Garden Solutions Center Ask the Expert

Got a question? Ask and find your answer right here.

Question

My husband and I hope to buy a house soon near Pittsburgh, PA. I would love to have a small vegetable and herb garden to contribute to my vegetarian cooking. Do you have any suggestions for which vegetables and herbs to include in the garden that would be relatively low maintenance, keeping in mind that I have no gardening experience? Thank you, in advance, for your feedback.

Answers

2 answers

  1. Some of the best advice I ever received when I became a freelance writer over 15 years ago was to start small and write about what I knew best--which still is gardening, food and outdoor living. The same rules apply when your a newbie to gardening. Choose a few of your favorite veggies and herbs that you love to use in the kitchen and start with a small plot of space. You can always "grow" your gardening space to a larger area once you become more familiar and gain more confidence.

    A few easy-to-grow veggies to consider are tomatoes, radishes, salad greens, zucchini/summer squash, and peppers. A good place to start with herbs are chives, parsley, and basil. Choose varieties that are compact, bush versus vining, and determinate rather than indeterminate (for tomatoes). That keeps it simple as you don't need to deal with a trellising system, or stakes or cages for the tomatoes. The best way to keep veggies and herbs more low-maintenance than not is to improve the health and structure (tilth) of your soil. A healthy soil produces healthy plants and the easiest way to improve your soil is by digging or tilling in a 2 to 4 inch layer of compost or aged manure. Once you decide on what you'd like to grow, post your list and I'll give you a few growing tips to get you started.

    1. In response to Kris_Wetherbee

      Thank you for your advice. I will probably start with tomatoes, salad greens, parsley, and basil. Those are some of my most frequently used ingredients. Thanks again!

Ask the Expert

Recent Activities