The Q&A Archives: Gardening for Dummies (New mommie and baby gardening)

Question: So, I have never gardened and I have no clue if my thumb is yet green, however, I want to start a vegetable garden so my baby, husband and myself can enjoy the benefits of fresh homegrown veggies (possibly fruits) in our diets!! How do I start? What tools do I need to have and what are simple veggies for me to start with?

Answer: Learning to garden is usually an ongoing experience, the best way to learn is to begin. Since you are new to this, I would suggest you start on the small side so it does not become overwhelming. Select a level spot in full sun all day long. Make sure you have easy access to water via the garden hose. Remove the existing vegetation. Run some basic soil tests to check fertility and soil pH. Add fertilizer and/or lime per the test results. Loosen the soil down about a foot. Work in several inches of good quality compost. Level and rake the area smooth. Now you are ready to plant. It is getting a bit late in the season for most planting, but you could certainly plant seeds and grow some bush beans, Swiss chard, zucchini, summer squash and herbs such as basil. You could also set out some larger sized tomato transplants. In late summer, plant a fall crop of cool weather plants such as spinach, lettuces and other greens, and peas. Your local county extension should be able to help you with the soil tests and interpreting the results, and may also have suggestions of the best varieties to plant based on your local soil and weather conditions. Enjoy your garden!

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