If you’re into gardening this is the place to start, whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an old pro indulging your love of gardening with the rest of us. Dive in, and do drop a line if there’s anything you’d like to see covered. This is my hub page for gardening in general, and you can go deeper on specific topics with each of the links. In the meantime, I’ve tried to answer a few of the common questions people have about gardening.

When should I start a garden?

When to start a garden will depend on where you live and what you want to grow, and that means that the time to start is now. Begin by understanding your climate and the type of plants you want in your garden. For most of the country, it’s best to plant after the last frost, and your outdoor growing season will be limited by the stretch of time between the last frost in the spring and the first hard frost in the fall. There are lots of ways to extend the season, of course, but in general terms it works to plant in the spring, though many plants can also be planted in the summer and fall. In frost-free parts of the country, planting can often happen year round, and in some areas with dry summers, the winter rainy season can actually be a good time to plant.  If you want a container garden, and you have plenty of light in your house (or plan to buy grow lights), you can start your plants any time of year.

How do I start a garden?

This can be as simple or complex as you want to make it. For the basics, you need a growing medium, water, and a light source. Often, the growing medium will be the ground outside, but it can also be potting soil in containers or even a hydroponic tray with the appropriate water/fertilizer mix for your chosen plants. Your water source may be natural rainfall, or you may hand water or install an irrigation system. Your light source may be the sun or grow lights if you’re growing in your basement or some other place that doesn’t have enough natural light. To go deeper on how to start a garden, sign up for our email series walking you through the process, or check out our Gardening Fundamentals page.

Why should I start a garden?

Connection with nature has all sorts of health benefits, physical, mental and emotional. Plus, you can grow food and flowers. Exercise, the joy of getting good at something, and the opportunity to join a community of fellow gardeners are all extra perks that can make it even more worthwhile.

Gardening 101: a guide to gardening for beginners

Newbies, start here. We cover the basics, like soil, sun, water, and climate.

Vegetable gardening

Whether you’re looking to grow vegetables in raised beds or in a large tilled field, check here for information on building a productive kitchen garden.

Flower gardening

Dive in to learn more about flower gardening.

Forest gardening

If you’re looking for a more ecologically-based garden, forest gardening mimics natural layers and niches to create a productive garden.

Organic gardening

Gardens don’t have to use harmful chemicals. Organic methods can be used to make a garden work with the rest of the ecosystem.


Permaculture is another system that works with ecology to create a more sustainable garden.

No till gardening

This trend creates gardens with minimal soil disturbance to keep the soil ecosystem healthy and productive.

Hydroponic gardening

Growing a productive garden without soil can be an option, especially in urban settings.