Gardening can be fun but also intimidating if you’re just starting out. Here are a few things to think about.
It’s a time commitment. Gardening can be time consuming planting, weeding, watering, pest control, and harvesting. Thats a lot so start small. You will grow more and produce more each year but start small. It will be cheaper to start and you can hone your skills with a few plants before adding more. This is especially helpful if you’re new to gardening. You can figure out what you can handle and what works for you.
Know your climate zone. You can look this up in a gardening book or in google. This way you can find the right plants for your area, best time to plant, and harvest. Certain plants will grow better in certain areas. I live somewhere where squash goes crazy.
Find the right space. Gardens need sun so pick somewhere in your yard that will have about 8-10 hours of sun a day. It also needs to be large enough to hold all of your plants. If you don’t have a space like you may want to try container gardening you can move the planters toward sun and its great for space saving. Raised beds are another option. The require less weeding, have better drainage, and you will have a healthier growth. If raised beds interest you cedar is rot resistant so your beds will last a while. Raised beds can be expensive so make sure this is something you want to do. I have also used containers and I usually end up using a mix of both. The most important thing to keep in mind is make your garden as accessible to yourself as possible. This way watering, weeding, and harvesting will be easier.
What to plant? When choosing what to plant keep in mind that some will produce through the season like tomatoes, peppers and squash. While others will produce once and be done like carrots, lettuce, and onions. Lettuce, snap peas, beans, radishes, summer squash and herbs are pretty easy to grow so if you’re just starting out they are good. Plant what you eat most often that way your garden is useful and not wasteful.
I have learned quite a few things in my 7 years of veggie gardening mostly by trial and error. Starting seeds myself did not work for me so I buy starts its the only way I am successful. You can find organic starts at a lot of garden centers now. In my raised bed I plant lettuce, tomatoes, kale, zucchini, walla walla onions, swiss chard, spinach, and string beans. In containers I plant herbs, snap peas, jalapeños, blueberries, and strawberries.
Each year I try to grow something new sometimes it works other times it doesn’t. Tomatoes need to be staked or caged. I learned about two years ago how to stake my tomatoes in a way that works for me. Its called the Florida Weave. You set stakes at each plant and take twine and weave it in a criss cross pattern through the plants. You add twine when the plants grow to keep them trained. I grow my herbs in pots because they are easily accessible and usually last longer then the veggies. I am able to control the elements they are exposed to more and get to use fresh herbs longer.
Gardening is fun for the whole family! Start small and you will be successful!