Gardening For Beginners

by in Uncategorized, May 26, 2013

Looking to save money, eat clean, and do something good for the environment? You can do it all by just getting your hands dirty – and it all starts in your own backyard.

Getting Started
It’s easy to get intimidated if you’re a gardening neophyte, but there’s really nothing to fear. Scout out a sunny spot in the yard and make sure there’s a water source in the vicinity.

Visit your local garden center for pots, potting mix, seeds or starter plants, and a few pots, plus a shovel and watering can.

It’s time to plant once you know there’s no longer a risk of overnight frost. In the northeast where I live, that’s around mid-May.

Deciding What to Plant
It’s pretty simple – grow what you like to eat! Herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce are always a good place to start. Summer squash, broccoli and melon are also fairly low-maintenance. Chili peppers and eggplant are also a couple of my personal faves; they grow well in the ground or in large pots placed on the lawn or patio.

Once you’ve decided what to grow, think about placement. Larger plants like tomatoes and broccoli will grow tall, blocking light from lower lying vegetation so allow shorter plants lots of sunny access around the edges of garden beds. Go online and view images of what full grown plants look like, it will help you decide what you have room for.

Care and Maintenance
Water and sunlight are really all a garden needs. Avoid over-grooming plants by simply pinching away any dead leaves. As plants grow larger, use string or tomato cages to give the plants support and something to hold on to.

Once fruits and veggies start to appear, check and pick ripe produce daily to prevent plants from getting weighed down (and critters from munching). If you live near a wooded area, a simple chicken wire fence may also help keep local animals from stealing your harvest.

Tell Us: What are you planting this year?

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Comments (16)

  1. While not all herbs are good to grow inside or in pots because of their size, there are perfect herbs you can harvest year around from your garden in the kitchen window. You’ll probably find quite a few herbs you use frequently on the list of plants you can grow in a container.

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  4. Candace says:

    It's my first year trying to grow the majority of what we eat, so we can save money later this summer. I'm growing (sorry, it's a long list) five varieties of tomatoes, multi-colored carrots, two varieties of eggplant, green okra, four varieties of onions, ginger, garlic, dill, thyme, oregano, basil, cilantro, parsley, echinachea, green beans, zipper peas, beets, arugula, kale, mustard greens, spinach, broccoli, brussel sprouts, purple cabbage, cauliflower, summer squash, zucchini, cucumbers, strawberries, two varieties of blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries! I probably missed something. Sort of rambly to list it all, but I'm proud!

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