First off, let’s dispense with the myth of the “green thumb,” and shed concerns that growing food requires lots of free time and special skillz. Sure, there are people who have keener instincts for plants than others, but really anyone, anywhere can grow their own food — even Amanda, who works full-time, has two small kids, and can barely keep a fern alive. Only three weeks ago, Amanda planted a vegetable garden following Jeanne’s crazy-simple growing guidelines, which we outline in this post, and now, look at her go:
Jeanne isn’t a by-the-book type, she’s a get-down-in-the-dirt-and-learn-by-doing type, and after 26 years of experience growing food in hundreds of farms and food gardens, she’s boiled down the magic and mystery of edible gardening to the barest essentials. We’ll roll out our Rookie Guide in three posts—this one on planning your food garden, then planting, then tending—with five simple steps to success in each. The guidelines will apply whether you’re growing on a rooftop, in the ground or in containers or pots. Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about planning your food garden. Once you get these key principles right, the planting and tending is shockingly simple and fun.
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In part two of our Rookie Guide to Growing, we’ll give you more details on supplies, what to plant when, and much else. In the meantime, get some paper and start sketching plans for your garden using the guidelines above.