Gardening For Beginners

Looking to save money, eat clean, and do something good for the environment? Planting a small garden is a good place to start -- and it's easy to do.
162359422

162359422

Gardener holding a basket full of fresh vegetables

Photo by: infrontphoto

infrontphoto

Looking to save money, eat clean, and do something good for the environment? You can do it all by just getting your hands dirty – and it all starts in your own backyard.

Getting Started

It's easy to get intimidated if you're a gardening neophyte, but there's really nothing to fear. Scout out a sunny spot in the yard and make sure there's a water source in the vicinity.

Visit your local garden center for pots, potting mix, seeds or starter plants, and a few pots, plus a shovel and watering can.

It's time to plant once you know there's no longer a risk of overnight frost. In the northeast where I live, that’s around mid-May.

Deciding What to Plant

It's pretty simple – grow what you like to eat! Herbs, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce are always a good place to start. Summer squash, broccoli and melon are also fairly low-maintenance. Chili peppers and eggplant are also a couple of my personal faves; they grow well in the ground or in large pots placed on the lawn or patio.

Once you've decided what to grow, think about placement. Larger plants like tomatoes and broccoli will grow tall, blocking light from lower lying vegetation so allow shorter plants lots of sunny access around the edges of garden beds. Go online and view images of what full grown plants look like, it will help you decide what you have room for.

Care and Maintenance

Water and sunlight are really all a garden needs. Avoid over-grooming plants by simply pinching away any dead leaves. As plants grow larger, use string or tomato cages to give the plants support and something to hold on to.

Once fruits and veggies start to appear, check and pick ripe produce daily to prevent plants from getting weighed down (and critters from munching). If you live near a wooded area, a simple chicken wire fence may also help keep local animals from stealing your harvest.

Tell Us: What are you planting this year?
Keep Reading

Next Up

A Beginner's Guide to Eating Oysters

Hear from executive chef Josh Capon about the ins and outs of oyster shucking and slurping.

The Beginner's Kitchen According to Marc Forgione

Food Network's Iron Chef Marc Forgione shares his take on what a novice cook should first learn to master in the kitchen.

The Beginner’s Guide to Gluten-Free Grocery Shopping

Your primer to navigating the grocery store in search of gluten-free products.

The White House Garden

See how the White House Garden is mapped out, plant by presidential plant.

Garden Varieties — Meatless Monday

Embrace the final days of summer with this garden-fresh, veggie-packed plate, complete with tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus and bell peppers.

Herb Garden 101

If you haven't started that herb garden you've been meaning to plant, don't worry--it's not too late. We have a few easy tips to jumpstart you into the growing season.

On TV

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.