Backyard Bounty: Getting Started on Growing a Garden No Matter Your Yard Size

When it comes to gardening, I’ve long considered myself to have a black thumb. I wouldn’t say I have a history of killing the plants, but I am on my sixth round of succulents. Aren’t those things not supposed to die?

But yet here I am–round three attempting to grow my own food. What started as something fun to do during quarantine has become a really nice way to tap back into self-sufficiency and my roots as a kid having super fresh veggies every summer growing up in the country.

You don’t need to go out and purchase a farm to get started. However, I see the appeal to go after some cows and goats for milk and all the things.

If you want to get growing this spring, here are some tips I’ve learned over the years:

My daughter and husband planting seeds in one of our 4×8 square foot gardens.

There is a method called square foot gardening, and it involves growing in raised beds. I like this method over row gardening because it’s tidier in my opinion and there’s less machinery involved. Odds are, you don’t own a tiller or really feel like sourcing one, so the square foot is the way to go. Starting with this book was the best approach for us. Plus,  you can start year one with a small bed and then build more as you get more adventurous with your growing. We have been quite surprised with the amount of food our 4×6 garden has produced!

This year we’ve decided to start growing some of our crops as seeds, and since Santa didn’t bring me a Pinterest greenhouse as I asked for, we’re using containers like these kits to get started. I found mine at Tractor Supply in Scott (one of my favorite stores!), but I’ve seen them around town at Lowe’s as well.

The nice thing about starting our garden from seeds has been that we sat around the kitchen table one Saturday night, prepped our mini-greenhouses, and got out our seed packets. It was so much fun to learn together and study what the growing process would be like for different types of vegetables.

I really want to get better at growing the crops that thrive here in south Louisiana. Sometimes I get frustrated that I won’t have success with things I see the Instagrammers grow because they are elsewhere in the country. To fight ‘fruits and veggies FOMO,’ I frequently use resources from the LSU AgCenter to keep me on track for our growing zone. This is hands down my favorite source for all things growing. You can download guides for free for growing vegetables and herbs. I’d also like to pencil in some time to take the free Master Gardner’s web course.

It’s not too late to get started and if you’re still on the fence about going all-in with growing; you can always try your hand at a few pots and planters on the patio…salsa garden anyone?


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