Brand new to gardening…Help!?

Stephanie W asks: Brand new to gardening…Help!?
I am brand new to gardening. My husband rented a tiller and tilled up a spot to put our veggie garden. We bought seeds for bell peppers, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, cucumber, and yellow squash. I call my mother to tell her about it and she said we need to start it inside first, then move it outside to the garden. My hubby says we can plant the seeds directly in the garden. Can we? Any other advice to help our garden? Thanks!

The answer voted best is:

Answer by Joanne A. W
Yes, you can plant outside once the weather has warmed. It is best to wait until the night temperatures are in the 60’s every night. We usually wait till the temps are between 68 and 70 degrees. Lots of people wait until after Mother’s Day to plant seeds. Your packets will have all the information on the back.

You are gonna love gardening, don’t try to do it all in one year. Get to know where the sun shines the most, and where the shaded areas are. Because you will need flowers for the sun areas, and flowers for the shaded areas.

Since you are a beginner, this year start your garden with plants that you get from a garden center or nursery. They are called bedding plants and come in a six pack. Look for a little tag sticking in the six pact showing directions on how to grow the plants. If the tag is not there, ask for one or buy something else. Directions are VERY important.

Seeds are not always easy to grow. And wildflowers are the hardest so don’t be disappointed if they don’t show up.

Two good things to do for yourself is to call your local County Extension Service and ask for all the information that they have about gardening in your area. They usually have a packet/kit of things for the home gardener.

And number two would be to pick up a couple of beginner books. You really do need to know about soil, compost, mulch and etc.

To keep from over watering or not watering enough, buy a water analyzer from a nursery or garden center. Be sure to read the directions. This will be one of your best tools.

Send for some free gardening catalogs and get use to the different types of plants, colors, and when to plant. They are filled with good informtion and pictures. And they will keep you company during the long winter months. Here is a list of just a very few. There are hundreds more: (Roses)

Other catalogs: (all types of animal control)

Container/pots/window boxes needs:

All need holes in the bottem for water drainage,
Potting soil that comes in bags,
Slow release fertilizer for flowers (not for green plants), OR liquid fertilizer that will need to be used more often-read directions,
Water crystals to be mixed into the soil for holding water,
Bedding plants or full grown plants.

Here is an excellent link to check out for color combinations and plants that look good together:

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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  1. If its after the last frost date in your area, you can plant directly in the garden. The seed packets should tell you if they have to be direct seeded in the garden or can be started before the last frost indoors. Peppers and tomatoes get planted 2 weeks after the last frost but peas, carrots, radishes, cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts should be planted a few weeks before the last frost.

  2. You can plant your sugar snaps in the ground any time now.
    Plant the cukes and summer squash after the danger of frost has passed. I’m sorry to say it but if you want any kind of yield from your tomatoes and peppers you will have to either start them inside, under lights, right now or else buy plants from a nursery and plant them after last frost. Personally I would recommend going with the nursery grown plants. They aren’t very expensive and it’s a much more reliable and simpler
    method. By the way, if you like green beans they are really easy to grow and could go in the ground at the same time as the cukes and squash. So could lettuce. Radishes could go in with the peas.
    My best piece of advice would be to mulch. It will save you gallons of water and hours of weeding. Also be sure to water your seeds lightly each day to keep them moist till they’ve sprouted. In fact vegetables require steady water all season in order to produce well. Beyond that they are remarkably easy.
    Have fun, and good luck!


    Search for your zone, you’ll find your last frost date and “best days” for planting outside. Joan has you covered with great advice. I’ve never used the water crystal stuff.

    ain’t dirt beautiful?

  4. You can plant them directly in the garden, but check the time when you should plant. I’m in central Indiana, and the time to plant most crops is the first week in May, so what your mom may mean is that it’s too early to plant. If you start them inside, a good way to do it is to put the seeds in peat pellets set in egg cartons.

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