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Thread: How to begin a garden?

  1. #1

    Default How to begin a garden?

    I want to start a garden and this will be my very first time. I live in NE Kansas so I'm thinking it's about time to get started. I'm not even sure where to start. I'm assuming I need to get the ground ready and I know what I want to plant but I'm not sure whether to use seeds or already started plants. I would like to have cucumbers, green beans, roma tomatoes, strawberries, and maybe some sweet corn. Any suggestions on how to start would be really appreciated.



  2. #2


    Good for you, the gardening bug will bite you now for sure! We could be of more help to you if you can describe a little more what lines you're thinking along and give more information on the garden type itself.

    For example, what type of soil do you have? Is it clay, sandy, rocky etc. What are the weather conditions like -full sun, partial sun, shaded? What about water - do you have periods of drought the plants will need to survive when there's a hosepipe ban?

    How much space do you want to allocate for growing? What's best suited to you and how many of different types you can plant can depend a lot on how much room you have for plants to spread out. Bell pepper plants for example grow straight up and don't take up much space at all, whereas cucumbers will vine out in every direction. Beans will grow beautifully along a fence if you have one to plant them against.

    How much time can you dedicate to working in your garden each week roughly? This helps you choose whether you need to go for low maintenance plants or can manage ones that need that extra bit of attention.

    The clearer a picture you can give us, the better we can help. For the first time, I'd say use plants already started to increase your chances of success and keep you keen! Finding out what gardening zone you're in too will be helpful.

  3. #3


    What all questions Serenity has asked are the ones which almost everyone would ask before advicing you on how to start on gardening. I would rather start off with plants rather than seeds. I planted out recently Onion and mint plants in my backyard. Check out: that has some information on the weather conditions and soil needed for desired plants.

  4. #4


    If you can wait a year the best way to prepare a new area for gardening (assuming there is grass/weeds growing there already, is lasagna.

    Put down a layer of cardboard or newspaper around the entire area, then a layer of vegetation (grass clippings, kitchen scrabs, whatever, green/wet stuff). Then a layer of newspaper or cardboard, then another green layer, then top with a final layer of newspaper or cardboard, or, if you want it to look nice, cardboard followed by a wood mulch.

    You may need to of course provide walls for this to hold it all in, a raised bed kit for instance, bricks, whatever.

    Next year it will have turned into really rich soil that you can easily work and prepare for planting.

  5. #5

    Default Thanks for the info

    Thanks everyone for the info. I think my best bet now, because I'm in zone 5 and I think it's pretty much planting time, is to wait until next year and do a little more research on exactly what I want to plant and also get my ground ready. It's definately not ready. I also think, from what everyone has said so far, that I will start with plants so hopefully I will raise my success rate. You guys are great. Thanks again.


  6. #6


    Glad to be of help, Dawn. One thing I learned from a workmate this year is to also bag up leaves left over from fall in sturdy trash bags if you have somewhere to store them. He did that one year quite by accident and had simply forgotten to get rid of them but when he rediscovered them in the Spring, they had nicely composted down into small piles which he worked into his soil. I'm hanging on to a few bags myself this year to try it and see what happens.

    Chris, I like the lasagna preparation - that's nice and easy to remember. Thanks for that tip!

  7. #7


    Hey Dawn, how about planting a few things in pots this year whilst you prepare the garden? You can grow all the things you mentioned apart form the sweetcorn in pots really easily. You'll not get the same harvests, obviously, but it will give you experience of those plants on a small scale so you'll be more confident next year.

  8. #8

    Default Great Idea Green Moo

    I think I'll definately give that a go. I know the strawberries and the tomatoes can be done that way, but even the cucumbers and the green beans? Wow, who knew? Well, you guys, which is why I came here.



  9. #9


    Well gardening is my hobby.So I do not get bored even if I am in the garden for the full day.Thanks for the information.Now I can perform my hobby with much accuracy.

  10. #10


    Good luck, Dawn! I think it's a great idea to grow a few things in containers this year, so you'll have a better idea of what to do next year when your soil is ready.
    Last edited by mamabear05; 04-29-2008 at 06:12 PM. Reason: typo

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