Gardening Tips from the Farmer's Almanac
Deciding How Big
A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 16x10 feet and features crops that are easy to grow. A plot this size, planted as suggested below, can feed a family of four for one summer, with a little extra for canning and freezing (or giving away).
Make your garden 11 rows wide, with each row 10 feet long. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.
Vegetables that may yield more than one crop per season are beans, beets, carrots, cabbage, kohlrabi, lettuce, radishes, rutabagas, spinach, and turnips.
Suggested Plants for 11 Rows
The vegetables suggested below are common, productive plants but you'll also want to contract your local cooperative extension to determine what plants grow best in your local area. Think about what you like to eat as well as what's difficult to find in a grocery store or farmers' market.
(Note: If this garden is too large for your needs, you do not have to plant all 11 rows, and you can also make the rows shorter. You can choose the veggies that you'd like to grow!)
When to Plant?
For more information, visit their website at http://www.almanac.com/vegetable-garden-planning-for-beginners.
If you are planting seeds, consult our Best Planting Dates for Seeds chart. It's customized to your frost dates as well as Moon-favorable dates.
If you're putting plants in the ground from a nursery or transplanting from a greenhouse, see our Best Planting Dates for Transplants (by region).