For your first garden, KEEP IT SIMPLE!
For gardening to work, it has to be manageable (easy, not overwhelming) and convenient (in a place you will pass by and see every day).
YOU WILL NEED:
- TIME IN THE GARDEN
Plant in an area that is reasonably sunny and reasonably warm most of the day.
DIRT and FERTILIZER
In the yard: Remove weeds and weed roots from the top 12 inches (30 cm) of the garden bed and thoroughly mix in fertilizer.
In pots: Mix potting soil and fertilizer in pots that are 12 inches (30 cm) deep, or deeper.
If you won't eat it, don't plant it.
- 1 (or 2) TOMATO plants
- 1 CHERRY TOMATO plant
- 1 ZUCCHINI plant
- 1 YELLOW or CROOKNECK SQUASH plant
- 1 packet of PURPLE BUSH BEAN seeds
- 1 packet of MIXED LETTUCE seeds
- 1 packet of SUNFLOWER seeds
Seeds should be planted about twice as deep as the seed is wide. (A half-inch wide seed is planted one inch deep.) If plants come up too close together, just take out some ("thin" them) or move them and water them in in a different spot.
If you keep your seed packets in some cool, dry spot, you should be able to use any remaining seeds the next year, and probably even a third year. Alternatively, you can share seeds with friends this year if you have too many.
Keep seeds always moist (but not soaked) until plants appear. Water enough that soil is always moist, but not soaked all the time.
For each tomato plant, it is helpful to have a tall "tomato cage" put around it right when you plant it. Alternatively, a tall pole or stake that you can attach the tomato plant to as it grows, using loose bits of cloth or string. For any "pole" beans, poles, wires, or strings that they can climb as they grow (bush beans don't need this).
TIME IN THE GARDEN
The best thing for a garden is the frequent appearance of the gardener's shadow. Put the garden where you will naturally see it and go past it at least every other day. This way you will see and correct any problems while they are small, and your garden will receive the attention it needs from you.
Keeping it simple should allow you to have at least some real success with your first garden.
Next year you can use what you learned this year and make next year's garden even better!