Who is going to plant a garden this year? If you are new to gardening, we put together this simple post to help you know where to get started. There are a few basic things you need to know about how to start a garden. The way to be the most successful in your gardening attempts this year is to make a plan. When we were planning our vegetable garden this year, there five things we considered: time commitment, the zone, the space, type of garden and what to plant.
1. Your Time Commitment
Have you ever heard of the “fuss-free” garden? Yah, me neither. There is no such thing. To have a bountiful garden, regardless of its size, requires a time commitment. At least a little bit of time should be carved out of every day to tend to your garden.
If you are new to gardening, it is always best to start with a small garden. You may be surprised how much time it takes to tend to your garden. When considering how much time you’ll set aside for your garden think about these things: planting, weeding, watering/feeding, pest control, harvesting and re-planting (for select vegetables).
2. Know Your Zone
Before you get too far into how to start a garden, you really need to be aware of your climate zone. With this information you’ll be able to know which vegetables will do well in your area as the best time to plant and harvest them. You can head over to the USDA site here and input your zip code to find which climate zone you are in.
Do you have an idea where you will be gardening? Typically, vegetable gardens need full sun – like 8-10 hours of full sun. Make sure when you are carving out your garden space that you keep that in mind. If you are worried you don’t have a dedicated space in your yard that will get that much full sun, you may want to consider container gardening. That leads to our next thing to consider.
4. Type of Gardening
Depending on how much space you have, you need to consider which type of gardening you’d like to do. If you have only a small amount of space or a space that does not provide consistent full sun, you may want to consider container gardening. You can easily move around small containers to make sure they are receiving enough sunshine, plus this will help keep your beginning garden small. You can find a variety of pots at your local home and garden store or on Amazon.
If you have a good amount of space in your yard, you can decide between in ground gardening or raised beds. Raised beds do take more time to construct, but with raised beds, you will typically have less weeding, better drainage and a healthier garden. If you would like to try and build your own raised beds, you can check out the tutorial here. I also saw these “pop-up” raised beds on Amazon. I have never tried anything like this before, but they look pretty easy to use.
If you choose in-ground gardening, be prepared for more weeding and be careful not to walk all over the soil (you don’t want to compact the ground, thus inhibiting drainage).
5. What to Plant
It may seem backwards to you, but once you have figured out your time, zone, space and type of gardening, you can finally decide which types of vegetables you would like to try and grow. Keep in mind that some vegetables will produce throughout the season – tomatoes, peppers and squash are a few examples. Other vegetables only produce one time – carrots, onions and lettuce are other examples. If you are curious where to start, check out this vegetable guide. Mostly, plant vegetables that you and your family (and possibly friends and neighbors) will enjoy. You can pick up seed packets or seedlings at your local home and garden store. You can also find excellent varieties of seeds from Amazon. These Organic Heirloom seeds are very high quality.
Now Get Gardening!
Now that you have some basic information about how to start a garden, get planning! It can be overwhelming, but it can also be very rewarding! There is just something to be said about growing and enjoying your own food. Start planning your vegetable garden now. Come back and share your plans with us and then let us know how it is going throughout the season. We can’t wait to hear how it goes!