DOUG’S GARDENING BLOG – Tips For the First Time Vegetable Gardener

A common occurrence during the ongoing pandemic is the cancellation or postponement of events, interrupting common traditions and rituals for students and adults alike.

BUT NOT GARDENING!! With all my years working in a retail gardening center, I have never spoken to so many families before who are wanting to try doing some vegetable gardening for the first time. This puts a smile on my face. How great is this for a family activity!


  1. As a family discussion, together, make a decision as to what to grow. Tomatoes, peppers, corn, squash, melons, etc. Do your research on how each vegetable grows so that you allow proper spacing.
  2. Decide on the size of the garden. This may help in deciding what vegetables to grow. You can start small. It is best to be proud of your small garden than frustrated by a big one.
  3. Picking the location is very important. Vegetables love the sun!! They need 6 to 8 hours of full sun every day.
  4. Once the location is decided, have the garden face north to south, especially if you are using a raised garden.
  5. You will want to plant the tall-growing vegetables, such as corn, on the north end so as not to shade the rest of the garden with smaller growing vegetables.
  6. Soil is important. Good, rich, organic soil with good drainage is very important. We have ESPOMA RAISED GARDEN BED SOIL, BLACK KOW MANURE, and LEAF COMPOST, which are all excellent to incorporate into the garden.
  7. When planting, be sure to add some ESPOMA BIO-TONE inside each hole when planting. Bio-tone is a great root stimulator.
  8. Watering is very important. Vegetables need lots of water. Consider watering by hand early in the morning in order to reduce evaporation.

Have fun. Gardening is a great family event and a great learning experience for everyone. Plus, you are going to enjoy the bounty later this summer.


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