Are you tired of the poor quality of produce available at your local supermarket? Do you want more variety than what you can find locally? It's never too early to start planning a garden. If this will be the first year you'll be gardening, here are some tips to get you started:
Buy mostly plants, not seeds: You may be tempted to start ordering every seed you can find. However, this is probably not the best idea for your first garden. Instead, buy nursery plants. If you buy nursery plants from Bob Williams Nursery Inc. instead of seeds, you don't have to wonder if your crop is going to germinate. You don't have to wonder whether you'll end up with too many plants or not enough plants. You also won't have to worry about clearing out a space in your home for seed germination. When you buy nursery plants, you'll know how many plants you have and all you will need to do is put them into your prepared garden.
Experiment with seeds: While you may not want to rely too heavily on seeds at first, you might want to consider purchasing a few easy-to-grow seeds (like carrots, cucumbers, and lettuce) when you pick up your nursery plants. This will allow you to practice with seed germination and see what will work best with you as you gain gardening experience. Unfortunately, even if you follow the directions on a seed packet exactly, it can be difficult to get very many plants to grow. Experimenting with this before you need to will allow you to make better plans for your garden next year.
Start small: If you've never had a garden before, start out with just a handful of nursery plants. Even if you run soil tests, your garden may turn out to be too wet, dry, sandy, clayey, acidic, or a number of other things. If you start out with just a small area, you will have less to lose and you will also be able to see what needs to be improved for the next year. Each year, you can add more soil amendments and expand your garden a little bit further. It could take a few years, but you'll eventually have a prize-winning garden!
Take notes: You may think that you'll be able to remember that the tomato nursery plants you bought did better than the tomato plants you started from seed, but by the time spring rolls around again you will likely have forgotten. This is why it's important to start a garden diary, noting everything important that happens during the growing season. Were aphids a problem? What did it take to get rid of them? How much rain did your garden get? How much did you harvest? All these are important things to remember for years to come.