A Beginner's Guide to Vegetable Gardens: Five Things to Consider


Plump tomatoes, leafy greens, earthy potatoes–these are some of the things that culinary dreams are based on. You can, of course, buy fresh vegetables from a farmer’s market. Or, if you would like to save some money and you’re feeling ambitious (and I think you are), you can grow them yourself.


There’s just one problem: You have no idea where to start.


Well, let’s begin at the beginning with our Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardens.


  1. What to grow. The first thing you need to consider is what to grow. For your first garden, consider some old, versatile standards that are easy to grow. Plants like tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green beans and lettuce are a good place to start.
  2. Space. Once you have decided what to plant, pick a space in your yard to start your garden. Make sure the area in which you are planting gets plenty of sunlight, and has good deep soil. If the soil is less than perfect, you may want to consider purchasing some compost and working it into the soil before you plant.
  3. Supplies. In addition to the aforementioned compost, you will need tools, including: a shovel, a spade, materials to build garden borders (fencing or chicken wire to keep animals out), and irrigation tools (a watering can,or hose).
  4. Design. Once you have your space selected, you need to sit down and design your garden. What will go where? It’s important to design your garden with the plants you selected in mind.  As a rule of (green) thumb, plant your vegetables in rows approximately 18 inches apart. This will allow your different plants plenty of room to grow.
  5. Time. While planting times vary based on plant types and climate, May is generally a good month to get your garden started. By the middle of the month, make sure you have your site picked and set up, check the weather forecast for late frost, and then begin planting.



Now that we’ve established some basics for planting a garden, get out and get planting. Check back here for more great tips throughout the course of the spring and summer to keep your garden growing, green, and healthy.