Starting an At-Home Garden

Working outside doesn’t have to be a chore! Start your own garden with these tips from garden and organic food enthusiast Vynnie McDaniels.


    Step 1: Make a List of Plants to Grow—and Eat!

    Follow a “rule of three” by picking three kinds of veggies: fruiting, rooting, and leafy. Also include three herbs and three flowers. Select plant/seed varieties that are less than 90 days to harvest.

    Step 2: Pick your Spot and Design your Garden

    Find a visible and accessible area so you can watch your garden grow! Your spot should receive at least six hours of sunlight each day, and a water source nearby. Make sure to alternate rows in your layout: veggies, then herbs; veggies, then flowers.

    Step 3: Right Tools, Right Job

    Acquire basic garden tools: spade shovel, tine rake, hand shovel, garden hose, hand pruners, and garden gloves.

    Step 4: Compost and Mulch

    Mulching prevents erosion, protects roots, and keeps your soil warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps your plants retain moisture, reducing your need to water.

    Step 5: Watering System

    Use an automated watering system with a hose-end timer matched specifically for your veggie’s needs. If you’re doing it the old-fashioned way, be sure to have two watering cans ready and a dedicated hose or spigot.

    Photo by Sarah Bel Gray

Alejandra likes ice cream, dancing and pretty things. You can usually find her exploring downtown Phoenix, where she lives, or singing to herself while writing in a coffee shop.

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