The scarecrow is a lemur stuffed toy.

Can You Get a Spring Garden Going This Weekend? (Yes)

With spring equinox two days away and Daylight Savings Time providing plenty of light after work, serious gardeners are already doing god knows what in preparation for a summer of fresh food from their yard. Less serious gardeners may be wondering if chance will somehow arrange everything this year, unlike all those other years.

Maybe you just need a little encouragement to get out the door and come back with $40 worth of supplies and seeds—six hours later, you will have a small garden started. Use these Words of Wisdom from people who know about such things and you’ve got some insurance against disappointment. 

  • “It’s better to be proud of a small garden than to be frustrated by a big one!”Farmer’s Almanac
  • “If you only have room to grow one basil plant, make it Genovese; this variety is the best for making pesto and bruschetta, dropping into tomato salads and more.”—Sunset
  • “To grow potatoes, plant a potato. Seriously. You can buy seed potatoes in many varieties or even choose an organic potato at the market, cut a few chunks that have eyes, let them dry out for a few days, and plant them.”—Serious Eats
  • “Drought tip: Don’t throw leftover water away after boiling vegetables. Let it cool and use it on your plants.”—San Luis Obsipo Tribune
  • “Sow seeds of a fast-growing leaf lettuce thickly between young pea plants. The lettuce will outperform the weeds, and you can harvest the lettuce thinnings as you pick your peas.”—Organic Gardening
  • No-dig and no-till gardens are incredibly easy to start. Use a stack of old newspapers and whatever you would otherwise throw in the compost bin. There are thousands of variations you can find in bookstores or online, but it comes down to using layers of newspaper or cardboard over a square of dirt or dead grass or weeds, sandwiched with layers of compost, and then you just wet it all down and scatter your seeds in the stuff on top. You can use a little garden shovel or even scissors to make holes for the starter plants. This is a garden you can make out of common garbage.