How To Plan Your First Vegetable Garden~Keep It Simple ~ Have Fun!

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What should I do first now that I decide to plant a Vegetable Garden?

How to Plan Your First Vegetable Garden, will give you a lot to think about!  Before You put pen to paper to map out your Garden Plan here are some things you’ll need to consider:

  • What is My Purpose for having a Vegetable Garden?
  • How much time can I devote to Gardening?
  • What Style of Garden would be best for me.
  • Learn how to work with the Climate in your area.
  • Check your site to see what you have to work with!
These are not Questions to deter you from Gardening. They are Questions to help you enjoy Your Gardening experience to the fullest!



God Is Good!

Natures Bounty


Did you know that nearly half of the families in the United States have a Vegetable Garden?

So, why DO they have the urge to Garden? Only you can answer that.

~ Some of the most popular reasons is to have fresh vegetables to eat, to preserve your Veggies for later use, or to share with family. All of these are great reasons! 

~ Maybe you’d like to Save Money.1 Just to let you know, you will probably will spend more per/Squash the first year than you would if you bought it. But, just think how great it will taste!

~ You may want Vegetables that Taste Better. That is a BIG reason, and is one of the reasons I grow my own! When you grow your own, especially from seeds, you know what went into that Plant. No Chemical Pesticides or Fertilizers, only Natural Products. It does make you feel good to know what your are feeding your family.

~ Did you know that Vegetables grown and ripened on the vine have more Nutrients?

Just think about what Store Bought Vegetables go through before they reach your table!

~ They were probably Picked in another state, they may not have been fully ripe. Shipped on a Truck or Train, kept in storage while stores bid on them, and then were displayed in you local Grocery Store, all the while Loosing what little  flavor they had!

~ Most of the Vegetables Varities are chosen by Growers, because they grow faster, grow bigger are bread to withstand shipping, and look good when you get them.

I’d like to tell you why I Garden

I can’t wait to get out there in the Spring, to feel the sun on my face. to smell the soil when I till the garden, to start my own seeds, to set them out in the spot I prepared for them. I LOVE To go out in the morning with my cup of Coffee and check all my little plants to see how they are doing. Best of All, I love to pick a Cherry Tomato and eat it right off the vine.

But, one of the Biggest Reasons, is that Gardening is a Stress Buster, no phones (leave yours in the house when you go out) no rush, no one to answer to.

I also feel in Touch With God, he did give us the First Garden you know, it was called Eden. Nothing can be Better Than That!

If this sounds like you, then read on. It will be a lot of work, but the rewards and the taste, will out weigh any work that you put into it.


Garden Time                                                                                   

How Much Time Do You Have For Gardening?

Well you’ve made the decision. Your a Gardener Now! I am so glad, Welcome the the Veggie Gardening Club. 

~ Just to let you know you are pretty much on your own. What I mean is, You decided to garden, your family didn’t have the same Revelation that you did. Don’t worry though, when they see how being in the Garden makes you feel ( Relaxed and Stress Free) they just might want to join you. If that don’t work, just give them a taste of those Vine Rippened Tomatoes that you grew with your own hands. (Just give them one now, you don’t want to spoil them) they may help so they can eat more!

One last thing, flaunt your new Figure, you will certainly lose weight and be toned form working in your garden, and just look at the Farmers Tan you have, no tanning bed for you. That’s just some of the extra benefits of Gardening !

~  All joking aside, you will need to decide how much time you will be able to devote to your garden. Like I said you can’t count on help, so it’s up to you.

Gardening is work, I won’t lie about that, but it is some of the best work you’ll ever do.

~ If you don’t have a lot of time, you can always plant vegetables in a large flower pot. You may like the idea of a couple of Raised Beds, or start with a small Traditional Garden.

Just get you Your Hands Dirty, the Gardening Bug Will Take Over, it may even infect your whole family. 



                                                                      Look What I Did!            

     Look What A Little Work Will Do!

Style of Garden

Gardening Style depends mostly on Space, Purpose and Health.

You’ll have to decide if you have the room for a Traditional Garden, if you want Rows or planting blocks if you want mulch or no mulch between rows for weed control.  Make sure you have the time to take care of it. Don’t go too big and stress yourself out. You are out here to relax!

Ease of Use – Raised Beds may be the way to go if you have any Health Problems. With a Raised Bed you won’t have to bend down or get on your knees to weed or pick your Veggies.

