As I’ve been working on getting this year’s garden going, it has weighed heavily on my heart that I emphasize to everyone the importance of learning how to garden right now.
Right now. Not next year. Now, before your lives depend on it. Because, frankly, deep down inside, I truly believe that one day our lives will depend on it.
I believe that 100%. And I’m acting on it. Maybe it won’t be in my lifetime. Maybe it’ll be in my children’s (though I doubt it’ll take that long). But this is the number one motivating force behind all that we do here.
And if you’ve been feeling like something is coming… like you need to be getting prepared for harder times… you cannot let another year go by without getting your hands dirty and beginning to learn how to garden to grow your own food.
Having a pack of survival seeds and a gardening “how to” book is NOT good enough.
I’m telling you right now: Gardening takes practice. I’ve been attempting to raise my own food for three years now, and every year I face new challenges and make new mistakes.
If we had depended on any of our previous gardens to survive, we would have surely starved. Even this year, I can already tell that my garden won’t be near good enough.
If a food crisis were to hit in a week from now, what would you do?
In this post, I’m going to tell how to learn how to garden – and give you some resources to help you get started.
I’m not going to tell you everything you need to know about gardening in this post – but rather, the knowledge that you need to acquire (and the tools you need to have on hand) in order to get started.
So let’s not waste any more time!
Table of Contents:
How to Garden: What You Need to Know
When it really comes down to it, do you know how to garden? Here are a few key concepts and questions you’ll need to have answers to before you get started.
1. Do You Have the Right Location Picked Out?
Do you already have a place in your yard where you can plant things? A spot full of rich soil, turned over and ready to plant in?
Find a place in your yard that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight, break up the sod and start amending that soil. Or build raised beds. Or get a bunch of large containers to plant in. Do something!
2. What About Your Timeline?
What would happen to you if all of a sudden your family depended upon whatever you could grow yourselves?
Would you know how to start seeds? How to save seeds? How to store seeds properly?
Would you know when to harvest your crops? And how to preserve them? Do you have the necessary tools to preserve your food?
Bulk up your personal library with books on gardening, seed saving, and preserving the harvest.
Make sure you have some basic gardening tools. I’d HIGHLY recommend Craftsman tools. They have a lifetime warranty, and Sears will replace them no questions asked (I’ve exchanged two old messed up tools for brand new ones, no problem).
These are things that you seriously need to be asking yourself. And you need to stop daydreaming about your future garden, and start making it a reality!
Before you start planning out your garden, it is important to figure out what you will grow. This may seem like a simple task, but there are actually a number of factors to consider.
First, you need to think about the amount of space you have available. If you have a small yard, you may want to focus on growing herbs or vegetables that don’t require a lot of room. Second, you need to consider the climate in your area.
If you live in a warm climate, you’ll have a wider range of options than if you live in a cold climate. Third, you need to think about the amount of sunlight that your garden will get. If it’s in a shady spot, you’ll need to choose plants that can tolerate low light levels.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you’ll be ready to start planning out your garden!
Start with making a list of everything your family likes to eat. Then get online, find out which varieties grow best in your area, and order seeds or plants.
If you’re planning to start a garden, one of the most important things you’ll need to do is figure out the quality of your soil.
After all, healthy plants require healthy soil in order to thrive. The good news is that testing your soil is relatively simple and inexpensive. All you’ll need is a soil sample and a basic home testing kit.
Once you’ve gathered a sample, you can then use the kit to test for various factors, such as pH levels and nutrient content. By taking the time to figure out how good your soil is, you can help ensure that your garden gets off to a strong start.
Before you start planning and planting your garden, it’s important to take a moment to think about your water access.
Do you have a hose or sprinkler system? If so, how long can you run it each day? Are there any restrictions on watering times or days?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you determine how much water your plants will need and how often you’ll need to water them.
It’s also important to consider the cost of water. If you live in an area with high water rates, you may want to choose plants that are drought-tolerant or select a watering system that is designed to be more efficient.
By taking the time to think about your water access before you start planting, you can ensure that your garden gets off to a healthy start.
Container gardening is a great option for those who want to enjoy the benefits of having a garden, but don’t have the space for a traditional one.
There are several advantages to growing plants in pots, including the fact that you can create a custom setup that fits your specific needs. For example, if you have limited sun exposure in your yard, you can choose containers that can be moved around to get the best light.
Additionally, container gardens are much easier to upkeep than in-ground gardens, as they require less weeding and watering. If you’re thinking about starting a garden, be sure to consider whether container gardening might be the right option for you.
