Over the past several weeks, we’ve been pulling in the harvest from the backyard vegetable garden. To satisfy my curiosity, I often compare with other fellow gardeners, looking to see how my harvest compares to theirs. Through those discussions, I’m able to learn what others have done, and apply some of the ideas that have proven success into my own plans.
Some of the lessons that I learned, if you choose to borrow them, could see you richly rewarded.
The first lesson that I learned, which undoubtedly resulted in my harvest being smaller than I would have liked, is to plant early.
I put off getting the seedlings into the ground for several weeks, never quite finding the time to dig out and build the garden plot. That procrastination cost me valuable time, time that I cannot find more of to let my seeds grow.
If you want an abundant harvest, get to planting early. The longer you tarry, the smaller your rewards will be. With your investments, much like gardening, requires time to grow. If you hesitate too long, you simply won’t have enough time to let those money trees dig deep roots.
Protect Your Plot
The next lesson is to protect your plot.
Checking out other people’s gardens can be an educational moment, but it certainly won’t help you with your own harvest if the weeds and the critters attack your garden while you’re out comparing with your neighbors. Nay, the time you spent coveting thy neighbors juicy tomatoes and crunchy peppers would be better spent ensuring your own garden is healthy and cared for.
This certainly impacted my garden this year. I didn’t spend enough time watering and tending to those young plants, and my harvest reflects that.
Spend the time caring for your garden. The investments you make, ensuring that there are no weeds leeching away precious nutrients will pay you back tenfold. And once you’ve got those weeds cleared, get out of the way. It’s hard for that little plant to grow with you standing over it, blocking the sunlight, watching it 24/7.
To improve your harvest, make sure your plants can grow. Cut out as much of the bad stuff, like investment management fees, that place a drain on your garden. But once you’ve done all you can, selecting the lowest possible investment fees, then get out of the way. Investments, like gardens, need some time and space to flourish beneath that glorious sun.
Harvest time. The final lesson. Take your harvest without complaint.
This is perhaps the most important lesson. While starting your garden early, and tending to it all summer are essential, when it’s time to pull the produce off the vine there’s naught else you can do to change the outcome.
The old adage says it all; you reap what you sow.
If you didn’t plant early enough. If you didn’t pull the weeds, water the soil, protect your harvest from all that would do it wrong (I’m looking at you, squirrels). If you could have done something differently, but you didn’t, then blame won’t help you now.
What-if’s and If-only’s sure don’t fill up the dinner plate.
Take what you can, from all that you made for yourself. And take it, if not with a smile, then at least without a frown. These are the fruits of your labour after all.
Fortunately, with gardening, you can always learn from your mistakes, and do something different next year. Financially, you won’t have that second chance luxury. That’s why it’s even more important to learn from those who travelled the roads before you - what strategies work, and what doesn’t.
Apply those lessons to your own journey, so that when it does come time for you to bring in your harvest, you’ll be walking in fields of plenty.