From Our Beet Reporters – Anyone Can Do This, Right? Stories of a First Time Gardener.

May 21, 2010 at 10:32 am

While I grew up with a garden in the backyard, my involvement consisted mainly of jumping square in the middle of snap pea plants to retrieve stray baseballs. So, why the interest in planting a garden for the first time? A lot of reasons many of us probably share: concern for what my kids eat as they develop, a few pennies saved on the grocery bill, and the childhood memories of how much better the vegetables tasted, having been picked and served in the span of 30 minutes.  

Seed tray planted

So here it goes, armed with a dozen or so seed packets, a bag of top soil and nary a clue, my wife and I are finally getting the garden growing. We’re starting a few items indoors. First to be planted are tomatoes, lettuce, watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, kohlrabi and bell peppers.  With the supplies spread out on our family room floor, I toasted the endeavor with a locally produced beer and filled the seed trays with soil. Just a few seeds in, I feel like some starry-eyed preschooler learning about the growing process for the first time. I’m amazed at the smallness of the seeds and how they can possibly grow to fill a portion of our backyard.  It all feels a little magical. I press each seed into the soil and cover it. I hope I can remember to water them. I finish my beer, and for a minute, worry about writing a garden update about seed trays filled with nothing but dirt and labels announcing the names of crops that couldn’t grow.  My wife is more confident, already planning what we’ll do with all the tomatoes eighteen plants will bring.

No matter the outcome, I’ll check back in a couple of weeks with an update and hopefully pictures of something green poking through the soil. 

Starting the seed trays



  1. Cindy Borg says:

    18 tomato plants? I only planted 12 and that should be enough (hopefully) to can salsa and spaghetti sauce. We only planted bell peppers, jalapeños, tomatoes (romas are best for sauce), strawberries for jam, lettuce, zucchini, beans and sugar snap peas. Maybe we can have a vegetable swap?

  2. Carrie Jack says:

    We too started a garden for the first time this year. Though, we were too lazy (tired actually) to start the inside thing. We planted 2 weeks ago and already starting to see a bit of progress with our watermelon, lettuce and potatoes. Good luck Todd!

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