DIY





First Time Gardener? Step Right Up, Get Your Expert Advice Here

If you've never grown a garden before, here a few tips to get you started.

| Feb. 29, 2008

Did you ever want to grow some of your own food but aren't sure how to get started? If you've got access to a spot — even a tiny patch — that gets some sun, it might be easier than you think. Here are tips from a few expert gardeners to help you get started.

Barbara Pleasant, author of The Gardener's Bug Book and The Gardener's Weed Book (both available from Mother Earth Shopping), advises asking yourself these three questions first:

1. What do you have in terms of site?

2. How much time can you spend with your garden each week?

3. What would be most rewarding to grow ? both in terms of satisfaction and saving money?



William Woys Weaver, author of 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From (available from Mother Earth Shopping) and Heirloom Vegetable Gardening, says to consider, in this order, 'your microclimate, your soil type, and your level of commitment (the amount of time you imagine you want to give it). Those three things will be the template for everything else that follows.'

According to Lee Reich, author of Weedless Gardening and the 'Easy Garden' cover story for our forthcoming April/May issue, these are the important things to consider:

1. Location: Put the garden as close to your back door as possible. There's an old saying that 'the best fertilizer is the gardener's shadow' and a garden near your back door invites observation, weeding, harvesting, and ready appreciation of the fun, beauty and good tastes that gardening offers.

2. Sunlight: Light is what fuels plant growth, and some plants need more of it than others. Without sufficient sunlight, plants are weak and more prone to disease. Fortunately, no matter what the light level, there's always something that can be grown within any category of plants. For instance, fruits generally need abundant sunlight, but red currants do fine in quite a bit of shade. Be sure to be realistic when assessing light conditions; 'full sun' means at least six hours or direct summer sun daily.

3. Books and magazines: You can garner an abundance of gardening experience through reading. Reading can tell you what's really going on 'behind the scenes' and helps you avoid many mistakes. No need to re-invent the wheel. The hard part is sifting and winnowing the good stuff from the chaff. My favorite basic books would include Robert Kourik's Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally and Hugh Johnson's The Principles of Gardening.






mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard