How to Grow a Summer Garden for Beginners

Worried your green thumb is more of a plant killer? Follow these tips for first-time success!

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

This summer, reap what you sow successfully. 

There is nothing more daunting than beginning a project. Whether you are hoping to do some great DIY ideas for your home or tackling a big renovation, the first steps are the hardest to take. This is especially true when you’re beginning to learn how to garden. And if you’re actually hoping to tell people that your fried green tomatoes are extra special because you grew them yourself, the pressure is on. To help you take the first step to delicious gardening success, we enlisted the help of  Pablo Solomon, artist, designer, and gardener, who shared with us his “pot method.”

“I have found this set-up to be a way for beginners to have a successful summer vegetable garden,” says Solomon. “While most people do not have a lot of experience with an actual garden, they do have experience growing a plant in a pot. So what I suggest is to, in effect, create a big pot. How?”

  • Get two of those cheap plastic children’s wading pools that are available at toy stores, big box stores, and local hardware stories, usually for under $20 each. One should be smaller, and the other larger in diameter.
  • Drill holes in the bottom of the smaller pool for drainage, then place it in the larger one.
  • Put a couple of inches of pea gravel in the smaller pool and then fill it nearly to the top with good soil — the better your soil, the better your chances of success.
  • Then plant your little vegetable starts. Each time you water, I suggest using a small amount of good fertilizer in the water (following the manufacturer’s instructions).
  • As long as the soil is moist and there is water in the tub, you do not have to add more water — just as with potted plants.
  • The trick with plants is to keep the soil moist, but not wet, nor totally dry.

“This giant pot method will help you get gardening and  allows you to control weeds and bugs much easier.”

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