How to start a vegetable garden?

Marco asks: How to start a vegetable garden?
I would like to start a simple vegetable garden. I know very little about gardening. Where do I start? Is there a book that you would recommend?

The answer voted best is:

Answer by Rachel
I borrowed a roto-tiller and broke up a section of dirt (you could do this by hand with a shovel, just keep turning over the dirt). Then I bought a bag of some kind of organic soil (I found it at HomeDepot and it said right on it that it was good for vegetable gardens). Then I dumped that on top of my garden and kind of mixed that in with the other dirt. Then I bought some seedlings from a local nursery, as well as some packets of seeds and followed the instructions on the packet for planting. For tomatoes and peppers, I would recommend getting the seedling. Cucumbers worked well from the packet of seeds, as did snap peas. I tried spinach from seeds but got nothing! I’m no expert but I ended up with lots of veggies!

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4 comments

  1. lots of books out there, check with farm and garden store or seed stores or walmart , Lowe’s. any of them should have books

  2. An awesome book for his type of thing that I recommend is: The Gardener’s A-Z Guide for Growing Organic Food; you can order it online at http://www.amazon.com
    Just search in the title for the book and boom! you can order the book!
    —–Hope I Helped—– 🙂

  3. I would highly recommend the square foot gardening method. This is a method of intensive close planting in *small* (4′ x 4′) raised beds, which are filled with a rich and friable planting mix. The beds are also divided into 1 foot square grids, which makes it much easier to space plants and plan the garden. This system not only makes weeding and watering much less of a chore; it’s also an incredibly efficient and productive growing system.

    The book which outlines this system is Square Foot Gardening, by Mel Bartholomew (Iinked below). A word of warning: I despise Bartholomew’s writing style. He is annoyingly self-congratulatory, and comes across like a total huckster. However, the method itself really does work, so I’d urge you to try to overlook his snake-oil salesman aura, because in spite of that, this method really is fantastic.

    For a beginner, I’d consider starting out with a *one* raised bed. 4′ by 4′ is a good size for a first veggie garden. Next year, you can add more raised beds, but at the beginning, it’s best to start out very small. You’d be surprised how much food you can actually get out of even a single 4×4 bed, if you plant according to intensive gardening practice.

    There’s a forum dedicated to Square Foot Gardening on the Garden Web Forums:

    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/sqfoot/

    I’ve found the members there to be incredibly nice and helpful, and reading through old discussions is often a great way to learn new stuff. I’d also recommend the forum’s FAQ, if you want to learn a bit more about this method without shelling out for an entire book:

    http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/sqfoot/

    I don’t even know if the book is necessary, honestly, since there’s so much information already out there on the web. Just Google “Square foot gardening” and you’ll see what I mean. But you can get usually get used copies for something like two bucks through Amazon, so it’s not as if it costs a fortune to pick up the book, linked below.

  4. The most important thing to consider when starting a garden is “where do you live.” Google “gardening in (Your city and state).

    Check out the website of your state and and county extension service.

    Go visit a nursery or garden center and get plants that are known to do well in your area.

    Don’t go overboard the first time. Plant a small garden.

    As another poster said, I’d go with square foot gardening as a beginner.
    The methods are so straight forward that it would be hard to fail. Google square foot gardening. Also this method doesn’t require any fancy tools and that’s a plus.

    I use square food gardening techniques throughout my garden along with some other intensive techniques. I’m never going back to rows and rototillers and heavy weed pulling. I get plenty of produce for the table and some to can and freeze.

    I have several garden books. The best garden resource I own is the Internet. You must go sign up at the Garden Web forums.

    Good luck and most of all have fun.

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