There are many reasons for wanting to start your own garden. Whether you want to implement a healthier lifestyle or you prefer the fresh taste of homegrown veggies, get started! If gardening is new to you, you may worry you don’t have a “green thumb.” However, many vegetables provide a great starting point for beginning gardeners. All you need is a little bit of planning and the right plant choices.
If you’re thinking to yourself “I can’t garden because I don’t live in the right environment,” think again. Suburban farming and gardening work in all kinds of climates! Plants are resilient and can live in many types of environments with proper care. Many plants, like tomatoes and zucchinis, do well as potted plants. They grow so abundantly you’ll be begging your friends and neighbors to take some from you!
Best Plants for Beginning Gardeners
What are your personal favorite types of veggies? Odds are they’re easy to grow in southwest Ohio.
Lettuce, cabbage, spinach or chard make a great starting point. They grow better in cooler weather, so you can start early in the year, in temperatures between 45 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. And, they grow fast. The quick gratification will boost your confidence and motivate you to keep learning more about gardening.
Tomatoes come in numerous varieties, so you might check with your local nursery to see what they recommend for starting out. For your first time, you should opt for starter plants rather than buying seeds. Cherry tomatoes are considered some of the easiest to grow. Tomatoes even hang in there if you forget to water them once in a while!
Green beans or string beans grow easily from seeds. Did you ever do that experiment in elementary school where you plant a seed in a cup? It’s really that easy. Wait for the threat of frost to pass then plant them in spring or summer.
Root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, beets, radishes, and potatoes require a little extra prep work for the soil. Till the ground and remove any rocks. You can also try creating a raised bed for these if you’re up for it. They should produce plenty of edible results, including the roots and the greens.
Squash are among the easiest plants to grow in Ohio but they can take over your garden. Choose from Zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, patty pan, butternut, or pumpkins. Plant them in containers or directly in the ground.
Talk to your neighbors to see what works for them, too. Even within one state or region, soil and conditions vary from place to place. And more experienced veterans usually enjoy sharing their wisdom with beginning gardeners.
Be sure to document what works and what doesn’t. Then you can go back to your notes next year and see what you need to adjust. Growing your own garden is truly one rewarding. The best part is sitting down at the kitchen table and enjoying the fruits of your own labor.
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