Any examples of basic garden bed set-up?

Love Muffin asks: Any examples of basic garden bed set-up?
I’m a gardening virgin and would love to create a vegetable garden. I’m a little overwhelmed, anyone have any good sites or advice on how to get one started?

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Answer by jonah
Gardening by the yard on hgtv on directv is excellent if you have it, the guy is a rip too. I think he has a site by same name. Covers all subjects and answers specific e-mails in detail for virgins and pros alike.10:30 i think sat and sun mornings.Basics are well drained area, till a patch, garden fork will work, add some pete moss for water retention, manure/compost if poss(any garden center) most seed packs give further instrcs. Good luck, its work but fun, relaxing and rewarding!

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  1. Hi.

    I think one of the best books out there is called “The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible” by Smith. You can get it in paper back at Amazon.

    This book is great because it goes over the basics of the most important part of gardening: soil!

    The first thing you should do is test your soil with a soil kit and correct the ph. Gardening in raised “mounds”/beds makes sense for a lot of reasons, and it is my favorite way.

    Since you are new to this, start small. Figure out what veggies you want to grow, and how much space you need. Try to make your garden big enough to move around in and have wide rows between your mounds/beds. I like to use straw as mulch on my paths between the mounds, and I make them at least 2 1/2′ wide. The size of the mounds depends on what you are growing.

    Do you make your own compost? This is fairly simple and it will reward you with beautiful, rich soil and lots of WORMS.

    I could go on and on…but really the book I recommend will help you best. I have taught many people to garden, and I am a professional gardener. This book covers it all, and my clients love it.

    Best of luck to you. And remember, its a process. You will get better and better, and hopefully you will have fun. Sometimes even the best gardeners lose things, so don’t be too hard on yourself.

    Organic gardening is best for you and the environment. Put your effort and time and funds into the dirt, and the earth will eventually reward you with the best veggies you have ever tasted.

  2. If you’re new to gardening and don’t want to be overwhelmed, perhaps you should check out Square Foot Gardening.

    This website shows how they set up the garden beds. It has a lot of great information for a beginner, with a lot of links at the bottom for more information.

    This is based on the book “Square Foot Gardening” by Mel Bartholomew. His website is

    I’ve also included a link to Tim’s Square Foot Gardening website that shows his garden layout. His website is another great one for beginners.

    Good luck. It’s hard work, but nothing beats the taste of fresh veggies you’ve just picked from the garden.

  3. Id go with lizrich idea the square foot garden and containers are a good place to start for a newbee , take you time and enjoy dont overplant then it becomes work

  4. I understand the overwhelm! I have gardened before, but not for years. This year, a group of tenants in our building have gotten together to do a small urban garden out back, and when I started researching for what to plant when, I felt overwhelmed, too!

    Planting in the “square foot” method, mixing companion plants, and then mulching heavily makes gardening easier (lots less weeds and pests) and production greater.

    Easy growing veggies: bush beans, beets, carrots, cherry tomatoes, chives (a perennial), corn, corn salad (also called mache or lamb’s lettuce), cucumbers, garden cress (also called peppergrass), garlic, Jerusalem artichoke (perennial; also called sunchoke), leaf lettuce, marrows (a kind of squash), peas, pole beans, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, rutabagas, salsify, shallots, snow peas, squash, swiss chard, turnips, zucchini (also called “courgettes”).

    The most prolific of these are the cherry tomatoes, lettuce, radishes, summer squash (which includes zucchini) and green beans. You can start harvesting radishes, turnip greens, and some other looseleaf greens within a month, which makes them encouraging plants for your first garden. (Plant a new batch every two weeks and you can keep harvesting them all growing season.) Beans and peas help enrich the soil for next year’s plants.

    Marigolds and nasturtiums are easy flowers for beginners and are also good companion plants in a garden, because they attract good bugs and repel bad bugs. Cosmos and sunflowers are also easy to grow. All of these are edible, too.

    Easy growing herbs: basil (some say; others say it’s hard), dill; I’ve also found rosemary, sage, and thyme to be hardy.

    You don’t have to plant ALL of these. 🙂 It’s best to stick to the amount of space that you can keep up with enjoyably, rather than overplant and get tired and discouraged. It’s good to take a look at the growing periods, so that you have a mix of early-ripening, mid-season, and late-ripening plants. To save garden space, use a trellis for trailing plants, or plant them at the edge of the garden.

    We have a very small garden space, under 75 square feet. We’ve chosen eight vegetables, four herbs, and four flowers for our first garden.

    Helpful sites I bookmarked:


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