Getting started as a gardener
Let’s Grow Stuff
In partnership with PBS Wisconsin, I host Let’s Grow Stuff, a series of short videos designed to help the beginner learn the tools of successful vegetable and herb gardening. These videos are a good starting point for learning the basics of gardening, as well as some of the problems to look out for.
The Beautiful Edible Garden
Growing food can be beautiful and practical; the two aren’t mutually exclusive. This book from landscape gardeners Leslie Bennett and Stephanie Bittner offers a friendly and accessible introduction not only to growing organic fruits and vegetables but also to making your garden a place of year-round beauty.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
The Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a nonprofit home improvement center stocked primarily with donated materials. With locations in South Bend and Mishawaka, ReStore is a great option for affordable miscellaneous supplies you may need to build your garden, whether it’s cinder blocks, lumber or other items. Since ReStore is a donation-based organization, its inventory fluctuates. I recommend you call in advance to check what’s available before you make the trip.
Unity Gardens Learning Resources
Unity Gardens is a fantastic local resource that offers more than 100 free gardening classes— virtual and in-person—each year. With dozens of public gardens all throughout St Joseph County, you can volunteer to help maintain the gardens or simply stop by and pick some of the fruits and vegetables for free.
Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab
With this resource from Purdue University’s College of Agriculture, you can get rapid feedback from experts on what might be nibbling your broccoli or afflicting your spinach. They also offer a wide range of articles and information to help you diagnose common gardening challenges and identify solutions.
Gaia’s Garden has sparked the imagination of home gardeners all over the world by introducing a simple message: Working with nature—not against her—results in more beautiful, abundant and forgiving gardens. This revised and updated edition of the book also features a chapter on urban permaculture, designed especially for people in cities and suburbs who have limited growing space.