Garden newbie. Advice for planting

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2004
Garden newbie. Advice for planting
Sat, 03-21-2009 - 4:15pm

Hi ladies,

My name is Indigo and my DH and I just bought our first home and nabbed a spot at our local community garden. We've lived in large cities with scarce greenspace for years and we're excited to finally get a chance to start growing things in a space larger than a postage stamp.

I've always had good luck growing plants and plan on buying a beginning gardener book. In the meantime I


wedding countdown

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 03-23-2009 - 3:06pm

Hi Indigo and welcome. Do you know your last average frost date for your area? If you do not, you can call your local extension agent and they should be able to tell you that. Are you planting in a raised bed or directly in the ground? If you have not already, I would recommend having the soil tested (your extension office may do this, but if not they can recommend where to get it done). I would especially do this BEFORE investing in and planting any fruit trees (or any kind of trees) - it is easier to work with the soil you have than to try and grow an acid loving tree in alkaline soil or vice versa.

Some easy things to grow that you would direct sow in the garden are radishes, carrots, lettuce, kohlrabi, onions (I prefer to use sets rather than seeds) spinach, swiss chard - for the most part these can tolerate a light frost and you can start as soon as the soil can be worked. I am thinking you could probably start these now. To keep a good supply of radishes, carrots & lettuce I like to plant them every 2 weeks for a longer harvest.

Things like tomatoes, eggplant cucumbers, squash (summer and winter) etc are IMO better to start the seeds in pots then transplant or buy plants at the local garden center. As a beginner, you may want to start with plants. These all like warmer conditions.

IT may be hard to ALWAYS have something growing. I am originally from Florida and even there we could not garden year round. Of course the growing seasons (we pretty much had 2) were longer than they are here in Wyoming.

I will probably think of more to add, but my brain is sleep deprived right now and the power has flickered a couple times, so I do not want to lose this post completely . :)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-10-2003
Tue, 03-24-2009 - 8:02pm

One caution to make however.