How to Start a Garden

Hi, I’m Tricia, and organic gardener. Organic vegetable gardening is very rewarding. And whether you live in the countryside, in the city, or in the subarbs, you can enjoy homegrown vegetables. Today, I’m at my friend Autumn’s house and we’re gonna start a brand new garden. If this is your first garden, I recommend that you start small. The worst thing that can happen is that you bite off more than you can chew. Autumn has chosen this 20×20 space, but if you only have 5×10, that’s fine too! Site selection is important. You need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight per day for vegetables, and preferably more. If you’re not sure how much sun you get, you can use one of these SunCalc sunlight calculators and be sure you’ve chosen the right spot. Avoid snuggling your site up against tall trees, their roots can affect the vegetable growth. And if you do have trees, be sure that you have a clear southern exposure. A very important consideration is your water source. Do you have a hose bib or some other way to connect your irrigation that’s close by to your site? A major part of organic gardening is healthy, rich soil. In order to know how to build your soil, a soil test is critical. A soil test is going to tell you exactly what your garden already has, and what it needs. Check our video on soil tests to learn how to take a good soil sample. The next step is soil preparation, and you can prepare the soil by either using a tiller, a broadfork, or a digging fork. If your soil is less compacted, broadforking, or using a digging fork, can be substituted for tilling. This really only needs to be done initially. Once you’ve tilled or worked the soil with a fork, it’s time to add some good old organic compost, which is teaming with beneficial microbes. Next I’m going to build my soil beds by digging out the dirt from the pathways and putting it on the bed, until the bed is about 6-8 inches in height. The next step is to grade the bed. And if you want to add some fertilizer per the soil test results, now is the time to do it. 3-4 foot wide beds are a better use of a home gardener’s space than narrow rows like you would see on a farm. In addition, wide beds give your plants’ roots more room to spread out. To prevent weeds from growing in the pathways, you can put down cardboard or newspaper. Just put it down in the pathways and then water it so it gets real heavy. Make sure that the pieces of cardboard overlap. After wetting down your cardboard, just add about a 2-3 inch layer of straw. Water the whole garden area thoroughly. We’ve disturbed the soil so much that the weed seeds are gonna come to the surface and germinate. While you’re waiting for the weeds to germinate, you can start setting up your drip irrigation system. A couple of days later, come back using either the Hori Hori Weeder Rooter, stirrup hoe, or a colinear hoe and take out any young weeds. Repeat this process a couple more times before you plant. If you have deer, rabbits, or other wildlife, I highly recommend a deer fence. Otherwise, all your hard work is going to be a donation to the local wildlife! This deer fencing is relatively inexpensive and easy to install. It’s finally time to plant the certified organic vegetable starts and seeds. I’m planting these peas and they grow really tall, so I’m gonna stake them with the bamboo. And I’m planting them to the north of the garden, so that they don’t shade out the other lower-growing plants like the radishes I’m going to plant from seed. Liquid fish and kelp are great fertilizers to help your little plants thrive. They’re often applied as a foliar spray, so make sure you have a good sprayer with a fine-tip nozzle. So enjoy your little garden and Grow Organic for Life!

100 comments

  1. @7llazaren Awesome! That's so exciting! Sometimes when people are starting a lot of raised beds they cover crop a few of them with a plant blend that puts nitrogen into the soil to save money on fertilizer. Another popular thing is to plant a bed with a mix like Good Bug Blend to attract beneficial insects for pest control help and pollination.

  2. Will you be getting the Violette de Bordeaux fig tree again? Can the Turkey fig tree be planted in a container? This is an excellent video!

  3. @isabstmr As far as I know we will be getting Violette de Bordeaux next year too, crop permitting. Yes, standard sized fig trees can be grown in containers. Turkey should do just fine, the only one's I've seen that are not recommended are Black Mission and LSU Purple.

  4. Great videos these videos are very helpful they're very informative they're really recorded well and I appreciate you posting them for such a great contribution to help people learn how to garden and grow organic thank you so much for for putting these on the Internet

  5. Can you make Video about Children Garden Because I want My Little Brothers to get into gardening Early!! 🙂

  6. Gardening early is a lot of fun! We have a video coming up in the next couple of weeks that features a fun garden project to do with children. Thanks for the feedback.

  7. This was filmed in Nevada City, California. A really beautiful town, it used to be called the "Queen of the Northern Mines."

  8. Thanks! I am starting a small garden in my back yard this Spring and this was a perfect video for me. Now all you need is a couple of bee hives to pollinate your plants.

  9. No, not at all. You might want to do narrower beds right up against the house that you can reach across from one side or you can make a path between the house and the first bed. The house, especially on the south side will actually make your garden a bit warmer which may allow you to plant your warm season veggies a little earlier than otherwise.

