Gardening 101- Veggies and Herbs

Tomatoes in an in-ground garden.  If planting in the ground, be sure to space tomato plants 2 to 3 feet apart.

Gardening is physical activity, education, entertainment and therapy all rolled into one very productive hobby. In episode 24 of Food in Session, we share our gardening experience, including past successes and failures, tips for choosing your type of garden and what to plant. Plus, learn about the pros and cons of organic versus synthetic fertilizers and how to make a homemade bug spray.

If gardening is a new venture for you, first consider if you have the time to dedicate to the garden. If time is short, a container or "patio" garden is a good option. You can plant just a few or many containers. Container gardens tend to have less or no weeds, but might take more time to water as you do each one by hand (versus using a soaker hose in an in-ground garden). Watering just 5 or 6 containers though should not take too much time.

Next, decide what you want to grow. Avoid going overboard! It's easy to get excited about all of the options for garden goodies (trust us, we have made that mistake!). Here are a few things to think about:

1) What do you like to eat? Choose those veggies and herbs

2) What do you not like to eat? Do not choose those ones!

3) What can you dry, freeze or can to use later?

4) Do you have space for large plants like squash or zucchini?

Once you decide what to plant, choose whether you will start from seed or starter plants. Both can be purchased at lawn and garden stores, but you will not find all options in starter plants. Here are our suggestions for seeds versus starter plants:

Start from seed: beans, corn, squash, cucumber, eggplant, melon, peppers and okra

Starter plants: tomatoes, herbs (if you are new to gardening and prefer skipping the seed phase, look for more starter plant options)

Read more about planting, drainage and watering here!

An example of a container or "patio" garden from Emily's patio.
Several varieties of herbs growing in a large container.

Garden goodies!  Mid-summer green beans, tomatoes and cucumbers.