• Ane from Boomerang

5 Beginner Tips to Grow Vegetables at Home

Updated: Nov 16

It’s surprisingly simple for a beginner gardener to grow beautiful, nutritious herbs and vegetables. Why not grow all the ingredients for a delicious salad right at home, with your own vegetable garden? Even a tiny plot of land can offer a rich harvest that saves money and brings you joy. Let’s explore some gardening ideas that will help you avoid common mistakes while allowing your garden to flourish. There are plenty of chances to get creative along the way.


5 essential beginner’s tips for growing your own vegetable garden


As a beginner, it’s all about setting yourself up to succeed. Here are some key tips to help your new vegetable garden thrive.


1. Choose seedlings and hearty plants that grow easily

Begin your first vegetable garden with seedlings that have already sprouted, rather than trying to sprout seeds. You can try growing plants from a seed once you’ve weathered a gardening season or two. Be sure to pick hearty plants that grow easily. 


Easy vegetables to grow from seeds:

  • Lettuce

  • Broccoli 

  • Carrots 

  • Radishes 

  • Green beans 

  • Onions 

  • Hot peppers 

  • Cucumbers 

  • Zucchini 


These are all confident growers that will thrive without much coaxing. 


Vegetables to avoid growing as a first-time gardener:Avoid 

Eggplant 

Corn 

Peppers


Even though these might sound like easy vegetables to grow, they can be challenging plants for a beginner’s garden.


2. Plant some herbs in your beginner vegetable garden

Creating unique recipes from your own vegetable garden is even more fun if you have some fresh flavours in the mix. If you’re growing your own vegetable garden for the first time, it’s fun to get creative. A hint of fresh dill, chives, or mint adds effortless pizzazz to a classic recipe!


3. Grow your home vegetable garden in a container

No yard? No problem. If you don’t have a plot of earth to plant a garden in, you can plant your vegetable garden in a large container. Try starting with spinach, spring onion, tomatoes, and beans. They’re more likely to do well in a porch planter or a smaller garden. It’s perfectly fine to start your garden indoors. Fragile shoots can thrive under glass or in a window when they’re first finding their roots. Over or under-watering plants is a common beginner’s mistake, especially when using a planter. Make sure your container has holes to allow water to move through the roots. If it doesn’t, try laying down a layer of rocks for extra water before placing it in your soil.


4. Give your vegetables some room to grow

Pay careful attention to the instructions that come with your plant, and do your research to make sure you’re leaving enough space between your plants. Most seedlings need to be planted several centimetres apart. If you’re planting on an outdoor plot of land, leave room to walk through the vegetable beds. You will need room to walk through and pick weeds or tend to your garden without trampling on baby plants.


5. Make your first vegetable garden a personal affair

What vegetables does your family love to eat? Which herbs often come up in recipes you like to make? One of our team members at Boomerang loves dill–her family puts it in salads, soups, and dips. Plant with the harvest you’d like in mind. Growing your first vegetable garden should be fun. Include grandchildren or friends by dropping off a little basket with your very first vegetable harvest!


What tools will I need to prepare my first vegetable garden?


Growing your own vegetable garden doesn’t need to be a big investment. By purchasing a few key items, you’ll be prepared for any gardening challenges that come your way.

  • It’s a great idea to invest in some root trainer or a propagator kit to help encourage your vegetables to grow. You can find these at any gardening centre.

  • Regardless of the vegetables or herbs that you’re growing, consider adding onions or leeks to your first crop. Purchase these seedlings, and they’ll help keep pests away from your plants as they grow.

  • Choose a high-quality potting mix instead of typical gardening soil, especially when planting in containers. The potting mix will be more effective with drainage, which is essential for your basic vegetable garden.

  • If you’re gardening on a plot of land outdoors, start small with four different plants to learn the ropes. You may need a trowel, a hose or watering can, a pair of gardening shears or scissors for trimming, or an insect spray to keep your plants bug-free. 

Connect with the Boomerang gardening community


We have a community of beginner gardeners just like you at Boomerang. 

From accomplished herb porch growers to beginner backyard bean planters, our community learns by doing. You might enjoy planting flowers, too. Check out our guide to perennials and add some flowers to your vegetable garden.


Join our weekly discussion group for more tips, ideas, and answers to your most pressing gardening queries. Sign up for Boomerang to see all of our workshops where you can develop your skills.


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This article offers general information only and is not intended as legal, financial or other professional advice. A professional advisor should be consulted regarding your specific situation. While the information presented is believed to be factual and current, its accuracy is not guaranteed and it should not be regarded as a complete analysis of the subjects discussed. All expressions of opinion reflect the judgment of the author(s) as of the date of publication and are subject to change. No endorsement of any third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products or services is expressly given or implied by Royal Bank of Canada or its affiliates.



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