Practical Gardening

My front flower bed the first week of June 2018

These days who has time for gardening!  I don’t, but some how I managed to end up with this enjoyable garden.  The important thing is to make gardening practical.  No one expects you to spend your entire weekend gardening.  I try to spend as little time as possible working on my garden and below I tell you how I did it.

Today I am proud of myself for turning my yard into a bit of an oasis.  I moved to this house in February 2018.  It is now The beginning of June and I am enjoying harvesting and eating veggies from my hard work from early after the move.  I have gorgeous cherry tomatoes, carrots, and beets. I have also harvested my first two squash.  They look like a cross between a zucchini and crooked neck.  I have enjoyed fresh cilantro in many meals.  Earlier in the season I was enjoying home-grown lettuce salads, what a treat.

You may be thinking, how did she get a garden going after just moving.  I am wondering the same thing myself.  I had some help from another gardener.  She had a bunch of lettuce and tomato sprouts in cups (red solo cups with holes in the bottom) and offered some to me.  I almost turned them down, but I am glad I accepted them because it forced me into action to keep them from dying.  I had a mostly empty flower bed outside my front door when I moved in, so I decided (since its not in an hoa) to plant the seedlings in there.  I didn’t really do much prep to the area, but I did add a big bag of garden soil to a small section and got the seedlings in the ground.  Once that section was doing so well I decided to buy another bag of soil and worked on another small section of the flower bed.  After 3 bags of soil and lots of seeds later the front flower bed is teaming full of life with lots of edibles.

Seedling transplants Feb. 2018

How to start your own garden without it being too time-consuming nor expensive.

  • Choose a small area to work with, keeping in mind any obstacles to the plants getting water, sun, and nutrients.
  • Soil.
    garden soil
    • Do you dare just stick seeds in the ground and hope they grow?  You could.  But since I am in AZ and the soil sucks, I decided to go with buying a bag of soil every time I buy groceries.  This gives me time to plan out another spot to work as I finish planting an area.  I usually pay less than $10 per bag of this large bag of soil.
  • Choose which seeds to plant.
    • It is important to know which seeds you can plant for the time of year.  I use a couple of resources:
      • If you happen to live in Maricopa county Arizona, you may like to use this planting calendar from The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension.
      • I also signed up for email alerts from The Old Farmers Almanac.  Now I receive an email every two weeks with a list of what to plant in my area over the next two weeks.
    • choose seeds of plants you will actually eat.
      • For example, I do not grow okra because I don’t like okra.
      • Plant and extra seed or two of the veggies you know you love, just in case any of the seeds don’t sprout.
    • Designate a box of some sort for your seeds.
      • Sort them how you would like by season or other.
      • I resort my seeds every couple of weeks as my email alerts arrive.
  • Seeds
    nasturtium seeds
    • seeds are FREE
    • I received free seeds from my local public library.
    • Join a local gardening group online and post a request for some seeds you want.  There are tons of groups like this on Facebook.
    • Use nasturtium seeds near squash plants to avoid squash bugs.
    • Plant marigold seeds throughout your garden to keep many garden insects away.
    • Plant beans and peas with your plants to provide nitrogen to your garden.
  • Transplants.  If you would like to start with transplants like I did, go for it.  Just know it can be difficult to harden off some plants to get them ready for the harsh outdoors.  I prefer seeds because I hate spending a bunch of money on a plant that may die.  Keep it inexpensive if you want by using seeds.
soaker hose system
  • Watering
    • I use a soaker hose.  I started with one big long soaker hose and as I added a new bag of soil then seeds I would reposition the soaker hose to incorporate the newly planted seeds.  One long soaker hose is watering this entire bed.
    • Watering with a soaker hose is water saving and super fast to set up.
      • Cover your soaker hose and garden with composted wood chips after installed.
March 18, 2018. Notice how you can barely see the soaker hose?
  • Mulch
    • I would recommend adding composted wood chips on top of you newly planted seeds, after the watering is set up.
  • Weeding
    • I spend very little time pulling weeds, but it is a good idea to get rid of any weeds that may choke out any plants you actually want to survive.
  • Fertilizing.
    • Epsom salt can be added every 2 weeks directly to the soil, just follow the instructions on the package.
    • plant beans and peas in with your other seeds to add much-needed nitrogen to the soil.

More to come…

  • Harvesting
  • Saving seeds
  • composting
    compost tumbler
    compost tumbler
    • I want to get this composter someday.  I can hope, right.

Please consider supporting VeggEase at NO cost to you by shopping through my Amazon Affiliate links.


Published by


Whole food Plant-based mom, runner, educator, health coach.

One thought on “Practical Gardening

  1. Beautiful garden! I used to have a raised bed garden when we owned a home. Now, we RV and my husband prefers me not to garden in pots that we would have to move around with us. Someday I hope to have another garden though (on my son’s property). ❤️

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.