Figure out what growing zone you’re in. Do you know? It’s important to know because it tells you the last and first frost dates for your area. That’s critical information for any gardener.
The growing season is the time between the last frost in spring and the first frost in fall. Knowing your growing zone will help you figure out how long your growing season is so you can plan accordingly.
For example, if you want to grow tomatoes, you’ll need to plant them after the last frost date. And if you want to grow pumpkins, you’ll need to plant them before the first frost date.
If you live in the city, you might think that gardening is out of reach. However, there are plenty of ways to enjoy a green space, even if you don’t have a lot of room.
A vertical garden is a great way to add some greenery to a small space. You can create one using a trellis or some shelves, and then plant flowers or herbs that will climb up.
Container gardens are also popular in urban areas. All you need is a pot or planter, and you can grow a wide variety of plants.
If you don’t have an outdoor space at all, you can try growing an indoor garden.
Some plants do well in warm, humid environments, so as long as you have a bright window, you can start your own mini jungle.
For something really different, you could try hydroponics. This is a type of gardening that doesn’t use any soil- instead, the roots are suspended in water.
Finally, community gardens are a great way to meet other gardeners and enjoy some fresh air.
If you’re thinking about starting a garden, one of the first things you need to do is figure out how much time you have available.
Depending on the size and type of garden you want, it can take a lot of time and effort to keep it looking good. If you don’t have much spare time, it’s important to choose plants that are easy to care for and don’t require too much attention.
Once you know how much time you can realistically devote to your garden, you can start planning and planting with confidence. With a little time and effort, you’ll be able to create a space that’s both beautiful and enjoyable to spend time in.
If you’re planning on starting a garden, one of the first things you need to figure out is whether you’re going to start from seed or transplant.
Both have their pros and cons, so it’s important to choose the option that’s right for you. Starting from seed is often cheaper and gives you more control over the growing process. However, it can be more time-consuming and challenging, especially for beginners.
Transplanting, on the other hand, is generally easier and quicker. But it’s important to make sure you select healthy plants that are well-suited to your growing conditions. So take some time to consider your options before you get started on your gardening project.
Spring is the perfect time to start planning your garden. But before you start planting seeds or transplants, it’s important to take a little time to figure out how to properly plant them.
You also need to know how to harden them off. When done correctly, hardening off will make your plants strong and healthy, giving them a head start on the growing season.
A few tips for planting:
- Be sure to water your plants regularly during this process. The roots are still adjusting and will need extra moisture to thrive.
- Keep an eye out for signs of stress, such as wilting or yellowing leaves.
- Slowly introduce your plants to outdoor conditions over the course of 7-10 days. Begin by placing them in a sheltered spot out of direct sunlight for a few hours each day. Gradually increase the amount of time they spend outdoors each day, as well as the amount of sunlight they receive.
When it comes to starting a garden, having a good plan is essential. You’ll need to think about what type of plants you want to grow, where you want to grow them, and how you’re going to care for them.
You’ll also need to make sure you have the right supplies on hand. Otherwise, you’ll end up frustrated and your garden will likely fail.
The good news is that there are plenty of resources available to help you get started. You can find helpful books and articles online, and there are even some great apps that can guide you through the process. Once you have a solid plan in place, starting a garden will be much easier – and more fun!
Do you have containers and compost you can start seeds in?
Do you even have any seeds? Do you have enough seeds to grow enough food to feed your family for at least a few months? A year?
Do you have any gardening tools? A hoe? A rake? A hose or watering can?
Here are a few more gardening tools and materials you’ll want to have:
- A wheelbarrow or garden cart
- A sturdy set of boots and a pair of gardening gloves
- The aforementioned hoe and rake
- A great shovel
- A pair of shears to prune with
- Trellis and other support options
- Some raised beds or even a greenhouse
- Composted manure and other organic fertilizers
Of course, there are items you can use from around the house for the fundamentals of gardening, too. Cardboard can be used as mulch. Eggshells can be used to add nutrients to the garden soil. Even straw can be a valuable type of mulch!
Would you know how to deal with pests, fungus, or weeds? Educate yourself (use the resources I’ll recommend below) then make sure you have pest, weed, and disease control methods in your toolbox like:
- Diatomaceous earth
- Neem oil
- Row covers and shade cloth
Here are a few things you can do to start your garden – even if you aren’t ready to take the full leap and plant a massive array of plants.
