Vegetable Gardening Methods, which one is right for you?

Depending on where you live and the amount of land or space you can devote to your garden, you have three main choices if you plan to grow your own fruit and vegetable garden.

Vegetable Garden For Beginners

The three methods available to you are:

  1. In-Ground Gardening
  2. Raised Bed Gardening
  3. Container Gardening

In-Ground Gardening

The traditional way gardening involves directly planting your seeds or seedlings directly into the ground. this is all good if you have rich, loose well-draining soil. This is not the case for most beginner gardeners. You may find that you have compacted clay soil that needs a lot of work like tilling and the addition of soil amendments to make your soil up to par for gardening.

Amendments such as peat moss, compost, grass clippings, and manure need to be mixed with garden soil to come up with a healthy light mix of soil for your plants to thrive in.

In Ground Garden
Farmer planting young seedlings of lettuce salad in the vegetable garden

In-ground gardens have the lowest overhead to start. All you do is find a spot, rip off the sod, amend the soil, then sow the seeds or seedlings. Conversely, you will be eternally challenged by the need to weed, have watering issues (water runoffs), tilling that destroys soil life and kills worms. and the inability to mulch thus exposing the soil to the sun’s wrath.

Raised Bed Gardening for Beginners

If you do not want to rip up topsoil and labor to till the area in which you intend to start your garden, you can embark on the second method of gardening known as the raised bed method. This method involves the building of a frame to manageable specifications (e.g. 4×6, 4×8, etc.), filling it with a good soil amendment (peat moss, compost, manure and). There are many materials you can use for raised bed gardening such as wood, concrete blocks, landscape timber – you are only limited by your imagination.

Container Gardening

This is the third on my list of gardening methods. I mainly use this method because I live is a suburban area/neighborhood where neighbors use chemicals to treat their landscape/grass and because of a possible runoff issue, I want no part of these chemicals o to contaminate my vegetable garden.

You can use five-gallon buckets or larger/smaller depending on what you want to plant. For my tomatoes and cucumbers I use ten-gallon containers, my okra and beans/peas I use 5-gallon buckets. For my peppers, I use 3-gallon containers. Read up on the plants you want to grow and you should find out about the minimum size pot or container you will need to support your plant’s and maximize their growth.

It is important that you fill your containers with loose and well-draining soil. It is recommended to use potting mix amended with perlite and peat moss. If you use this method of planting be aware that containers dry out more rapidly than planting in-ground or using the raised bed method.  Your container should get adequate watering to prevent them from drying out. Watering can be done manually or automatically using a timer. However, the larger the container, the more water it will retain.

Containers used for gardening must have several drainage holes drilled about 1  inch from the bottom of the bucket. I typically drill four holes in the sides of a 5-gallon bucket to allow for drainage. This will prevent your plants from becoming water-logged thus drowning your plant’s roots.

Food safe containers must be used to prevent harmful chemicals from leaching into the soil and contaminating your plants. Plastic buckets with the following printed on the bottom of the container are generally safe to use to plant vegetables.

Here are some pictures of containers used for planting vegetables.

There you have it, the three basic methods of gardening. Each has its pros and cons but all of them will produce fantastic results whether you have a large plot of land or just a balcony.

Vegetable Growing Zones

So you’re are a beginner gardener and you want to grow your own produce, great! Before you get your hands dirty and start heading for the store to buy your plants or seedlings, there are a few things you need to consider. Do the vegetables you want to plant ow do well in your region? Let’s say you want to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, and okra – all hot weather crops – but you live in the part of the country that has a very brief hot season, your efforts may be in vain, unless you have a greenhouse.

As a beginner gardener, this may not be feasible. What is a plant growing zone? A plant or vegetable growing zone has all the requirements a plant needs to thrive thus giving you the best climate for your plant’s success.

