From Beginner to Master Gardener... and Beyond
Welcome! Whether you're new to vegetable gardening or have been slurping homegrown tomatoes for years, you'll find guidance and solutions here.
Vegetable Gardening Has Many Rewards...
Vegetable gardening is fun, fulfilling and empowering (especially in
these challenging times), and I am here to help you with every step, from planning and layout, all the way through to harvest... and
You're in the right place if you:
- want to grow a garden but aren't sure where to start (and maybe feel a bit overwhelmed…)
- would love to increase the nutrition and quality of your food
- are working toward greater self-reliance and sustainability
- want to learn to garden in step with nature's intelligence
- just LOVE tomatoes!
- imagine winding down in your garden after a stressful day
- need a solution to a problem in your current vegetable garden
- are relieved knowing there is a reliable, experienced guide here to answer your vegetable gardening questions
- just wanna get your hands in the dirt! (I can relate...)
I know what it's like to get the itch to start a vegetable garden, look out at a baked-hard yard of weeds, and sigh.
That was me in 1985. But with determination, a sprinkler and a really good spading fork I somehow managed to create my first vegetable garden in that rock-hard "soil".
And from then on I was hooked. I majored in botany in college, read tons of books, tried out all the methods and experimented like crazy.
Over time I slowly learned what works and what doesn't (a lot of trendy methods don't) - but most importantly, I learned why.
So I started this website to share what I've learned with you. I wish I'd had an experienced mentor to take me under their wing and lead me down a straighter path to the healthy, overflowing garden that now blesses me.
Whatever brought you here, my number one goal is to provide the answer or solution that will help you grow the garden of your dreams.
Along the way I'm also going to share with you a big secret - my number one rule for a successful garden (sshhh… it's a secret!):
Of course it's never been a secret, but now that your ears are perked up...
Whichever vegetable gardening method you choose - raised beds, in-the-ground, or any other method - to grow healthy vegetables that resist pests, burst with flavor, and contain deep nutrition you must build really healthy soil.
And vegetable gardens with truly healthy soil are now a very rare thing indeed.
But before we get to that, let's help you find what you came looking for, so you can get your hands in the dirt...
Here's a tour of a few of the things you can find here, to help you learn your way around. You can scroll through the sampling below, or go to the Site Map/Index and jump straight to what you want.
Here are quick-jump links to a few major topics explored lower on the page:
These pages will help beginners get started on the right foot and avoid the most common mistakes:
How to plan your vegetable garden layout, whether in the ground, raised beds, or containers:
How to design, build, and fill a raised bed garden for durability and maximum soil health:
Photo gallery of nine different raised bed ideas, including wood, cinder block, metal corners, and more.
Healthy soil is critical for both plant health and human health. Learn what to buy, or use this recipe.
How to make compost to keep your plants happy and boost your microbial partners, as well as some awesome free bin plans:
Making compost without smell requires 4 ingredients that must be in balance.
This homemade compost bin is built with stackable tiers for easy turning and perfect aeration.
Earthworms convert kitchen scraps into plant nutrition, with a side of good microbes.
How to get a jump on the season and save money by starting your own seeds indoors. (Plus chase off the winter blues!):
Good trays are hard to find! What to look for (and avoid) for best root development.
Links for all the "How to Grow" articles from Artichokes to Zucchini, plus quick links to the top two favorites:
What to do when challenges arise. How to use non-toxic means to restore balance and health to the garden ecosystem:
And last but not least a sampling of some random misfits... (me included):
TMI about yours truly. How I got into this, and my grandiose plan for changing the world.
Turns out that a rototiller destroys soil ecology and creates a hardpan. Why that's so, and what to do instead.
This website is dedicated to the renewal of sustainable, regenerative, organic vegetable gardening around the world. May we become gardeners of healthful, nutrient-dense food, careful stewards of soil, and may the plants we tend remind us to keep growing toward the Light.
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Thank you... and have fun in your garden!
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