Start putting in perennials NOW. Berry bushes, herbs, asparagus, artichokes, rhubarb, strawberries, fruit trees… squeeze in as much as you possibly can, wherever you can. Most of these things take at least three years before a harvest, so get them established now.
2. Make Some Compost
Start a compost pile. It isn’t hard. Just find a corner of your yard to start throwing uncooked produce scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds, leaves, weeds and anything else organic. Turn it over every now and then, and before long you’ll have some awesome planting material ready and waiting.
Growing a garden can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! By taking small steps and planning ahead, you can easily transform your yard into a beautiful garden. The first step is to choose the right location.
Make sure to pick a spot that gets plenty of sunlight and has good drainage. Then, decide what you want to grow.
Herbs, vegetables, and flowers all have different requirements in terms of soil, watering, and fertilizing, so it’s important to do your research before you start planting.
Once you have a plan in place, you can start shopping for plants and get ready to enjoy the fruits (or veggies) of your labor!
Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a small windowsill, there are plenty of ways to get started. And the first step is always the same: shopping for tools and materials.
For most home gardens, basic tools like shovels, rakes, and hoes will suffice. If you’re planning on growing larger plants, though, you’ll need to invest in some more specialized equipment. The same goes for materials.
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to buy soil, seeds, or seedlings. If you’re repurposing an existing space, though, you may be able to get by with using compost from your kitchen scraps.
No matter what you need, shopping for gardening supplies is a great way to start turning your green thumb dreams into reality.
If you’re new to gardening, it can be daunting to know where to start. However, taking small steps can help you get the hang of it and eventually end up with a beautiful garden that you can be proud of.
One small step you can take toward growing a garden is stocking up on seeds. This way, when the time is right, you’ll already have everything you need to get started. You can find seeds at your local hardware store or online.
But first, figure out what you will grow. Some of the best options for beginners include:
- Leafy greens
- Herbs (like basil or parsley)
Again, consider your family’s preferred foods to get started with your list.
Anyone can grow a garden, regardless of experience or skill level. All it takes is a little bit of time and effort, and you can be on your way to enjoying fresh produce right in your own backyard.
If you’re new to gardening, the best place to start is by learning the basics. Once you have a good understanding of how to care for plants, you can begin to practice by growing a few small crops.
No matter what type of plants you choose to grow, remember that gardening is a lifelong learning process. There’s always something new to learn, so never be afraid to experiment. With a little bit of patience and practice, you’ll be an expert gardener in no time!
Growing a garden can be a daunting task, especially if you’re starting from scratch. But there’s no need to go it alone – there are plenty of resources and community organizations that can help you get started.
For anyone who is interested in starting a garden, there are a number of resources that can be extremely helpful.
This online course is designed for beginners, and will teach you everything you need to know about starting a garden, from choosing the right plants to caring for them through the seasons.
The course is self-paced, so you can go at your own pace, and it’s packed with information that will help you get your garden off to a great start.
The Ron Finley Teaches Gardening course is the perfect way to learn about gardening. Not only will you learn about the basics of gardening, but you’ll also get to hear from Ron himself about his own experiences as a gardener.
And best of all, it’s affordable, so you can take the course at your own pace without breaking the bank. So if you’re looking to learn more about gardening, be sure to check out Ron Finley’s online course. You won’t be disappointed!
If you’re thinking about starting a garden, the Gardening 101 online course is a great place to start. The course covers everything from choosing the right location for your garden to selecting the best plants for your climate.
In addition, you’ll learn about soil health, watering techniques, and how to deal with pests and diseases. Best of all, the course is self-paced, so you can work through it at your own rate.
Want to start a perennial garden? Planting the Piet Oudolf Way is an intensive course that will teach you everything you need to know about creating beautiful, sustainable gardens that will thrive for years to come.
Piet Oudolf is a world-renowned garden designer, and his naturalistic approach to planting has inspired many of today’s leading landscape architects.
In this course, you’ll learn about Oudolf’s signature style and how to create gardens that echo his aesthetic. You’ll also get practical tips on selecting plants, preparing soil, and ensuring that your garden will be low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.
If you’re interested in learning how to garden organically, the “Growing Organic Food Sustainably” online course is a great place to start. In this course, you’ll learn about the basics of organic gardening, including soil health, composting, and crop rotation.
You’ll also learn about the challenges of organic gardening, such as pests and weeds. Best of all, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions and get feedback from experienced organic gardeners.
Many libraries offer classes on gardening, and they may also have Seed Libraries, where you can check out seeds for free.
You can also search online for Gardening Clubs in your area, or join an online gardening forum to get advice from more experienced gardeners.
