From Container Gardens to Backyard Plots: A Beginner's Guide to Gardening (No Matter Where You Live!)

Whether you live in an apartment or a house with a big backyard, get inspired to start your own edible garden with practical -- and totally doable -- tips from first lady Michelle Obama and the White House Kitchen Garden team (17 Photos)

Rachel Gray on Aug 27, 2012 at 10:37AM

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From Container Gardens to Backyard Plots: A Beginner's Guide to Gardening (No Matter Where You Live!)

Kevin Day/Flickr/Getty Images

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Getting Started: Composting

You’ve just learned that soil rich in organic matter and equal parts sand, silt and clay, is key for growing success. Adams explains, “Composting puts organic matter and nutrients back into the ground, improves soil texture and creates air spaces within the soil, breaking up hard clay and making the ground more hospitable.” It also promotes earthworms -- a gardener’s best friend.

Want to create your own compost? Check out our beginner’s guide to composting.

“Compost is made by combining carbon-rich material (brown wood chips, straw and leaves) with nitrogen-rich matter (green grass clippings and kitchen scraps),” Adams explains. Designate a compost pile location in a discreet corner or your yard, or use a covered garbage can to get started. For an ideal concoction, Adam explains that you simply need to create the right ratio of carbon and nitrogen. He suggests 25 parts “brown” with 75 parts “green.”

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