact information in your Garden Planner. Keeping their contact details on hand will allow you to ask a quick question when the need arises. You’ll likely have questions for your mentor throughout the season…from the planning process, to planting, to harvesting, and then preserving.

Keeping all your garden info in one place will save you a great deal of time! If you don’t already have your free copy of my free planner, get your free copy here.

Now that you’re on track with finding your gardening mentor, it’s time to move on to the next section of the Garden Planner….discovering your growing zone!

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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