Garden for beginners. (2023)

In this comprehensive guide, we cover how to start a vegetable garden from scratch, which vegetables to grow, and when to plant what. We've also added a "starter" garden plan consisting of easy-to-grow vegetables, complementary planting techniques, and some pretty flowers!


vegetable garden for beginners

Why garden you ask? How about trying the best vegetables and fruits you've ever eaten? If you've never tried garden-fresh food, you'll be amazed by the sweet, juicy flavors and vibrant textures. There's absolutely nothing like fresh greens, especially when you grow them yourself, which you can!

It may seem overwhelming at first, but gardening is a very rewarding hobby. On this page, we'll cover the basics of growing and planning vegetables: how to choose the right location for your garden, how to plant the right size garden, and how to choose which vegetables to grow.

Choose the right location

Choosing a good location for your garden is absolutely crucial. Poor location can result in poor vegetables! Here are some tips for choosing a good website:

  1. Sunny place:Most vegetables need 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day. There are some vegetables (especially leafy ones) that can provide a bit of shade.
  2. It works well and does not get wet:If you have poorly draining soil that collects water, plant vegetables in raised beds or raised rows to improve drainage. Wet soil means wet roots, which can turn into rotten roots. If you have rocky soil, cultivate and remove rocks, as they interfere with root growth and result in weaker plants.
  3. Stable and no wind:Avoid locations exposed to strong winds that can knock over your young plants or prevent pollinators from doing their job. You also don't want to plant in a place with high traffic or that is easily flooded. Plant in a spot that would make Goldilocks smile: a "perfect" spot.
  4. nutrient-rich soil.Your soil nourishes your plants. If you have thin, nutrient-poor soil, you will have poor, unhealthy plants. Mix in plenty of organic matter to help your plants grow.See how to prepare your soil for vegetables.

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Choose a lot size: StartSmall!

Uses:It's better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated with a big one!

One of the most common mistakes beginners make is planting too much too soon – way more than anyone could eat or want! Unless you want zucchini to live in your attic, plan your garden carefully. Start small and grow only what you and your family will eat.

garden size

  1. If you're planting in the ground, a 10-by-10-foot (100-square-foot) garden is a manageable size. Choose 3-5 of your favorite vegetables and buy 3-5 plants of each.
  2. If you are planting in a raised bed, a 4" x 4" or 4" x 8" size is a good size to start with.Check out our guide to raised bedswhich covers the benefits of raised beds, how to build a raised bed, and what type of soil to fill a raised bed with.
  3. If you want to grow more, a 12" x 24" in-ground garden is probably the largest a beginner should have. For example, a garden that supports a family of four might include: 3 mounds of yellow squash; 1 package of zucchini; 10 different peppers; 6 tomato plants; 12 okra; a row of 12 green beans; 2 cucumbers in a cage; 2 eggplants; 6 basil; 1 rosemary and some scrub herbs such as oregano, thyme and marjoram.
  4. Regardless of the size of your garden, make sure you have paths every four feet or so that allow you to reach your plants for weeding and harvesting. Just make sure you can easily reach the center of the row or bed without stepping on the floor.

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select vegetables

As a beginner, start by choosing simple vegetables that are also productive. Below we have listed ten easy vegetables. However, it would also be advisable to contact your state.Cooperative Advisory Serviceto find out which plants grow best in your area. For example, if you live in an area with an extremely hot climate, vegetables that prefer cooler temperatures may struggle.

The 10 best vegetables to grow at home

(Principal:Click on the name of a vegetable to see the detailed growing guide).

  1. Salat
  2. Blame
  3. radish
  4. Tomatoes(bush or cherry variety is easier)
  5. Zucchini
  6. Pfeffer
  7. beet root
  8. carrots
  9. fodder beet,Spinach, oWith green
  10. peas

mix flowers likemalmequeres– that repels pests, attracts pollinators and adds colour!

