How to start a vegetable garden for beginner?


Seeking advice how to start a vegetable garden for beginner? We recently moved into a new rancher and it's the first time I have a back yard. I'm so excited to get planting, but I need a little help and coaching from people with real experience. Can you please advise me how to start a vegetable garden?

q how to start a vegetable garden for beginner
  8 answers
  • 2dogal 2dogal on Dec 02, 2018

    It's thrilling to be able to plant a vegetable garden. Preparation is the most important part of successful gardening.

    First, watch the sun and shade in your yard. Vegetable gardens need a minimum 6 hours of full sun. Secondly, find out what growing zone you are in. That will assist you in determining what kind of vegetables to grow. Third, and most important, get a soil test done. That will tell you what additives you need and don't need for optimal plant growth. Go to your county Agricultural Extension Office. They have soil kits around $10.00 and are a wealth of information. Make friends with them and also any Master Gardeners. It will save you a lot of heartache later when something gets eaten by bugs. Most of all, have fun!

    • Pamela Pamela on Dec 03, 2018

      Thank you 2dogal. This is very helpful. Are there vegetables that are easier to grow and some that are more difficult to start with?

  • Ebbjdl Ebbjdl on Dec 02, 2018

    Your backyard is beautiful, someone at home talk will answer your question, this is something I know little about. Aloha!

  • Kauai Breeze Kauai Breeze on Dec 02, 2018

    Start small! Too much work at once takes the fun out of gardening. I like raised beds because it is easy to use the weed whacker around them to keep the grass in check. The frames are easy to make. Purchase 3 cedar fence planks at your local lumber store and 4 metal corner brackets that they use for framing. Since the planks are 6 ft long, cut one in half to give you 2 end pieces. Using the corner brackets, screw the wood together to form a 6' x 3' x 5 inch high frame. Place this frame in a spot that gets full sun. You can either dig out the sod inside the frame, or lay heavy cardboard in the bottom to kill the grass (it decomposes quickly) Now add at least 6 large bags of garden soil and 3 smaller bags of compost. Mix the soil well. It is ready to plant! Once your seeds are up and a few inches high, I like to mulch my vegetable bed with 3 inches of grass clippings to eliminate most of the weeds and keep the soil moist. The grass clippings also decompose and amend the soil.

    • See 2 previous
    • Elaine Elaine on Dec 03, 2018

      LOL, the first time I planted zucchini and squash, I used four plants each. I had read one for each family member. I always plant extra for the birds and the thieves. All I can say, it was a prolific year for them 😂

      I always try something different, different veggie, different way of planting, etc. if it’s a different way of planting, I may plant much closer, or farther apart, having seen the way the plant grows, by the recommended spacing.

  • Suzette Suzette on Dec 02, 2018

    Hi Pamela, Here's a good "beginers" link that may help:

    Good luck!

  • E s desanna E s desanna on Dec 02, 2018

    In addition to the info above, I may add that you can remove the sod without digging. With a spade, cut straight through the sod around the perimeter of your chosen spot. (The 6'x3' raised bed is a great starter.) Cut strips about 12" wide across the shorter length. Starting at one end, roll up each strip.

    I would also recommend Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew.

  • Elaine Elaine on Dec 02, 2018

    Besides all the great information here, I’d build beds and then line the inside with your preference of roofing paper. I’ve used regular old roofing felt and it’s still holding up. Folks can get mighty opinionated about what to use for raised beds. But if you chose to use wood, you must protect it from the damp or wet soil or it won’t last but a few growing seasons at best.

    If I had to start over again, and I do, I would use some type of block with a cap so I can sit down. But I’ve been in this yard a long time and know the sun. Morning sun is great, afternoon sun hotter, so you will need to keep that in mind

    When we can finally get the building finished and the yard re-graded, I’m going to build with cinder block, cap it off, finish inside and outside, and then use the Straw bale gardening by Joel Karsten method and some with the “hugelkulture”. There’s a lot of trees around us and Duke Power has been trimming or cutting trees down to clear their lines and IMHO, it’s a good way to get rotten wood off the property of which I have an abundance.

    Kitchen gardens are very useful when they are close to the kitchen. Most folks put them at the farthest area they can. I’m old, I need to have access to a bathroom.

    This is the best time of the year for planning. But go with less rather than more, especially at the beginning. There are many sites that have suggestions on how much to plant for each person. Remember that when the veggies start rolling in, you have to pick, clean, eat and either freeze, can, or compost. Plant seasonally for your area.

    Get your county Ag Extension Office Newsletter. They often have planting suggestions for crops in your area. There can be three growing seasons each year, or more, depending on what you plant.

    Do like Thomas Jefferson and keep a gardening journal to repeat success and avoid repeat failures!

    • See 2 previous
    • Elaine Elaine on Dec 03, 2018

      Kauai Breeze, the bench is a must! You’ve given great ideas!

  • Michelle Michelle on Dec 02, 2018

    Contact your local extension office and speak with a Master Gardener

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