Grow Massachusetts!

Get the dirt: beginner gardening tips

We’re so excited that you are thinking about planting! Maybe you’ve never planted or just planted a little bit.  Maybe you just bought a house and daydream of a flower garden by the white picket fence. Maybe you want tomatoes at your fingertips. Maybe you bought the dirt and think, now what? This page has tips and projects for beginners!

The biggest piece of advice for beginners is to start small. One mistake that first timers tend to make is planting too much and having enough to feed the neighborhood or more weeding than you want to think about. So start small and don’t get overwhelmed. Enjoy!


How to plant

How to Plant

Published in Get the dirt

Preparing the Hole After deciding exactly where the plant will be planted, dig the hole. The hole should be dug twice as wide as the root ball or pot of the plant and about one third to one half again as deep. There used to be an old saying that you shouldn’t plant a $2.00 […]

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Seed Starting

Seed Starting

Published in Get the dirt

How to Succeed at Seed Starting Any gardener can appreciate the benefits of home-started seedlings. If you start your own seeds, you will have a much greater variety of vegetables, flowers, and herbs to choose from than if you just go down to the local garden center to pick up six-packs of nursery-raised starts. From […]

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Growing tip: Starting Seeds Indoors

Published in Get the dirt

Starting seeds indoors gives a head start on the gardening season and opens the door to growing endless varieties. It’s a fun way to kick off the gardening season!

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Vegetable Gardening

Published in Get the dirt

Vegetable Planting Calendar and Quantity Guide (This is a Missouri publication, information is accurate for Massachusetts. Follow Northern Missouri timing guidelines) A Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening Adapted for central Massachusetts from: Tony Maniezzo, Food Garden Horticulturist Keep It Simple The biggest mistake made by beginning gardeners is starting too big. They are soon overwhelmed by […]

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Growing tip: Caring for Seedlings

Published in Get the dirt

Place the containers in a bright sunny window (the sooner the better) and turn slightly each day.

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Spring Frost

Spring Frosts

Published in Get the dirt

Helping your garden survive a spring frost Predicting frost is a difficult thing. Cold air is heavier than warm air, so it settles into low lying areas. Within a neighborhood or even a single property, some areas may be frosted, and others untouched. Areas under trees and near the house gain a few degrees “extra” […]

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Early May Planting

Early May Planting

When to start planting and what to plant in Massachusetts Run time: 02:08

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Growing tip: Watering New Plantings

Published in Get the dirt

The roots of newly planted trees and shrubs must be kept steadily moist, but not soggy, as the developing roots establish in new soil.

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Growing tip: Planting Tomatoes

Published in Get the dirt

Plant tomatoes and—presto!—a garden. Whether in a pot, patch, or plot – tomatoes capture the essence of summer. Follow a few simple steps for a bountiful crop.

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Growing tomatoes

Growing tip: Growing Tomatoes

Published in Get the dirt

Tomatoes require care and feeding. Then, by nature, they run wild! It’s your job to tend and guide them.

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