Great Websites or Blogs for Beginner Gardener??

Updated on February 16, 2012
M.S. asks from Chicago, IL
6 answers


We are moving into a new home that will have room for a small garden. I have never gardened but would like to try and grow vegetables my family will enjoy. Can anyone recommend some good websites or blogs (or good old fashioned books) for vegetable gardening? I am REALLY a beginner. :)


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answers from Provo on

This is my favorite gardening book...

Libraries often have a good sized section on can also try there :) I like good old fashioned books :)

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answers from Detroit on

Lots of universities have extensions that offer a lot of info. I've found some good advice through MSU's extension. A quick google search resulted in which may have some good advice for you since you're in Chicago. Or do a search for whatever university in Illinois has an agricultural tradition. There may be an extension office in your county you can contact for advice.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I second everything said so far. I started last year with square foot gardening and this year my neighbor is going to try it. There's also a SFG forum here:!__faqsnforum

Get the SFG book, like Lynn said. It's readily available - I've even seen it for sale at Lowe's before. Also look up Louise Riotte. She's written a lot of gardening books. My two favorites are Carrots Love Tomatoes and Success with Small Food Gardens.

Here are a few websites you might like:

Good Luck!

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answers from Provo on

I love the square foot gardening method. My first box 2 years ago was 4'x4' and once I felt like I had the hang of it I added a 3'x3'. They have been so much more successful than the containers I tried to do for years. They add a sense of organization to my garden, and the kids have been less likely to walk on the plants. This is the book which you can also find on Amazon or in the library. But I suggest buying a book so that you don't spend a lot of time or money copying helpful charts. There is a link on the website to direct you to master gardeners in your area. I have emailed or called some of them with questions before and they have been great. Happy gardening!

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answers from Orlando on

I love this site:
if you go under the "Forum" tab, you will find threads on EVERY topic! It's awesome! Just register (for free) if you want to ask your own questions, there are many, many experienced gardeners on it that love to give out their advice. Happy Gardening!! :-)

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answers from Chicago on

Hi M.,

That is wonderful - there is nothing better than picking fresh food from your backyard. Kids really get into it too. The first thing to do before you plant an edible garden is to have your soil tested. Depending on how old your house is you could have lead or other chemicals in your soil which may mean you want to pursue raised beds or container gardening for your edibles.
One of the best sources for information is the University of Illinois Extension site. You will find information on soil testing, a vegetable gardening, container gardening, perenniels, composting etc and they even have a section called Hort Answers which talks all about common problems and pests and how to treat them.
Feel free to email me with any questions and I would be happy to help in anyway. I am a Master Gardener with the UofI Extension office but you can also contact your local extension office and they provide free advice as well.

Happy Gardening!

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