Getting Started in the Garden

Today is the day, you are ready to start growing some of your own food, now where should you start? There are so many choices, what should you grow? Should I begin with seeds or should I wait and buy starts from the local farm in the Spring? Where in my yard or where on my patio should I place my garden? No need to be overwhelmed, we’ll take it one step at a time.
If you have never planted before, the first decision will be where will you be growing? Raised bed gardens can be place in any sunny area of your yard since you will be planted above any drainage issues. When planting in the ground, you want to look for a sunny and well drained area. If there is standing water after a soaking rain, this area is lacking drainage. You also want to be aware of your water source, your garden will need to be watered. On a patio, in containers, you need to look for the sunniest spot. When preparing your pots for planting, make sure you have holes in the bottom of the pots for drainage.
Now, my favorite part of garden planning, what are you going to grow? My Grandpa John always said, grow the expensive crops, but it has been my experience that my family eats more when I grow what we like to eat. In the past, when I have grown more expensive crops or strange varieties, we have not eaten as much of our crops as I would like. So now, I keep it simple. I grow the fruit and veggies I know my family will enjoy.
How you start is up to you. I have started from seed and I have also bought fruit and vegetable starts at my local farmers market. In my experience there are pros and cons to both. Starting from seed allows you to choose from hundreds of crops with limitless varieties, the choices can be dizzying. If you are looking for Heirloom varieties or something special, I would suggest starting from seed. If you haven’t made decisions yet, you may want to wait for Spring starts. Your choices will be limited to what is available, but starts have a healthy jump at a farm that have brought me a lot of success in the past. If you are brand new to gardening, I would suggest the starts.
Now you are ready to begin your very own garden! I suggest a simple notebook to keep track of things like where you planted things and what you planted. I also write down what worked and what didn’t, I have learned quite a bit a long the way about my garden and myself. Gardening is a slow sport with small bursts of activity. I find respit in my garden, a solace that only working in the dirt can bring. So enjoy, go forth and keep growing.

Sunflowers from our Garden

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