Start a Vegetable Garden

Gardening Inspiration- love at first bite

There’s been a major shift the past few years as more people and families are turning back to growing some of their own veggies, fruit or herbs. This is a wonderful trend, one that I hope continues so people can eat more local healthy fresh food to nourish themselves and their families.

But you can’t just plant your food garden anywhere.

You need to pay attention to many things like the location, sun exposure etc.

Plan & Design your first garden!How to Start a Vegetable Garden from Scratch

Step 1. Choose a Spot for your Garden

Many people are a little hasty when choosing a spot for their garden. Although you might have a nice flat spot for garden beds, make sure you’ve checked your backyard sun exposure before putting in your garden.

  • Check sun exposure and backyard shadows. You need at least 6-8 hours a day for most crops.
  • You need to know your local hardiness/growing zone so you know how many frost-free months (if any) you have in a year to grow food. Although some crops can handle frosts, warm season crops need to be grown in the summer months.
  • It really helps to observe the seasonal changes in your backyard and micro climate too, some people will have drought during the summer and do a lot of gardening in the fall and winter months; others will have snow during the winter and grow most of their food during the spring and summer.
  • A flat spot tends to be preferred.
  • Figure out what kind of garden beds you’d like. This will depend on budget and size. Here are some raised garden bed ideas and garden bed fences.

The Garden Sunlight Guide

Image from Desima

Step 2. Figure out What to Grow

When you know where to put in your garden you’ll need to figure out what to plant and how to grow your food. Browse around online for different garden bed ideas and figure out the start up cost of your garden. Remember not to get too carried away for your first garden, you might be surprised at how much upkeep a garden needs. If you’re tight on space or renting you can always grow in containers.

Make lists of what you like to eat so you know what to grow.

Check out seed catalogs as most have detailed instructions on how to grow each fruit or vegetable and what the soil requirements will be.

I like to use a garden planner so I can stay organized for the season.

Garden Planner

You’ll need to not only figure out what to grow, but where to plant your crops & what they need

This will depend on your garden size and what you’re growing.

Crop Rotation Guide

Other Gardening Planning Tips


After you’ve put in your time and energy to grow your first garden enjoy the wonderful tastes of fresh homegrown food.

Once you’ve tasted fresh food it’s hard to go back!

Want to Learn More about Planning & Designing a Food Garden?

Check out my book ‘Planning & Designing the Family Food Garden’

Plan & Design your Best Garden Ever!

My Book Will Teach You:

  • The basics of garden design.
  • Factors in deciding what to grow.
  • Figure out what your family eats and spends on produce.
  • How to maximize your food production with 20 methods.
  • Grow the most profitable crops to really dent your grocery bill.
  • How to design your garden & offset the costs on new garden beds.
  • The basics of succession sowing for increased productivity.
  • How to select your seeds and when to sow your crops.
  • Creating an awesome sowing and transplanting schedule.
  • How to practice crop rotation for healthier soil.
  • Advanced crop rotation: when you practice intensive or companion planting.
  • Creating a back up plan with crop failures.
  • Learn how you can expand your garden and knowledge over the years.
  • How to write a garden journal.

Click here for a preview of the book


BUY the ebook 

Stay Organized with the Ultimate Garden Planner

Printable Garden Planner: A garden planner to help you grow more food!How to start your first garden

9 thoughts on “Start a Vegetable Garden”

  1. HI Isis, I found your site through Pinterest. I’m always happy to read about gardening success in Canada. I’m in Quebec, more north though, in between a 3 and 4 Zone and I’m currently renting for a few years. I’ve always thought I can’t start until I buy land, but the heck with that. I was successful with herbs and tomatoes last summer, so this year I have more plans with seedlings, containers and raised beds. I might even take a crack at some winter gardening. I guess this is my practice for when I buy and have my permanent garden! I’m happy to follow your blog.

    • Welcome!

      We rented our garden for 6 years, in fact we only just moved to our permanent acreage this past August. 🙂 There’s always lots you can do with a rented garden, our landlord was great with us putting in a garden but you can also use smart pots (the foldable fabric ones) or use the heavier pots. You might want to check out the Northernhomestead too, she’s gardening in zone 3 (Edmonton).

      • Thanks for the reference! We do have a community garden a few blocks away, but there was vandalism last summer…shameful. My landlord doesn’t care too much about the yard, so I’m lucky. I can dig up. I just have to watch the squirrels and the deer so I’m putting up some (cheap) lattice fencing around my garden this year. They ate all my strawberries last July! Last year it was all containers, but I’m going to try planting in ground this year.

  2. Btw, I tried to subscribe to you weekly newsletter and keep getting a page that says there are “errors below”, I re-enter my email address and nothing. I hope my subscription request did actually go through!

    • I’m currently switching my email server so there might be some minor glitches. I’ll make sure your email is added (is it this one your commenting with?)


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