Five tips for choosing vegetables:

  1. Choose what you (and your family) like to eat.If no one likes brussels sprouts, don't grow them! But if your kids love green beans, try harder to grow a big crop of beans.
  2. Be realistic about how many vegetables your family will eat.Be careful not to plant too much, you'll only get skinny trying to take care of tons of plants! (Of course, you can always give away any excess vegetables to friends, family, or the local coffee shop.)
  3. Consider the availability of vegetables in your supermarket.You can grow tomatillos instead of cabbage or carrots, which are readily available. Also, certain homegrown vegetables are so superior that it's almost a shame not to consider them (we're thinking lettuce and tomatoes). Also, homemade herbs are much cheaper than those from the supermarket.
  4. Prepare to care for your plants during the growing season.Are you going on summer vacation? Remember that tomatoes and zucchini grow the most in mid-summer. If you are away for part of the summer, you need someone to tend the crops or you will suffer. Or you can simply grow cool-season crops like lettuce, kale, peas, and root vegetables during the cooler months of late spring and early fall.
  5. Use good quality seeds.Seed packets are cheaper than individual plants, but if the seeds don't germinate, you'll be wasting money and time. A few extra pennies spent on this year's seed in the spring translates to bigger yields at harvest time.

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Where and when to plant

If you are simply growing two or three tomato plants, this process is easy. But when planting to grow a full garden, you should consider the following:

  • Where does each plant go?
  • When should each vegetable be planted?

Here are some guidelines for organizing your vegetables:

  1. Not all vegetables are planted at the same time. Cool-season vegetables like lettuce, broccoli, and snap peas thrive in cooler climates in early spring (and into fall). "Warm season" tomatoes, peppers, and cucumbers are not planted until the soil warms in late spring and summer.
  2. Plant tall vegetables (such as trellis beans or sweet corn) on the north side of the garden so they don't shade shorter plants. If you have shade somewhere in your garden, reserve that area for small, cool patches of in-season vegetables. If shade is unavoidable in parts of your garden, reserve those areas for cool-season vegetables that appreciate shade when the weather is warmer.
  3. Most of the vegetables are annuals (planted every year). If you plan to grow "perennial" plants such as asparagus, rhubarb, and some herbs, provide permanent spots for spherical beds.
  4. Please note that some plants mature quickly and have a very short harvest time (radishes, green beans). Other crops, like tomatoes, take longer to produce, but they also produce more. These "days to expiration" are usually listed on the seed packet.
  5. layered plantings. You don't want to plant all your lettuce seeds at once, or you'll have to harvest all your lettuces at almost the same time! Stagger plantings a few weeks to keep them coming!

when to plant what

Each region has a different planting time based mainly on its climate, and each vegetable has its temperature preferences as well.Consult the best sowing dates of the almanac– a custom gardening calendar for local frost dates. Just enter your zip code (or zip code in Canada)!

For specific planting information, please see our individual growing guides.for over 100 popular vegetables, herbs and fruits. For each crop, we provide specific information on planting, cultivating, and harvesting, including irrigation, fertilization, and pest control.

A starter garden plan for beginners.

To help beginners, we thought it would be helpful to see a garden layout. This is an example of a first family garden using mostly the common, easy-to-grow vegetables mentioned above.

You'll see we've given the garden decent sized walkways and mixed in some herbs and flowers as well. Honestly, if we had grown this garden the first year, we would have loved it! By planning the garden in this way, we make it much easier for you to succeed.

Click here for the full list of plants, number of plants, spacing and spacing between rows.

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garden planning tool

The old peasant almanacoffers a great online garden planning tool to make planning your garden easy and fun. With this tool, design your garden plan on the computer and place your favorite vegetables in it, and it will automatically calculate the right space for each type of crop! That way, you won't waste seeds or overload your plants. Garden Planner automatically pulls frost data for your specific location, identifies individual vegetables, and even identifies associated plants. You can then print your plan and the tool will remind you of planting and harvest dates for each vegetable.

Plus, you'll see plenty of free garden plans to get inspired! Over time, you'll discover that this tool also offers "crop rotation" so that when you plan for a second season, you can reposition your plants accordingly to avoid pests and diseases.

Thinking of new gardeners, we offer aFREEWeek to try Garden Planner - plenty of time to plan your first garden. Check it here:

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Photo:almanac garden planner. The world's most popular tool for planning your garden. Try it free for 7 days.

Do you have questions or advice on how to create your garden? Take a look at some of the comments below. Many of your questions may have already been answered by our community almanac, or feel free to add your own comment. Have fun gardening!

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