For New Gardeners

Your new veggies may be the most fun produce that you've ever had in the kitchen. Here is some basic advice to get started.

Warm Season v. Cool Season

Warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant, and cucumbers grow in the frost-free weather of late spring until fall. Cool-season vegetables such as lettuce and broccoli grow in the cooler weather of early spring and fall, and most withstand light frosts. If you're looking at our plants on the shelf, it's probably time to plant them.

3 Must-Haves

In vegetable gardening, three things are absolutely crucial for success: full sun, good soil, and plenty of water. The next factors also make a big difference:

  • varieties adapted to your area (we've done that for you)
  • good care
  • identifying and controlling pests

Prepare for Harvest

You'll be surprised how quickly vegetables grow from young plant to harvest size—most in 14 to 90 days, depending on the plant. Our plant tags will tell you. Pay attention to your veggies! With most veggies and herbs, the more you harvest the more they produce, if you water and feed them well.

Tips from Experience »

  1. Don't make your first garden too big. A few extra-large containers or a 4 x 4 raised bed are easy ways to learn. Look at the planting plans for ideas.
  2. The first season is usually the hardest because of the time, cost, and work in setting up the garden. The next time it is much, much easier. The main setup will have been done.
  3. Don't give up. You will make mistakes. All gardeners have. Check your garden almost daily for water, pest control, and harvest. If you do that, you will discover another joy of living. What you do in the garden is as rewarding as the harvest. Enjoy and browse our mobile site for help, and check for more info on our desktop site,

Posted in: Growing Basics