Grow what you love.
This always holds true, but it’s especially important for your first garden. And notice – I didn’t say “grow what you love to eat” – just grow things that make you happy. Do zinnias remind you of your favorite grandmother? Be sure to include them. Do sunflowers make you smile? Grow those. Have you always wondered what peanut plants look like? Save a spot for them!
If you are really not sure what you like yet, some good “starter” garden vegetables are:
- Green beans
- Snow peas
All of these are easy to grow, produce a reasonable amount of food in a small space, and taste noticeably better than store-bought varieties. Obviously, don’t grow anything you know you won’t eat.
Explore pre-planned gardens
Don’t overextend yourself
If you’ve never gardened before, I recommend starting with one 4’x8′ raised bed. This is enough space to get appreciable harvests, but not so big as to overwhelm. I know this seems small, but the #1 reason I see that people abandon gardening after a year is that they take on too much the first year, and gardening becomes a chore instead of a delight. Once you get the first year under your belt, the steepest part of the learning curve is out of the way…and adding more beds the next year doesn’t feel like much more work.