In many locations throughout the world, it’s still winter and starting a garden isn’t something you’re thinking about. But, this is actually the perfect time to start planning if you’re hoping to have vegetables and herbs ready to pick in summer.  

If starting from seed, plants need to be started indoors. The growing calendar above offers a great timeline for when you’ll want to start plants inside, and when it’s best to transfer them to your garden.  

Never had a garden before? No problem. Here are a few tips you can use to start your own garden.  

  1. Choose the right location. Many people want a garden that is out of sight, but placing it within view will mean you’ll tend to it more often. Don’t forget to consider sun when choosing a location. Most vegetables, fruits and herbs will require at least six hours of sunlight to survive.  
  1. Stick close to water. As plants take root, mature and grow, they will require frequent watering. Make sure you place the garden where you can access it with a hose. The last thing you’ll want is to lug buckets of water to and from a garden to make sure plants get the water they need. How do you know when to water? Push your finger about an inch down into the soil. If it’s dry, it’s time to water.  
  1. Consider pots. When space is at a premium, consider starting a garden in pots and large containers. Many vegetables and herbs actually thrive in pots. One tip: when gardening in containers, make sure you’re using a pot that is large enough for the plant.  
  1. Pick the right plants. It’s so important to choose items for your garden that fit the conditions and climates in your area. For example, I’m not going to plant pineapple here in Wisconsin, but tomatoes and squashes will grow great!  
    If your garden is in the sun, choose plants that thrive in sunny spots. Also look at the space available when choosing your garden plants. Tomatoes mostly grow up, but pumpkins and cucumbers will need a lot of space to spread out (and maybe some trellises to climb). Choose a variety of plants that are known to grow in your climate and within the space you have available.  
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