All About Homegrown Vegetables, Fruits, and Berries

My Garden Life
May 5, 2022
Table of Contents

Growing Vegetables

Planning a Vegetable Garden

Getting your plants off to a good start is the best way to ensure an abundant harvest later. Here are things to consider when you’re selecting which plants to grow and preparing your garden space.
beautiful brick home on a hill with sunlight across across the lawn Measuring Sunlight in Your Landscape
“Full sun,” “part sun,” or “full shade”? Learn how to evaluate light levels in your landscape.
hands planting a tomato seedling in dark, rich garden soilStraightforward Tips for Soil Improvement
Good soil is essential for healthy plants. We’ve got practical ideas for improving your soil.
close up of a galium odoratum plant with frosty leaf edgesYour Last Frost Date – What You Need to Know
Planting too early can result in frost damage. Learn when it’s safe to plant seedlings.
woman in an outdoor garden center with a cart filled with potted plantsWhat to Do When You Can’t Plant Right Away
What to do with your impulse plant purchase when you can’t get it planted right away.
tomatoes on the vine in different stages of ripening, from green to redDays to Maturity for Vegetables: What It Means
The time it takes from planting to harvest helps when choosing varieties right for your garden.
raised garden bed filled with vegetable plants and flowersVegetable Garden Companion Plants
Find out which vegetable companion plants help each other grow better and why.

Starting Vegetables from Seeds

Growing plants from seed is an economical way to grow your own food and experience the wonder of watching plants emerge from seeds. We’ve got tips from starting seeds to transplanting seedlings to their final location.
rows of young vegetable plants in a home gardenVegetable Garden Basics – Start Seeds or
Buy Plants?

Start plants from seed or get a jumpstart by purchasing plants – which is right for you?
cucumber seedlings in a plastic seed trayTips for Seed Germination
What you need to know to encourage high germination rates from the seeds you sow.
tomato plant seedlings in a plastic growing tray under grow lightsGrow Light Guidelines for Getting Seeds Started
Get a jump-start on the growing season by
starting seeds under grow lights. Here’s how to get started.
six peat pots on a window ledge with bean seedlings growing in themHardening Off Seeds and Plants
Follow these simple steps to introduce your plants to spring safely.

Ways to Grow a Vegetable Garden

There are lots of ways to grow edible plants. Learn about different options and ways to extend the growing season whether your garden is in the backyard, pots on a patio, or even an apartment balcony.
wood-framed cold frame with rows of leafy greens in the springExtend the Growing Season with a Cold Frame
A cold frame will extend your cool-season harvest or create a space for starting plants earlier in the spring.
wood cold frame containing an assortment of potted plantsVegetable Choices for Cold Frames
Vegetables that love cool temperatures are perfect for growing in a cold frame to extend your harvest season.
wooden raised garden beds filled with an assortment of vegetable plantsStart a Small Vegetable Garden
Even if you’ve never gardened before, you can grow your own vegetables with little investment of time or money.
colorful outdoor seating on a balcony with potted plants on the deck and railingsIdeas for Starting a Balcony Garden
Tips for growing plants and dwarf edibles to create a garden on your apartment balcony.
woman leaning over a raised garden bed harvesting fresh vegetablesGardening in Raised Beds: Benefits and Drawbacks
Raised garden beds offer many advantages. Decide if the investment is right for you.
beautiful assortment of patio pots in an array of colors and filled with flowering plants and foliageA Soil Calculator for Raised Beds and Containers
Know how much soil you’ll need to purchase before you head to the garden center.
wooden raised garden beds filled with an assortment of beautiful vegetable and flowering plantsHow to Be Successful with Raised Garden Beds
If you’re new to gardening with raised beds, we have tips for how to use them most effectively.
wooden crate filled with colorful, freshly harvested vegetablesWhen to Harvest Garden Vegetables
Learn when and how to harvest twenty of your vegetable garden favorites.
assortment of colorful tomatoes on a rustic wooden tableAll About Growing Tomatoes
A one-stop collection of our most popular tomato tips for growing and using tomatoes.
wicker baskets filled with colorful varieties of red, yellow and green peppers on a rustic wood tableAll About Growing Peppers
Peppers are one of the easiest plants to grow. Get tips for growing peppers successfully.

