Starting a Garden
Gardens don’t need to be large, have neat rows, or even be rectangular in shape. It is important to find a shape, size, and location that works for you (otherwise it will not be fun!) Beds can be long and narrow, horseshoe shaped, standing height, you name it. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box!
Speaking of boxes, it is important to determine whether you’ll be using a raised bed or gardening directly into the ground soil. If you are pressed for space or are on land that does not have very good soil, it’s best to use a raised bed (basically a frame with no top or bottom, typically made from untreated wood). If you’ll be planting directly into the soil, you’ll want to smother any weeds or grass with a tarp or other mulching. If it’s your first garden, it is recommended that you get your soil tested so you know what you’re working with and what amendments to make to get those veggies growing strong and healthy.
Seed packets are packed with useful information including when to start your cucumber seeds, whether to start your beet seeds inside or to direct sow them into your garden, how many days until that dang carrot will be ready for harvest, and how much space you’ll need to grow that many heads of lettuce. Seedlings in this stage (germinating and sprouting) are very vulnerable and will need you to check on them daily. It’ll be worth it though, I promise.
Whether you’re growing food for your family, flowers for the pollinators, or herbs for medicine, gardening has numerous benefits.
- promotes pollinators (and they could really use our help right now)
- is great for your physical, mental, and spiritual health!
- provides a generous dose of Vitamin N
- is engaging for the whole family
-dirt don’t hurt! In fact, it’s got numerous health benefits
Other Helpful Resources:
If you don’t have time to maintain a garden throughout the year, try growing a Chaos Garden with a fun seed mix!
Find your location’s Plant Hardiness Zone to know when to start your seeds: https://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/
Vermont’s favorite gardener, Charlie Nardozzi, has plenty to share.
Or contact your local Master Gardener!