1. Pick your favorite plants: If you don’t really like cabbage, don’t bother to grow it!
2. Balance delayed gratification with instant satisfaction: Buy some plants already about to flower and sow seeds around them. Buy some slow-growing perennials, but add annuals for quick, same-season color.
3. Don’t work harder than you have to. Why kill yourself digging rocky soil when you can import dirt and make a raised bed?
4. Ask around or barter for materials. We traded with our neighbors for wooden fish crates and bait barrels, which make fine planters and storage containers.
5. Get a wheelbarrow. This was our best garden purchase of the year, saving us hours of heavy carrying.
6. Collect manure, well-rotted compost, leaves and seaweed to build your humus. Great soil maximizes your chances of having great plants.
7. Plant too much rather than too little. Widely spaced plants in empty beds look sad, encourage weeds and need more watering. Fill up those beds!
8. Start seeds indoors to save money.
9. Get plants from friends, but make sure they’re healthy before bringing them home. Make sure they don’t include invasive weeds.
Mill Village, Nova Scotia