  10. i think he means it seems like you might be over complicating the process a bit. i kinda feel the same, i know it takes a bit of work to start a garden, but it does seem like you are taking it to the very extreme. good video otherwise, good info also

  11. The reason we suggest what we suggest is that it is much easier to maintain and you will have a much more successful garden if you put in some extra work in the beginning. You don't HAVE to start this way you can do more or less, but we felt this was a good level to teach so that people will have a better chance of a successful first garden rather than a frustrating one.

  12. I love this!deff. Subscribing.
    But I am a beginner,I will be moving to a house where I can plant in the yard-can you maybe do a more in depth video. Also I'd like to start my own raw vegan compost-video tips?

  13. When I was ten we started a garden. We had vegetables and fruit we did not about the deer fence though. All of our strawberries were ate by deer and squirrels. Now almost 6 years later I find out about the deer fence, sigh I am thinking about starting the garden up again this year though

  14. Thank you for the detail guide. I am a new. I will try to make a vegetable garden. But please tell me how to plant carrot effectively
    goo.gl/XE0TjV

  15. Hi and thank you for the video. Here is our first time gardening experience https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKIAoKHkss0
    The results made us feel incredible. Gardening vs. The System 1:0 🙂

  16. Me too, I tried to grow lettuce in my garden but my dog loves wet soil. So it's unfortunate for my plants because she dug up my soil and slept there the whole day😂

  17. Hmm i just tilled up some grass put alpaca manure all over it tilled again planted and it works great why so complex?

  18. My famly has our own garden and its doing well! Right now we have a ton of green beans, green bell peppers, and some tomatoes. We did cucumbers last year and that was a success but we decided to change it up because the cucumbers got out of hand 😂

  19. We rent and can't dig up the soil, but the wide beds were a really good tip and I can use that when building a raised bed system!!! Thank you!

  20. Your video is such a great thing. Thank you so much for all the information. I love to garden, but haven't really found anyone to help much. I subscribed to you and I hope you make more!!

  21. Thank you for making this it's really helpful. I'm hoping for better health next year so I can start a little garden, maybe a few chickens and share with those around me. What a great way to meet your neighbors and learn valuable skills! Best wishes always.

  22. Do plants eat fish? Thanks for showing me what not to do. Go with compost tea, or something natural. This is not organic, definitely won't be smoking your mercury laden buds. Mmmmmm toxic seafood.

  23. This video just made me more confused and scared to start…. so many steps and not explained in depth, for example, where to buy this stuff…. and why do I need the organic compost on the bottom if I'm just going to cover it with cardboard…and what are the pathways…

  24. Thanks so much. I've decided to start a little back yard garden and your video is the perfect information for me. Compared to all the other videos I have watched, yours is most helpful.

  25. Jeez never seen someone make so many ads for organic. Though I also grow organic stop subliminally pushing organic in people’s faces, either address why organic or just tell people how to garden; we have enough advertisements as it is.

  26. My parents had a garden when I was a child, got to help them in summers almost every other day. I didn't like that stuff, but now I'm thankful to them for pushing me to work. I would like to make my own garden now.

  27. This video was truly exquisite I am part of the lucky few who could see this sheer masterpiece you my good women are a genius thank you

  28. This will really work with any kind of garden.. Applied some to my flower bed and it was awesome.. Check it out at www.gardenloka.com

  29. Thanks so much for your efforts, but there are a lot easier ways to start a garden like sheet mulching or raised bed gardening.

  30. This was a wonderful intro video and answered alot of my questions. Thank you! Once question though, how long before I plan to plant my vegetables so I prepare my soil as you did in the beginning of your video?

  31. I hate it that people misuse the word "Organic", just like sugar free or diet bottle water.
    I find it very annoying, marketing, advertising and just conning like.

  32. As a professional videographer, these are the kinds of videos I should be helping to make. I'm also considering working part time at the garden center at Home Depot or Menards, once I'm more familiar with gardening, to supplement

  33. this is exactly what ive been looking for. a straightforward step by step. this novice wannabe gardener is super appreciative! thank you!

  34. can i just start planting before the weed grow? or i must need to wait the weed to grow and then remove them,afterthat then i start planting?

  35. First time seeing your videos; not disappointed! Only heard "regardless…" and then "five by two…", and I was already sold. I'm making a garden next to a highway, in a low-class suburban area. I'm gardening at an apartment area.

    You give good tips, and you focus on rhe plants themselves.

    In short: thanks for the information.

  36. lol, that wasn't a fresh plot… where are the weeds/grass? and why is there already an established fence around it with grass growing into it? that plot is at least 3 years old.

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