First-Time-Gardener Tips

Gardening BumUntil moving to the country 4 years ago, I knew very little about gardening, and still get confused between what an annual and perennial is. It wasn’t until my girlfriend Miriam came to visit the first spring we owned our house that I realized just how easy it was to grow a garden. She spent a good part of a day weeding which had me thinking “why is called gardening? It should be called weeding.”

Don’t let the prep discourage you. It’s incredibly rewarding to connect with your food and be able to eat what you grow.

Keep it simple and manageable by planting:

  • herbs (easiest)
  • tomatoes
  • salad greens

The tips that I’m about to share are based on my limited but budding experience. All I can say is how amazing it feels to connect with the food you grow, not to mention you save a whack-load of money and the flavours are WAY better. I’d love to hear about what’s in your garden in the comments below.

Our First Garden (before)IMG_3332

Our First Garden (about 1 month later)IMG_3334

Our first garden fresh meal (homemade tomato sauce w/ rosemary, thyme, basil and chives on a bed of steamed kale) IMG_3333

What you’ll need for your own garden:

  1. A willingness to eat what you grow
  2. Various pots (10″ – 14″ in diameter) OR 8′ – 16′ square feet of soil
  3. Potting soil + mulch for on top (helps retain moisture)
  4. 6 – 10 plants: a mix of herbs, tomatoes and greens

Space

  • Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a lot of space. It’s amazing how much you can grow in a few pots or 4 ft x 4ft of space. Click for more info:

Square Foot Gardening

Square-foot-raised-bed-gardening-how-to-get-started

Container Gardening aka salad bowls

102622821.jpg.rendition.largest.550.jpg

Location (pots vs. in-ground)

  • Pick a spot and go with it!
  • We plant our herbs in pots and keep them close by for easy harvesting
  • Flower pots and garden boxes are great if you live in a condo or don’t own land (just make sure they have good drainage)
  • Tomatoes and greens can be planted in pots (one plant/pot) OR in the ground near a trellis, a wall or have stakes for support

Seedlings

  • At this point in the season buy seedlings (seeds that have already sprouted into baby plants a few inches tall)
  • You can often buy baby plants that come in 4″ square sizes for a bundled price, anywhere between $2-$5/plant

What to buy

  • This is the fun part. I highly recommend keeping it between 6 – 10 plants max, especially if this is a new project
  • Don’t be deceived by these tiny little plants, the grow and produce more than you’d think

Suggestions

  • Herbs (pick 4-5)
    • basil
    • chives
    • rosemary
    • thyme
    • mint
    • oregano
    • sage
  • Tomatoes (pick 2 – 3 *one plant/pot about 12″-14″ wide with good drainage OR plant in the ground near a trellis, wall or support stakes)
    • cherry tomatoes
    • early girls
    • beefsteak tomatoes
    • plum tomatoes
    • heirloom tomatoes
  • Greens (pick 2 – 3)
    • Kale
    • Red Leaf
    • Romaine
    • Mesclun

To summarize:

  1. Plant in 10″ – 14″ pots OR in the ground
  2. Pick 6 – 10 plants (mix of herbs, tomatoes and greens)
  3. Buy pots with good drainage, fill them with potting soil and top them with mulch for moisture retention
Gardening Bum
Q: Hey bud, how’s it growin’?
A: ch-I’ve always wanted a garden but need some encourage-mint🌿

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