How to get started

Tr8aceeJanuary 3, 2013


I am new to this forum and new to gardening. I would love to start gardening as our new home has a big backyard area that would make a great garden. My problem is I have no idea where to start. Unfortunately I don't have a green thumb because many plants have died in my care.

How did you get started and can you give me any advice on what resources you have used to help? I subscribed to the organic magazine and I can't wait try my hand at growing fresh vegetables and herbs.
Thank you

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Square foot gardening is a good place to start. Pick up Mel's book and you will be growing stuff before you know it.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 7:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

First thing I would do is to find out which USDA hardiness/ Sunset zone I was in.
That will dictate what plants thrive or not in your area.

Try to join neighborhood/county garden clubs. You will meet like minded folks and get tons of info there.

Call your local co-operative extension service. Depending on the area, they have lots of brochures/ printed info available to get started with just about ANYTHING.

Some folks here advised me to contact local Master Gardeners ..... they would be lot of help as well.

If nothing else, google " how to get started with"..... whatever and you will be all set. Make sure to mention your county/city in google search to be directed to the correct sources.

Good Luck and Happy gardening.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 8:09PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Yes, your zone is the first order of business, so you choose only those plants that will thrive in your area. Next is choosing the right time of year to plant different things. Irrigation is probably the next issue to resolve- most of our plants die because we don't water them enough or we kill them with kindness by watering and fertilizing too much.

If you are in Southern California, Pat Welsh and Robert Smaus both have excellent books that tell you what to do each month or week to grow all kinds of plants.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 9:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area I recommend the great book "golden gate gardening", it had everything I needed to grow great food in San Jose and helped my friend in Hayward ( east bay) too.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 12:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thank you all so much for your responses. I will check out the books mentioned and I did a search of the zone we are in. ( Los Angeles, so. Cal)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

And do not be afraid to go slowly and do one section of the property at a time. You will learn a lot and get better and better at it. Note each area's drainage--is it like concrete in the summer and like soup in the winter--and the amount of sunshine it gets in winter and summer. This will help you decide what to plant.

An area can lie fallow with a thick layer of organic mulch and look tidy while you decide. The mulch will not only keep the weeds down but enrich and significantly improve the soil over time--so that when you are ready to do something it will be ready and easily worked.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2013 at 2:40PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yeah, SFG covers finding your zone, etc. Since you are in LA checkout: Garden Tips for Los Angeles County. You'll get a fairly accurate run down of what to plant & when on a month by month basis.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2013 at 4:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Los Angeles has an active Master Gardener group. You could check out their website for classes. Many nurseries also offer free classes. I'm in Master Gardeners of Orange County and we also have lots of information on our website -

Below is my website. I'm not that far from LA, so have similar growing conditions.

Here is a link that might be useful: What's Growing On?

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 12:37AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hello again, the monthly Garden Tips for Los Angeles County are written by Yvonne Savio who is the Program Manager/Master Gardener Coordinator for LA County. Enjoy!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 1:09PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Need Giant Whitefly Locations in SoCal (Researcher)
Hello I am an Entomology Ph.D. student in need of some...
LADWP turf removal rebate
Hello! My partner and I bought our house in March....
little green worms on roses
Larvae of what? They seem to be going for the buds...
Shrubs for zone 9b (Riverside)
What shrubs have these attributes: Evergreen Height:...
Sunset Magazine slowly being gutted
A real shame. I've been a subscriber for decades, ever...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™