A person in a colorful plaid shirt holds a wooden board filled with freshly harvested carrots, radishes, and leeks.

Starting your own garden doesn’t have to be a big undertaking or a long-term commitment. What it can be is a chance to provide nourishing food for you and your family, often for less than buying fresh vegetables in your local supermarket. Plus, you’ll know where your food comes from and have control over what you put in your soil and on your plants. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got some gardening tips and product recommendations to get you started!

Whether you’ve got a green thumb or could kill a cactus – we don’t judge! Once you learn the basics, we just know you’ll grow a beautiful flourishing garden full of your favorite veggies. There are plenty of resources available to help get you started, like this post from Farmer’s Almanac.  Below, we’ve put together some gardening tips for those new to gardening and maybe some new information for seasoned gardeners, too!

Green banner logo with white Tiller & Rowe lettering over a background of various garden tools resting in soil.

Tip #1: Get the Right Tools for the Job

Sometimes the success of your garden comes down to having the right tool for the job. Fortunately, Ocean State Job Lot’s private-label Tiller & Rowe line of gardening supplies has everything you need to create and maintain a thriving, bountiful garden! From rakes and edgers to tomato cages, gardening gloves, and a folding garden kneeler and seat combo, you have to see our incredible selection to believe it!

Tip #2: Pick a Spot – But Not Just Any Spot 

Choosing where to plant your garden can take a little planning. Some things to think about:

  • Pick a spot on level ground, avoiding any low spots that could hold water, especially during the spring months. 
  • Most vegetables need full sun – at least six hours of direct sunlight – per day. 
  • Stay away from high-traffic areas like kids’ play yards, dog yards, or near the pool. 
  • Consider where your water source is. Too far away, and the hose won’t reach. 

If you’re tilling a garden in the ground, try some landscape fabric to help keep weeds at bay.

Seedlings in a seed starter tray pop out of the soil.

Tip #3: Should You Start From Seeds or Buy Pre-Started Plants?  

The answer really depends on how much time you want to spend gardening and if you have room to put the seedlings before they’re ready to go in the ground. The benefit of starting your own plants is that buying a pack of seeds is much less expensive than buying a plant that’s already started. Ocean State Job Lot carries a large selection of Burpee seeds at up to 40 percent less than regular retail. We also have many seed starter kits by Burpee and Jiffy. Once you’ve got your seeds started, you’ll need a place to keep them warm until they’re hardy enough to go in the ground (or in an outside container). Our variety of greenhouses will keep your seedlings toasty warm until they’re ready to plant.

Tip #4: ‘Water’ You Waiting For? Ways to Hydrate Effectively

Earlier, we mentioned that access to your water source is one way to decide where to plant your garden. But how should you water it? We have hoses, spray nozzles, sprinklers, mechanical timers, and soaker hoses designed to drip water slowly and evenly throughout your garden. Try to water first thing in the early morning or after sunset to reduce water loss from the heat of the day. More water will soak into the roots since it’s not evaporating in the mid-day sun.

Hands in red garden work gloves remove a dandelion from a garden bed with a hand trowel.

Tip #5: Tend to it Daily (Don’t be Afraid to Stalk Your Garden)

Checking for weeds, watering, and watching your plants’ progress may seem like a chore, but we encourage you to look at it as a time to unwind from a busy day. If you let it, tending to your garden can become a time of reflection and relaxation. Who knows? It might even become a regular part of your self-care routine! Put your favorite music on, and enjoy getting your hands dirty!

Bonus Tip #6: Try a Container or Raised Bed

Have these gardening tips convinced you to try your hand at a garden but still aren’t sure? What if you still aren’t sure gardening is your thing, or you can’t (or don’t want to) dig a garden in your yard? Try container gardening! We have a large selection of planters with good drainage for you to choose from! Pick one that’s larger than you need to accommodate your plants’ growing roots, and get some soil and fertilizer like Espoma’s Garden-Tone. Choose a few plants from your local garden center and give gardening a try! 

You can even try using a raised garden bed. They’re designed to sit on the ground, so you don’t have to dig in the soil. Combined with a raised garden bed liner, some soil, and some plants, you can have a neat and organized garden bed without any of the commitment.

Hands in red garden work gloves remove a dandelion from a garden bed with a hand trowel.

Reap the Rewards!

Nothing is more satisfying than watching something you planted grow and bear food to feed your family. Gardening can be an economical way to feed your family on a budget or supplement what you buy at the store. Who knows? It might even become a labor of love you look forward to each spring. We hope these gardening tips encourage you to start your own garden! 

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