How to Garden Herbs, Fruits & Vegetables

Overview

Growing herbs, fruits and vegetables in the home garden provides benefits such as money savings and better health. Food security is another important benefit. Choosing what foods to grow is up to the gardener. In this way, gardening efforts can be geared toward what the individual and her family enjoys eating. Organic methods can be used for optimal health. And a family can build bonds by gardening together.

Planning

Step 1

Choose the method of gardening that will be used, such as lasagna, square foot or container gardening. Incorporate more than one gardening method if desired. Learn what is necessary for the type of gardening chosen.

Step 2

Stake out the garden area with wood slats and twine if using beds or another method that warrants it. Place any large containers where desired, as they will be too heavy to put into place later. Plan what will be planted where.

Step 3

Choose organic open-pollinated or heirloom seeds, or organic seedlings and root cuttings. Check the seedlings and root cuttings well to ensure they look healthy.

Preparing

Step 1

Create garden beds by placing cinder blocks or bricks, or by installing a low fence, around the desired area. Build wooden beds using boards in the desired lengths. Nail the sides together securely with a hammer.

Step 2

Work the soil in the bed areas about 10 inches deep. Add compost to the beds, bringing the soil level up to the top of the bed. Work the compost deep into the soil and level the top with a spade. Add a trellis wherever necessary.

Step 3

Fill containers with a mixture of compost and potting soil. Add a support to each container if necessary, such as a trellis placed behind it. Place smaller pots around the garden area where desired.

Gardening

Step 1

Research planting times for each plant that will be grown. Find out when cooler weather plants can be placed into the ground, because some plants can be planted a little before the last frost. Plant everything else after the last frost of the season so as not to damage the seeds, seedlings and cuttings.

Step 2

Create hills in the garden for such plants as beans and peas. Be sure that root systems are covered completely with soil when planting. Water when everything is planted.

Step 3

Keep the garden weed free by pulling the weeds at least once a week. Pinch off lower leaves of plants such as tomatoes and cucumbers. Pinch off any yellow or brown parts of the plants.

Step 4

Harvest the plants as needed. Use two hands to harvest beans and peas. Snip back herbs for use when preparing meals as necessary.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be sure to know what parts of the herbs are edible.

Things You'll Need

  • Containers
  • Stakes
  • Twine
  • Seeds
  • Seedlings
  • Cuttings
  • Cinder blocks
  • Bricks
  • Low fencing
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Hammer
  • Compost
  • Spade
  • Potting soil
  • Garden shears

References

  • FAO Corporate Document Repository: Benefits of viable home gardens for family health and sustainable livelihoods

Who Can Help

  • All About Containers: Container Gardening
  • Lasagna Gardening
  • The Square Foot Gardening Foundation
Keywords: garden herbs, garden vegetables, garden fruits

About this Author

Shannon Buck is a freelance writer residing in the small town of Milford, Maine. Her work has appeared on several sites including GreenandSave.com, where she writes The Green Mom column. She has written on many subjects, including home improvement, gardening, low-income living, writing and homeschooling.