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Vegetable Gardening 101

Gardening is an excellent hobby for people of all ages. Everyone young and old delights in seeing their seeds grow to something beautiful (or edible). Not everyone is born with a green thumb, so it may take a few tries to see your seedling sprout and thrive. Don’t worry if your first few attempts don’t turn out quit right, gardening is a wait,water, and see game.

When deciding what to plant first, it’s a good idea to do a little research. You want to check out the type of soil you will be working with, your climate and region, the time of year, and what plants will work best in all of these conditions.

Lucky for you, there are a few vegetables that are quite easy to grow including lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, green beans, radishes, and zucchini. There are tons of resources to help you find the perfect first vegetable to try growing. The University of Florida has an excellent Florida Vegetable Gardening Guide to help you plan, plant, tend, and harvest. They also have a helpful chart for the best growing seasons for each region of Florida and notes on each vegetable.

Things to Consider Before Gardening

  • Gardening site: Will it have adequate lighting and water?
  • How is the soil?
  • How much fertilizer do you need?
  • Do you want to use pesticides?
  • Learn how to use pesticides wisely

Not only is gardening a fun way to pass the time, it’s also a great way to maintain your health and fitness, and even increase your real estate value! Some estimates say that landscaping can increase your home value by as much as 8-15%.

This Vegetable Growing Cheat Sheet from Food Beast is another great place to get started with your vegetable gardening. It shows you the best vegetables for a whole garden or just one single pot. It also charts out the best planting and harvesting months for different vegetables, their spacing, common pests, pot size, germination, days to maturation, and more.

veggie cheat sheet


Tools for Gardening

Now that you have your favorite vegetables ready for planting, it’s time to grab your gear. Of course you need the basics like a trowel and gloves, but you will also want some trimming sheers, a hand rake, and watering can. For bigger projects you will need a large shovel, and rake.

In addition to the tools you will require pesticides if you plan to use them, or the correct organic matter to help grow your veggies. Also grab the proper fertilizer and soil.

This article from Greatist can help you run through the basics of gardening before you dive in. Once you know what you’re getting into, then jump in and start growing! You’ll love eating what you grow and wonder why you never gardened before this.