The easiest way to start a garden is just to jump right in and do it. Gardening is one of those things that feels really complicated and intimidating. It’s easy to get swept into the rabbit hole of soil composition, fertilizers, and pest controls and quit before even starting.
But friend, I am here to tell you that starting a garden is not complicated. You just need four ingredients. They are seeds, sun, water, and dirt. That’s it. It really is that simple.
The first question you must ask yourself is whether you want a flower garden, vegetable garden, or both. If you want to grow vegetables, I still recommend planting a few colorful flowers to attract pollinators. You can order seeds online from a place like Botanical Interests or buy them from your local box hardware store. You will find many choices at both places, whether you’re looking for vegetables, flowers, organic, or conventional. It really doesn’t matter.
Additionally, it’s essential to know when to plant your seeds. To determine this, you need to know your planting zone. To determine this, google “your city and planting zone”. Planting zones divide up the country by average first and last frost dates. This information lets you know when you can plant your seeds.
A number and a letter label planting zones. If you are on the edge between two planting zones (I live close to 5b and 6a), go by the dates for the colder zone (so 6a for me). Nothing is sadder than when your new baby plants freeze because you planted them in the ground too soon. I actually plan to start my seeds inside this year and then will transfer them to the ground at the beginning of May.
Almost every vegetable will need considerable daytime sunlight to grow well. You just bought that seed packet – flip it over and read it back. That is where you will find exactly how much sun your plant needs.
Knowing that you need access to a lot of light, it matters where you decide to place your garden. If your yard is mostly shaded, you can use large pots (or even buckets) in a sunny spot on your porch or edge of your driveway.