The Q&A Archives: New Garden

Question: I would like to start gardening this spring. I'm new at this. Thought I would start with a 15' x 20' garden. I've been looking through the Burpee catalog but am having a hard time narowing down my choices of vegetables to try. I want to plant corn, carrots, radishes, tomatoes, green beans, peppers, some type of melon, squash, pumpkin, onions, and okra. Is this too much for the space I've chosen? Which types of each vegetable would be best for a beginner? Thank you for your help.

Answer: I'd suggest, first of all, to get a good reference book. It can be a little overwhelming at first, so it's nice to have a place to turn. The book "Gardening for Dummies" is, despite the title, a great reference and covers lots of areas. There are many other useful references. Subscribing to a magazine like National Gardening is also a good way to get good information in manageable doses.<br><br>Corn can be difficult, and you need a fairly large patch to get good pollination, for good ears. Pumpkins too require lots of space, though it's not so bad if you can let the vines trail over the lawn. Okra may be tough for a beginner as well; melons often don't ripen well in the north.<br><br>Tomtatoes and peppers should be started indoors, or purchased as transplants. You can purchase onion "sets"--just tiny onions--to plant. Beans are easy to grow, as are radishes. Carrots are fine if you till deeply to give the roots room to grow.<br> <br>Try whatever you like! All gardeners learn something new each season, and this will be a big learning season for you. Just enjoy yourself and your garden!

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