Local nurseries and greenhouses can also be a wealth of knowledge, and they can provide you with the plants and supplies you need to get started.
In addition, there are often community gardens in most towns or cities, which can be a great way to meet other gardeners and learn from their experience. Wherever you live, there are likely many resources available to help you get started with gardening.
Don’t be afraid to ask friends and neighbors for their help and support as you are getting started!
If you’re interested in learning how to garden, one of the best places to start is by visiting some gardening websites and blogs.
There are a number of great resources available online, and you can learn a lot by reading through articles and watching video tutorials. You can also find helpful tips and advice from other gardeners, and you can even ask questions and get feedback.
Additionally, many gardening websites and blogs offer online courses or e-books that can teach you everything you need to know about gardening.
Some of my favorite gardening websites and blogs are:
- Gardening Know How
- Tasteful Garden
- Gardener’s Path
- Garden Beast
- The Spruce
- Bifurcated Carrots
- Royal Horticultural Society
- Gardener’s Supply
- Gardening Channel
- Birds and Blooms
- Fine Gardening
In today’s world, there’s an app for just about everything – and gardening is no exception. Whether you’re a beginner looking to start your first garden, or an experienced gardener looking for new tips and tricks, there’s an app out there that can help.
Gardening apps can offer step-by-step instructions on everything from planting to pest control, and they can also provide valuable information on the best plants for your specific climate and soil type.
Best of all, most gardening apps are free, so you can try out a few before settling on the one that’s right for you.
So why wait? Download a gardening app today and get started on your green thumb journey!
Some of my favorite gardening apps are:
- From Seed to Spoon
- SmartPlant Home
- Sun Seeker Tracker and Compass
- Garden Journal from Territorial Seed
- Garden Companion
One way to learn about gardening is to read books on the subject.
Not only will you learn about the different types of plants and how to care for them, but you will also learn about the different techniques that can be used to improve your garden. In addition, reading gardening books can help to inspire new ideas and help you to develop your own unique style.
While you can get a lot from online gardening resources, books are an invaluable tool, too, especially if you’re looking for more specific information on various topics.
Disclosure: if you visit an external link in this post and make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Read my full earnings disclosure here.
Some of my all-time favorite books are:
- Vegetable Gardening for Beginners: A Simple Guide to Growing Vegetables at Home
- Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space
- The Well-Tempered Garden by Christopher Lloyd
- New Naturalism: Designing and Planting a Resilient, Ecologically Vibrant Home Garden
- The Dry Garden by Beth Chatto
- Planting: A New Perspective
- We Madea Garden by Margery Fish
- Vegetables Love Flowers: Companion Planting for Beauty and Bounty
Agricultural extension offices are a great place to start, as they can provide information on everything from choosing the right plants for your climate to dealing with pests and diseases. County fairs and gardening shows are also great sources of information, and they can be a lot of fun too.
If you’re looking for a fun and easy way to learn more about gardening, then you should definitely consider checking out some gardening podcasts.
Not only are they a great way to get information from experienced gardeners, but they’re also usually free to listen to. And since you can listen to them at your own pace, they’re a great option for busy people who don’t have a lot of time to spare.
Plus, listening to a podcast is a lot more enjoyable than reading a gardening book, in my opinion.
Here are some of my top picks:
- The Beginner’s Garden podcast
- The Joe Gardener Podcast
- Let’s Argue About Plants
- Epic Gardening: Daily Growing Tips
- Gardening with the RHS
- Cultivating Place
- All the Dirt Gardening, Sustainability,and Food Podcast
- Roots and All
I hear from so many people who tell me that they’d like to have a garden one day. Or that they feel like they need to be preparing, but aren’t sure what to do. Listen up, dear friends!
Even if it’s just one tomato plant you purchased at the garden center, you have to start somewhere, and that’s a great start. But start making serious steps toward learning a little self-sustainability. And start now.
Because, I feel like we’re living on borrowed time. I don’t know how long we have, but I know we don’t have time to waste.
Don’t wait another season, another year. This is the year to get down on your knees (in more than one way!), to get dirt under your nails, sunshine in your face, and plants in the ground.
This is the year to harvest your first home grown produce, and to feel the satisfaction in knowing that you can take care of yourself and your family no matter what.
Gardening is not extremely difficult. But it takes time, and it cannot all be learned in one season, or two, or three.
So, get on it people!! Spring is upon us. No more excuses. Get out there and grow some food! Learn how to garden now!
updated by Rebekah Pierce 08/02/2022
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.