Organic and Raised Bed Gardening Tips for NJ Zone 6



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The Complete Beginner's E-Guide to Organic Gardening in NJ Zone 6 is now available for purchase. Learn more here.

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Gardening Tips for Beginners

It took me a few years to get the hang of gardening. Seems like whether it was turning beds, planting seeds, fertilizing or what-have-you, there was always the question in my mind: "Am I doing this right? HOW do I do this again?"

Some gardening tips for beginners:

Location is everything. Try to grow your garden in the most southerly spot. If you can't do this because your backyard is north of your house, then at least plant your veggies from tallest to shortest, north to south. This way the big guys won't block out the little guys as they grow.

Stock up on supplies first. Some basic things you'll need to grow a garden: good soil. Access to a water supply such as hose. Organic compost. A large shovel and pitchfork. A small spade and gardening fork. Gardening gloves. Fish fertilizer. Organic dry fertilizer (if you're going organic). A tape measure or yardstick. A pencil or stick to poke seed holes. Plants and seeds!

Follow the instructions on your seed packets. Each packet of seeds that you buy will include specifics on how deep and wide to space plants. They'll recommend full sun or partial shade, time of year to plant according to the Hardiness Zone you live in, and water preferences. They'll also include number of days to maturity.

Which plants to sow from seed, directly in the garden: Peas. Radishes. Carrots. Beets. Swiss chard. Beans. Lettuce. Cucumbers.

Which vegetable crops do better started from plants: Tomatoes. Peppers. Eggplants. Parsley. Thyme. Zucchini. Yellow squash.

Start small. Too much all at once can force you to give up before you even get started. First time growing vegetables? Maybe stick to just a couple of tomato plants and a few cucumber plants this year. 

Water newly planted seeds every day. The soil will need to be kept moist to ensure that the seeds germinate. A garden that has already been established should be watered well, once a week. (Speaking from personal experience – if there's a heat spell and my plants look droopy, I'll water more frequently than once per week).

Save your unused seeds. Many varieties of vegetable seeds can be planted for a year, or even several years, after purchasing. Check our seed viability chart for more information.

Fertilize midway through the growing season. I recommend Espoma organic fertilizer, fish emulsion, and organic compost. Sprinkle the organic fertilizer around the plants, then water. Do the same with the compost. Try to avoid having the fertilizer touch the plants' leaves if you can. For the fish emulsion, follow the instructions on the bottle and put a bit in a spray bottle of water which you can then spritz your plants with.

Try to avoid walking on the garden beds, as this will compact the soil. To avoid this problem altogether, set up raised garden beds like the ones we sell! is owned by Mike Hyde and 4 Seasons Lawn Care. We build, deliver and install raised garden beds to Hunterdon and Warren Counties in NJ and Northampton County, PA.

Contact us for more information: 908 783 5733 or email today!




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Chemical-Free Pest Control for Your NJ Organic Garden

Grow Better Tomatoes by Amending the Soil

Growing Herbs in NJ Zone 6 Instant Download E-Guide

Determinate vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

Growing Tomatoes from Seed

Buying Good Garden Soil in Hunterdon, NJ

What Type of Soil is Right for My Raised Garden Beds?

What Vegetables to Plant on May 15

Ode to the Turnip

Best Seed Catalogs

When and How to Start Prepping Your Garden Beds in New Jersey

When to Plant Early Spring Vegetables in NJ

Garden Planning in February? Yes! Get Ready for Spring Planting in NJ

Getting Your Raised Garden Beds Ready for Spring Planting

Is Rototilling Necessary? To Till or Not to Till Your NJ Garden Beds

Garden Planting Dates for NJ Zone 6

How to Plant Peas When There is Snow on the Ground

What to Do When You Miss Your Planting Date

Baking the Weed Seeds Out of Your Garden Beds

Planting Onions in Early Spring in NJ Zone 6

Broccoli Planting Instructions for NJ Zone 6

Sacrificial Carrot: How to Make Your NJ Carrot Crop Go the Distance

How to Grow Strawberries Organically

How to Plant Cucumbers in NJ Zone 6

Growing Herbs Successfully in NJ Zone 6

Spring Gardening in NJ: What to Plant on May 15?

Mid Spring Gardening Upkeep



Organic Composting Q&A

Mulch Q&A for Vegetable Gardens

Choosing a Fertilizer for Your Vegetable Garden

6 Quick Tips for Gardening Without the Use of Chemical Fertilizers or Pesticides



How Long Do Garden Seeds Last? Seed Viability Chart

How to Grow Vegetables from Seed

Growing Lettuce from Seed vs. Direct Sowing Lettuce

Growing Tomatoes from Seed