Vegetable gardening at home has never been easier—get this FREEBIE about the best way to start a vegetable garden, and you’ll have answers to your questions about which types of vegetables to grow … and how to ensure a bountiful and delicious vegetable crop!
Dear Home Food Gardener,
If you want to start a vegetable garden—the easy and productive way—you’ve come to the right place! Because with this FREEBIE, How to Grow a Vegetable Garden, you have ten top tips for ensuring successful vegetable gardening at home.
And really, you don’t have to limit yourself to vegetables when you start a vegetable garden. We’re going to look at the most gardener-friendly fruits, vegetables, herbs—and even edible flowers that are ideal for first-time gardeners or gardeners who want fresh food without a lot of fuss.
Please use this FREEBIE How to Grow a Vegetable Garden to get started with vegetable gardening, or give your current garden a little makeover. Whether you’re a veteran gardener or a beginner at vegetable gardening, you’ll find this advice valuable for ensuring a healthy harvest on the home front.
The most basic decision you need to make when you start a vegetable garden is what to grow. If Brussels sprouts and eggplant aren’t your thing, then why invest the energy into growing them? Plan your garden by picking what you most enjoy preparing and eating—that’s Vegetable Gardening 101. Check out this section of How to Grow a Vegetable Garden to get a better idea of what’s best to plant in your garden. You’re going to reap what you sow, after all, so plant what you’ll eat.
Where you plant your garden depends on how much space and fertile soil you have (or can amend to the right quality). In-ground gardens are traditional; but if you want easier access to your crops, maybe raised beds would be better. Short on space? Get the details on the versatility of container gardening. Learn about the benefits of each growing method—and get a checklist of the tools you’ll need to start a vegetable garden—whether you choose open land, raised beds, or containers—when you read this FREEBIE, How to Grow a Vegetable Garden.
Do you feel like you have to be a purist and start a vegetable garden completely from scratch? If you have the time, skill, and space to start seeds, that may be a great option for you. But sometimes it’s actually better to start a vegetable garden with seedlings from the local garden shop. Sometimes vegetable gardening comes down to timing. Maybe you don’t plan to start a vegetable garden until later in the season; in which case, seedlings are the way to go!
If you’re determined to start your plants from seeds, we’ll give you tips on cheap and environmentally friendly ways to get your seeds started. Get step-by-step instructions on setting up your seeds for vegetable gardening success.
Get the details on essential vegetable gardening in How to Grow a Vegetable Garden right now!
You can start a vegetable garden pretty easily without a lot of tools. But without the right vegetable gardening tools, you’re creating more work for yourself and you could be putting your garden at risk. Don’t take a chance on crop failure by coming up short on the right garden tools. If you’re going to put in the effort to start a vegetable garden, you might as well make sure your tool shed is properly equipped.
Which tools are essential for good vegetable gardening? Learn now in How to Grow a Vegetable Garden.
New to vegetable gardening? Had some less-than-successful gardening experiences in the past? No worries. You can do this. The best way to gain confidence when you start a vegetable garden is to start off nice and easy with fruits, herbs, and vegetables that can tolerate a little benign neglect.
Discover the top 15 foods we recommend you consider for your first-time garden in How to Grow a Vegetable Garden. Find out how satisfying it can be to have really fresh food mere steps away from your kitchen.
On the surface, container gardening looks like it might be the best way to go with vegetable gardening. But planter beware! Don’t get caught in the pitfalls of planting in pots! Watch out for these problems and your newly-planted crops may make it through to harvest time:
- Too many plants in one container
- No drainage
- Not enough water
- Mixing bad companion plants
- Soil quality
Don’t make vegetable gardening in containers more work than it needs to be. Do your research ahead of time and you’ll be prepared to start a vegetable garden almost anywhere. Learn more about these cautionary container tales when you read How to Grow a Vegetable Garden.
Edible flowers are one of the best-kept secrets in vegetable gardening (Shh!). You get double the pleasure when you grow flowers that look and taste great—including vegetables and fruits that have edible flowers! The same can be said of a number of popular herbs. You can eat the flowers raw, fried, or dried, and then still have the rest of the plant to add deliciousness to your next meal.
Plus, when you plant edible flowers, you attract pollinators—good for your crop, good for the pollinators, and good for you come harvest time! Read How to Grow a Vegetable Garden right now, and you’ll have a prime list of flowers and herbs that do delicious double duty!
If you can throw out trash, you can make your own compost. Compost is the secret sauce of a successful harvest, and nothing beats home-grown for vegetable gardening success. So, while you’re getting material out of the waste stream, you’ll be building up a great pile of nutritious material to nurture your garden.
You don’t need a lot of space to set up a compost bin, and your compost “bin” can be as fancy or basic as you want it. In some cases, in fact, towns may sell compost bins at a great discounted rate—or even provide them for free! Depending on where you live, you may not even need to put your compost in a container at all—just be sure to layer it up and then give it a good stir about once a week.
Now, there are several approaches to composting, depending on your circumstances, your enthusiasm, and your available time. The five key compost approaches are (from hardest to easiest):
- Trash can
- Compost tumbler
- Backyard pile
Put your fruit and veggie scraps to good use, and plan to start a compost pile to complement your vegetable gardening. Then, come planting time—and then harvest time—you can look forward to a well-fed crop that will provide great taste for your table. Dig into the concept of composting in How to Grow a Vegetable Garden right now, and get ready to have a healthy harvest!
There’s nothing quite so disheartening as seeing something else eating your lovingly tended garden. To keep disease and pests away, your first line of defense is to check your plants on a daily basis. Vigilance is essential when you start a vegetable garden.
A common mistake in vegetable gardening is killing your plants with kindness; take it easy on the water if mildew develops, and remove any diseased leaves. There are organic treatments for some plant diseases, so all may not be lost. One key rule: don’t let any leaves sit on the ground; that’s just an open invitation for disease.
When it comes to those pesky pests, sometimes the best defense is a good offense—with the garden hose! Just be sure to blast the pests off your plants early in the day so the sun can dry them out. There are organic sprays to deter pests, too, but you might want to try the buddy system—use companion planting to keep pests away.
Snails and slugs making a meal of your hard work? Invite them over for a beer. We’ll explain how that works. And we’ll share the secret of the best flower to plant for the broadest protection against pests—all in How to Grow a Vegetable Garden!
Water is essential to life, and watering your garden properly is essential to a good harvest when you start a vegetable garden. But plants have different nutritional and watering requirements, so it’s a good idea to know which plants need watering when—and how much.
Water’s not the only factor in watering your garden. You need to consider your soil, the amount of sunlight your garden gets throughout the day, and the type of roots each plant has (deep? shallow?).
Take the plunge into home vegetable gardening and start growing what you eat! Read How to Grow a Vegetable Garden right now, and you’ll be a watering wizard and more with a happy, healthy harvest!
Senior Editor & Producer
Food Gardening Network
P.S. Act now to get this FREEBIE How to Grow a Vegetable Garden—it’s never too late or too early to get practical advice about vegetable gardening at home!