What is My Plant Growing Zone

There are several zones that show you what plants thrive well in those zones. When you buy a pack of seeds or seedlings, information on where it thrives best is often indicated on the plant’s packet or in the case of seedlings, on a label. This label informs you how to plant, when to start planting and the best zone to plant them. It may also come with a zone map printed on the packet. Before you go out to purchase anything, it is prudent to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What is my zone?
  2. What plants are best for my zone?

A good source that will answer this question can be found at Gardening Know-How

What to Plant

Once you have found out what your zone is, you can then decide what you want to plant. By now you should have done your research on what will thrive in your zone to provide you with the best possible outcome for your effort. Be sure to learn what is needed for the optimum growth of your plants such as fertilizers, watering, etc.


In summary, you have learned one of the most important decisions to be made prior to starting a vegetable garden. You should familiarize yourself with vegetable growing zones and the plants that do best in them.

Here are some of the vegetables that I grow in my zone (8a) in Georgia.

Gardening Tips for Beginners

Growing your vegetable garden is an exciting prospect and can be done by everyone who intends to grow some or all of their food. It is a refreshing and rewarding vocation that lets you control the variables that go into food production for you and your family. But before you dive in willy-nilly there are certain important steps to take, hence my practical guide to – this blog, on what you should know. The information in this blog is my gardening tips for beginners.

I will attempt to make this project as plain and nontechnical as possible.

Growing Season

Do you have a long or short growing season? For hot weather plants like cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes, a long growing season will serve you best. For lettuce and other greens, a long cool season will serve you best. I love tomatoes cucumbers and other hot season plants and I have a relatively long hot growing season in Georgia.

What to Plant

Deciding what to plant depends on your growing season and what does well in your area. Supplies in your local garden center are a good indicator as to what plants survive and thrive in your zone. Tips for beginner gardeners can be obtained from your local garden store associates.
In-Ground, Raised Beds or Container Gardening?

Do you have a large area to plant a traditional garden, then that should be considered if you have the right type of soil for your plant’s needs. Do you do have the land, you might want to consider raised bed gardening. If you are not fortunate enough to have a lot of land (you may reside in an apartment, condominium or limited land space) you might want to consider container gardening.

Seeds or Seedlings?

As a beginner gardener, your best option may be buying seedlings from your local gardening store. These plants are usually ready to go in the ground since they have been exposed to the sun due to a process called “hardening off”. Hardening off is a process were seedlings are gradually exposed to direct sunlight, a few hours a day until they are used to direct sunlight.

I expose my seedlings on day 1 in a shaded area and leave them out for a couple of hours. I gradually expose my seedlings to two hours a day and about three days in I expose them to a little more direct sunlight. After about seven days, they should be strong enough to handle the full sun.


A lot of consideration has to go into growing a successful garden. Not doing so can lead to a disappointing growing season and an unsuccessful harvest. Gardening is fun and rewarding, especially if you grow organically. You are rewarded with fresh produce that is chemical, pesticide, and preservative-free.

As a bonus, your homegrown produce tastes hundreds of times better than what is obtainable from the store. The taste test is the best. Eating a freshly harvested cucumber or tomato and comparing the taste with a commercially produced one will make you look at the store-bought one with disdain!

About Ime

Welcome to tips for beginner gardeners. i am going to teach you what it takes to set up a garden at your home whether its a house, condo or apartment.


The reason I started this blog was to assist the beginner gardener what it takes to start a successful garden. My quest began when some of the produce I liked purchasing were not available when I wanted then or, looked far from fresh or appetizing. Coupled with the fact that most of the produce found in stores were grown with pesticides, hormones and preservatives.

With this in mind, I decided to grow my own food organically, free from the application of chemicals. it has been a very rewarding experience. It is relaxing, therapeutic and safe. I have confidence in what I put into my body and I’m pleased with what I keep out!


I want to help you eat more healthy and nourishing food free from pesticides, preservatives and man made fertilizers. I want to show people how to start and develop a garden in spaces they never dreamed possible.


My goal is to show and guide you step by step on how to grow your own food.

If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Ime Udombang