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Tips for the beginner gardener

 
gardener
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Spring is here in the northern hemisphere and I know many of you are getting your gardens going and wanting to grow more food. Some of you may be fairly new to gardening and unsure what to do to grow more food.

This week’s blog post — 11 Tips for the Beginner Gardener – How to Grow More Food — covers 11 tips aimed to help someone just getting started with their garden to have a successful and productive growing season.

Some of these tips won’t help a more experienced gardener but some of these really could help someone wanting to move their garden in a direction that works with nature.

Let’s dive into some of the tips that even an experienced gardener might find useful.

Add Flowers to Your Garden



It might seem odd on first pass to see adding flowers to your garden as a tip to grow more food. But it turns out that flowers can provide a number of great benefits to your garden.

They add more diversity to your garden which will in turn support a greater diversity of soil life and other critters like beneficial insects (pollinators, predators, etc.).

By supporting beneficial insects you can decrease your issues with pests. Beneficial insects such as parasitoid wasps, ladybugs and lacewings are fantastic at helping to control garden pests. Lacewing larvae are great predators of aphids!

This is really a great way to control garden pests and grow more food!

You Can Grow Vegetables Outside Your Garden



This may seem obvious but I think people often forget about this—you don’t have to just grow vegetables in your garden!

For a couple years after my wife and I bought our land we didn’t have a formal garden area—but we still grew vegetables.

As I built new hedgerows that were planted up with shrubs and trees I also tossed in a large amount of vegetables and flowers. This helped to fill in the hedgerows and it also gave us a bunch of vegetables despite not having a “garden”.

Even now that I have built several gardens that we are growing food in I’m still planting vegetables in other areas.

Especially vegetables that will overwinter here like kale, or self-seed, or perennial vegetables. All of these are great additions to my food forests and other growing areas.

You don’t have to keep the vegetables just to your garden! Just mix them in around your ornamental plants. Greens like kale and chard are especially easy to add to these areas but you can try other vegetables too.

But Really Just Get Started!



But really the key is just to get started—you don’t have to follow all these 11 tips and there are many other great tips that I left out.

The key is to start and do what you can this year to grow more food.

My main garden has fairly poor soils but each year it gets better and the plants do better. But if I hadn’t started then I would have had no harvests—instead every year I get more and more as my soils improve.

So let me know what tips you’re going to start with and what you’re growing this year! And if you have any tips to share please leave those in the comments.

And don’t forget to check out the blog post which covers 11 tips for the beginner gardener!

While you are over on the blog most make sure to leave a comment! If you are the first to do so you will get a piece of pie! The pie will get you access to some special features on perimes, discounts at some vendors, and you can use it to purchase some products on the permies digital marketplace.

If you leave a comment on the blog post make sure to leave a post here on permies too so I can easily give you the slice of pie.
 
gardener
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Great information for new gardeners, Daron! I especially like the points about growing flowers in the vegetable garden, and growing vegetables outside of the garden. Every year I find lots of volunteer marigolds, alyssum, cosmos, sunflowers, and more in the garden. I always leave the ones that are not competing directly with the food crops, which the bees & other pollinators seem to love.

Also, I often stick extra veggie starts in the ornamental beds, which makes the beds more attractive, while also "hiding" the crop from pests. It's a great way to save space, increase yields, as well as making the landscape more attractive.
 
Daron Williams
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Thanks Kc! I just added some alyssum to a couple of my garden beds. Such a great little flower to add to garden areas. I'm planning on adding some sunflowers around the edges of some of my garden beds. Once it warms up a bit more I want to add a bunch of nasturtiums--that is another flower I really like to add to my gardens!
 
pollinator
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My tips:
Just start and observe.
Don't dig if you can avoid it.
Grow what you like to eat.
Plant berry bushes - don't need much looking after and berries are expensive to buy.
A little often is better than too much work at once.
With watering, it's the opposite: once a week if necessary then lots (20l per m2)
 
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Location: pokhara nepal, ladakh, dharamshala india
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Hi! good tips all....

to ADD to whats being said/done, I have recently uploaded a series on youtube called
Virus Farming Updates- GROW Your OWN FOOD.... yeah, i know, but how else will someone pay attention, right.....

in here. i'm actually acting the goofball and planting seeds with sticks and rocks, showing you don't  NEED much
to dive in-

ill list them here in order, and hope this can help!

Virus Farming Update INTRO
Grow Your Own Food


Virus Farming Update TWO:
Just, PLANT IT!


Virus Farming Update THREE:
Organics and Supply Chains


Virus Farming Update THREE.FIVE-
Change the Organic Game


enjoy!
im
 
Kc Simmons
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Location: Central Texas
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Daron Williams wrote:Thanks Kc! I just added some alyssum to a couple of my garden beds. Such a great little flower to add to garden areas. I'm planning on adding some sunflowers around the edges of some of my garden beds. Once it warms up a bit more I want to add a bunch of nasturtiums--that is another flower I really like to add to my gardens!



For some reason I've never had good results with nasturtiums, but that doesn't stop me from trying to grow them every year. This year I planted a few in the strawberry patch and they've actually put on some good growth, so I hope they'll bloom before the summer heat kicks in.
Nasturtiums-and-strawberries.jpg
Nasturtiums and strawberries
Nasturtiums and strawberries
 
Daron Williams
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Location: Olympia, WA - Zone 8a/b
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Susan – Thanks for sharing the tips!

Kc – Glad to see they are growing! Nasturtiums seem to like it here thought they do tend to get hit by aphids. But I notice that the aphids stick to the nasturtiums and leave my other plants alone. After a couple weeks lady bugs show up and then the aphids go way 😊 So I just always plant extra knowing that some will get eaten.

This year I’m planning on adding tons of nasturtiums all over my growing areas with the hope that I can get them to start volunteering and coming back on their own each year. As long as I don’t put down a heavy mulch I find they tend to volunteer fairly easily.

I hope yours keep doing well!
 
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