How to Successfully Garden as a Beginner

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Did you know that interest in gardening has doubled in the past two years? 

If you are new to gardening here are a few tips to help you be successful:  

  • Talk to everyone you can about their gardens. All good gardeners enjoy “cultivating” a new gardener. Talk to your neighbors who have productive, healthy gardens, garden club members, your local Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and Extension staff.
  • Plan, plan, plan, and put it on paper. January is a good month because all the catalogs have arrived! Start with frost tolerant crops (broccoli, cabbage, carrots, kale, lettuce, English peas, radishes), then warm season vegetables (beans, cucumbers, peppers, squash, sweet corn, tomatoes, and watermelons). Consider the possible succession schemes by thinking about the entire picture of the gardening year.
  • Study the seed catalogs, but keep a cool hand — don’t over order. SeedGardening catalogs are packed with cultural information and new varieties being offered. If you don’t receive catalogs, purchase a gardening magazine and you will usually find cards to order them free or simply do an internet search for vegetable seeds and you will find an enormous list.
  • Use Extension recommended varieties. These varieties should grow well in our area. Select resistant varieties to reduce pests and pesticides. Regardless of the variety name and origin, some perform better than others based on your unique soil type and climate. For information on what to grow do a quick internet search using the words NC State Beginner Vegetable Gardening.
  • Prepare your soil — the ultimate key to success. Healthy soil grows healthy plants.

Join the Union County Extension Master Gardeners for the February 3, Successful Gardener program, online via Web-ex at 7 p.m. The topic will be “From the Ground Up” and will be all about creating healthy soil for healthy plants. To register for this free program, visit the Union County Master Gardener website.