Fertilizer for a Vegetable Garden

Healthy soil and fertilizer help keep your plants well-nourished. Learn how you can optimize your harvest with strategies for feeding and planting.
green field with a small herd of cows, their manure is an excellent source for organic fertilizerA Guide to Organic Fertilizers
Learn about natural sources of fertilizers, and what they can do for your garden.
young cucumber plants in a raised bed utilizing no-till gardening methodsNo Till Gardening
Tilling can be very disruptive to soil ecosystems. Here’s a low-maintenance alternative.
rows of vegetable plants demonstrating succession planting of a vegetable gardenSuccession Planting for Vegetables
Enjoy fresh vegetables over a longer season when you follow scheduled succession planting.
rows of beautiful, healthy vegetable plants grown on a scheduled crop rotationTips on Crop Rotation for Beginning Gardeners
Learn how crop rotation can result in healthier soil and abundant harvests.
wooden bin filled with kitchen scraps and yard waste to create organic garden compostCompost Tips for Beginners
Start composting with these tips and basic steps!
metal bucket containing an organic soil amendment called biocharBiochar: A New Trend in Soil Amendment
Biochar is an organic way to improve soil health and sequester carbon from the environment.

Harvesting, Using, and Preserving Fruits, Vegetables, and Berries

All of your efforts to grow edibles pay off when it’s harvest time! We’ve got lots of ideas for harvesting, preserving, and storing your vegetables, herbs, fruits, and berries.
woman washing an assortment of fruits and vegetables at the kitchen sinkBest Way to Wash Fruits and Vegetables
Tips for washing fruits and veggies correctly, so they are safe to eat.
assortment of canned and dried vegetables on a table being preserved for storagePreserving Your Summer Harvest
Learn how to preserve fruits and vegetables to enjoy long after the harvest season.
a wicker basket with a variety of colorful squash tumbling out onto a tableStorage Tips for Fall Vegetables
Keep your fall harvest fresh longer by following these guidelines.
bags of different frozen vegetables; corn, beans, peas, carrots, peppersSimple Steps to Freeze and Store Vegetables
Your vegetable harvest can be frozen or stored for use over 8-12 months. Learn how.
person putting fermented vegetables into air-tight mason jars to preserve for long-term storageFermenting Vegetables for Beginners
These simple steps will teach anyone how to ferment their own vegetables in no time!
glass jar of pickles on a table surrouned by fresh garlic, dill and cucumbersPickling for Beginners
Follow these five simple steps to prepare your own fresh and crunchy pickles.
rows of freshly harvest red, white and yellow onions lying in the dirt to dryGuide to Harvesting, Curing, and Storing Onions
Tips for storing onions in good condition for three to twelve months.
freezer shelves stacked with containers of frozen vegetablesTips for Using Your Frozen Produce
Preparing and using last summer’s frozen fruits and vegetables through the winter.

Growing Fruit Trees

What could be more fun than picking fresh fruits right outside your door? Here are important tips for successfully planting and growing your own fruit trees.
person digging a hole preparing to plant a potted shrubFall Planting of Trees and Shrubs
Fall is the perfect time for planting trees and shrubs!
apple tree in a front yard with small houses behind it in the background5 Tips for Fertilizing Fruit Trees
Learn how to fertilize your home orchard and maximize your harvests.
Backyard fruit trees with a small grouping of lawn chairsWhy is There No Fruit on My Tree?
Are your fruit trees not setting fruit? We give you common reasons that might happen.
closeup of a honeybee on a pink apple blossom in springPollination Charts for Fruit-bearing
Trees and Shrubs

Use these charts as a guide to find the perfect pollinators for fruit trees and berry shrubs.
close cup of ripe apples hanging on the tree branchHow to Prune Fruit Trees
Follow these simple steps for maintaining your fruit tree to improve its health and harvest.
wicker basket under an apple tree filled with freshly harvested apples and surrounded by apples fallen to the groundPreserving Your Apple Harvest
Three recipes for canning apples that will delight apple growers and eaters.

Grow Your Own Berries

Berries are easy to grow and offer sweet rewards. They’re a good choice for anyone short on time or growing space, but who wants to enjoy fresh, homegrown produce.
close up of a ripe strawberry and a bloom on a strawberry plant8 Tips for Growing Your Own Strawberries
Growing your own strawberries is easy! Follow these eight simple tips to get your garden off to a great start.
wicker basket filled with fresh red raspberriesGrowing Raspberries
Growing your own raspberries is one of gardening’s most rewarding tasks. We’ll show you how in five easy steps.
blackberry shrub by a rustic fence with branches heavy with ripening blackberriesGrowing Thornless Blackberry Plants
Learn how you can enjoy delicious blackberry harvests – without the prickles!
jar of strawberry jam on a table with a tea towel and basket fresh strawberriesEasy to Make Berry Jam
Everything you need to know to create simple berry jams by canning them in a hot water bath.
Creating compost to nourish your garden soil doesn’t have to be complicated. Try direct composting: the no-muss, no-fuss method for making compost from your kitchen scraps.


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