Can you imagine walking out your back door to snip a few fresh chives for your baked potato? Or the satisfaction from growing that potato in the first place? Or how about plucking blueberries for your morning cereal from a container on your balcony or deck?
Growing your own food is one of the most rewarding things you can do. While starting a garden may sound intimidating to some, nearly everyone can grow a few herbs, fruits, or vegetables. And as gardening pros know, nothing beats the freshness of a crisp vegetable right off the vine, a sweet fruit plucked from the tree, or a savory herb from your window box. When you grow your own food, not only do you get the freshest food and most delicious flavor, you also get a lower grocery bill and the satisfaction of a job well done.
Best of all, gardening is something you can get started on right away:
- Grow micro-greens and sprouts year-round in a matter of weeks.
- Start growing oyster mushrooms—in your basement!
- Jump-start your local growing season by planting seeds indoors.
Whether you live on rural acreage or a city lot, virtually anyone can grow a simple garden—regardless of your skill level and busy schedule. How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone is a practical guide for cultivating fresh produce from seed to harvest. Taught by renowned horticulturalist Melinda Myers, these 12 hands-on lessons are chock full of tips and tricks for novice gardeners and green thumbs alike. Here, you’ll discover everything from materials and preparation to maintenance and harvesting, giving you all the practical knowledge you need to:
- Enjoy windowsill herbs such as chives, basil, rosemary, dill, and thyme.
- Harvest garden staples such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, pumpkins, and potatoes.
- Learn to grow nutritious and beautiful vegetables, including kale, Swiss chard, and rhubarb.
- Cultivate fruits from strawberries and raspberries to pears and plum trees.
Ms. Myers shows you the ins and outs of designing a beautiful garden to fit your space, and shares a wealth of examples to give you an idea of just what’s possible. For example, if you just want a few plants on your patio, consider the “thriller, filler, spiller” method of container gardening. Or if you live somewhere with a shorter growing season, consider planting seeds indoors and transplanting them outside when the weather warms.
Prepare Any Space for a Lush Garden
Whether you’re growing indoors or outside, preparation is the key. Ms. Myers walks you through every step of the process, including:
- Soil preparation
- Sunlight requirements
- Proper watering
You’ll discover how to repair damaged soil, convert grass to a garden, build raised beds, or simply boost the nutritional value of your growing space. She shows you eco-friendly methods for fighting pests such as hornworms, beetles, aphids, and other bugs that might munch on your fruits and veggies. Also, see how to prevent plant diseases through good watering habits and proper airflow.
Once you have your space prepared, it’s time to decide which plants to cultivate! Whether you’re interested in growing from seeds or selecting young plants from your local garden center, you’ll find out all the do’s and don’ts to maximize your garden’s productivity. You’ll get a comprehensive guide to:
- Topsoil and mulch
- Fertilizers and pest management
- Composting and other sustainable gardening practices
- Water wise gardening strategies
- Row covers, cold frames, and greenhouses to extend the season
Throughout the course, you’ll unpack key terms you need to know, including “indeterminate” versus “determinate,” “heirloom,” and more. Ms. Myers also provides a dazzling array of creative solutions to build the ideal garden for your space—including ways to tap into a neighborhood co-op or community garden.
Practical Tips and Hands-on Tricks
As she guides you through the process, Ms. Myers offers enthusiastic, can’t-go-wrong advice to get novice gardeners started—as well as professional tips and tricks that will surprise and inspire experienced gardeners. For instance, everyone will appreciate her time-saving tips, like a five-minute plan for weeding, to keep gardening fun rather than a chore.
Along the way, she gives you the case study of her own garden, filmed on location in Wisconsin. As an added bonus, she brings some of her projects right into the studio. You’ll see demonstrations of planting micro-greens, learn to build a worm composter, and more. In keeping with the practical, workshop nature of these lessons, the course guidebook is a handy resource you can take into the field to help with your own gardening efforts.
In no time at all, you’ll experience the myriad benefits of gardening, which feed your body and soul. Whether you simply want to grow herbs for your homemade spaghetti sauce or you dream of cultivating a dazzling orchard, How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening for Everyone offers everything you need to grow fresh food right outside—or inside—your home.