Note: This is the first in a 2010 veg garden series for new gardeners. The second post, about county/parish extension offices, is here.
Veggie gardens are getting a lot of press here in the states, but that doesn’t mean that one should just grab some seed, a shovel and start digging. Well, you could… but then you might make some amateur mistakes that lead to disappointment. And we definitely don’t want that!
Two big things to consider before you start:
1. Support – Do you have the right support network in place for your endeavor? Do you know where you’ll turn if you have a question? Your local Cooperative Extension office can provide you with information on what will (and what won’t) grow where you live.
Books are helpful, too, but remember that what works where the author resides isn’t necessarily going to grow where you live. So go ahead and enjoy the pretty pictures of the latest gardening bestseller, but also make a point to look for books, blogs, online groups and magazines tailored to your region for the most useful, relevant scoop. (Libraries are a terrific source for these materials!)
2. Location – Speaking of region, do you know your zone? It’s a vital piece of information since where you live determines what will grow optimally in your lawn or on your patio. Most gardeners dig the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, but others of us (myself included) prefer the more subtly detailed Sunset Climate Zone Maps.
Have a tip to add? Feel free to weigh in. (Links to relevant blog posts are welcome, too.)