Nikki Tilley is Senior Editor/Head Writer at Gardening Know How and author of 6 gardening tomes, including the Bulb-o-licious Garden and The Garden Crypt. Nikki was recently approached by the folks at A Green Hand and asked for her best advice on planting the first vegetable garden. Here is an excerpt from the interview ’50+ Experts Reveal How To Plant The First Vegetable Garden‘:
How To Plant The First Vegetable Garden
by Nikki Tilley
It’s usually better to grow vegetables you enjoy and those that are easier to grow such as radish, cucumber, beans, tomatoes and squash.
The most important factor in deciding what crops you want to grow is space. Where you will be growing them, the available light and current soil conditions will all dictate what you can grow – if you lack space, you’ll need to grow less plants or take advantage of vertical space. If you have limited sun, you’ll need to choose plants that are more appropriate, like lettuce. And if your soil isn’t up to par, you’ll need to consider amending it as well as choosing plants that are suitable for your conditions.
For anyone just starting out, it’s always better to start small. Consider growing your garden in small beds or even containers. When you have a general idea about what you want, plan it out carefully. And, remember, you can always add to the garden as your experience and confidence grows.
It doesn’t matter if you’re new to gardening or a seasoned pro…nature sometimes has its own plans. Weather is one of the biggest problems you’ll face and there’s little you can do about it other than “weather the storm” so to speak. Pests are another issue. Whatever can go wrong typically does, but this shouldn’t discourage you. You can’t control everything that happens in the garden but you can keep trying.
Take notes, learn as you go and experiment with what works for you and your situation. Gardening is all about growing, not only plants but as a person. It’s one of the best teaching tools out there and if you stay at it and don’t give up, you’ll also find that it’s all worth it in the end.