Many factors contribute to giving you the Garden that is Best For You.

The Best thing to do would be to make a list of your main priorities. Purpose, land size and if you can take care of a large Garden or need to make it easier to care for because of Health Factors.

There is a way for everyone to have some sort of Garden, even if it’s a Container Garden. Think about what will be the best for you. Please read:…-us-show-you-how/


Make sure to check the Climate Zone Map for the first and last frost for your area !




The USDA, (United States Department of Agriculture) developed maps to assist people in finding the first and last estimated Frosts of the seasons. This is a very important guide. Make sure you check it BEFORE you set your plants  outside!

One Last Thing! Observe Your Garden Site

  • Check for ample Sun Light – Most Vegetable Plants require a full about 8 hours of sunlight per day for growth. You can observe the length of sunlight per day and chart it. Make sure the plants are getting direct Sunlight and not shaded by a tree.
  • Water – Vegetable Plants require enough water to keep them moist, but not over wet or they will rot. If rainwater is not enough, you may need to add a drip hose that will slowly supply water to the base of the plant.
  • What type of Soil do you have? – There are Three Basic Soil Types: Clay, Loamy or Sandy Soil. Finding out what you have to work with will make the difference between Garden Success or Failure.

These are some of the most important things that you can do to insure a Successful Vegetable Garden. 



I will be writing on Types of Soil and how to amend them in my next Post.


Please don’t forget to Subscribe. You will be sent a Newsletter that tells you what’s New at The Down And Dirty Gardener, New Posts and what we are Giving Away Free, so Subscribe now then you won’t miss a thing.


We’re Glad You Stopped By




Your Friend and Fellow Gardener, Donna 

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Copyright Notice

@Donna Harvey, The Down And Dirty Gardener 2017

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Donna Harvey and The Down And Dirty Gardener, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


The content on this website is information, opinions and education and does not constitute professional advice. If you need professional advice please consult a relevant qualified professional.

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HOW And WHEN To Start Your Seeds Indoors

The Art of the seed packet

How to Plant Your Seeds

First you have to purchase the seeds. As I mentioned in The Garden Catalog, There’s Hope For Spring! don’t go over board when you buy seeds. Learn from my mistakes!

Decide what you plan to do with your Veggies. You might want to can or freeze some of them. You just might want some to eat.

Look at the seed packet, it will tell you how many seeds there are in the packet. Remember not all of them will grow. Say that it says it has 30 Seeds and 10% won’t grow, that will leave you 27 Plants. That would probably give you plenty to eat.

If you want to preserve some you may want to double that to two packets.

From a lowly seed, the new seedling reaches for the sky

The Miracle of the Seed.


From a tiny seed it emerges from the soil. The new seedling reaches for the sun’s warmth. Soon it add’s leaf after leaf. It’s not long before it outgrows its small container. IT IS TIME!  The small seedling makes the big move to the garden. The growth comes fast, it developes flowers. That’s its way of keeping life going and reproducing. Along come the Bees to pollinate the flower. The fruit starts and grows till its time for the harvest. All this from a tiny seed.

10 + 5 =

The Beauty of the Garden

How and when to start your seeds indoors!

Starting seeds is different for everyone. We all live in different Climate zones in the United States.

I am giving away a planting guide, so just subscribe and I’ll send you one.

For now the best thing to do is to look at the back of a seed packet. There is a lot of info there, including when to plant that particular seed.


Info on back of Seed Packet

Now the fun begin

There are a few things you will need before you can start planting.

  1. A Planting Tray with Cover – Using a cover will give it a Greenhouse affect. Makes it warmer, keeps moisture in.
  2. Soilless Planting Medium – you will find a recipe to make your own soil at
  3. A spray bottle – use this to moisten the soil.  The spray is fine and will not disturb the seeds.
  4. A warming mat (this is optional) – The mat is under the planting tray, it warms the soil, helps seeds germinate faster.
  5. Plant Markers – mark the rows so you know what is planted there.

How to plant the seeds

First add the Soilless Potting Mix to the tray. Do not fill it to the top.

Now read the back of the Seed Packet, it will tell you how deep to plant your seeds. Just sprinkle the soil over the seeds. Press lightly.

Use your spray bottle to moisten the soil. Don’t soak the soil, use enough to make sure the seeds are wet.

Cover the Planting Tray with it’s clear cover. Set the tray in a warm spot. Make sure to keep the soil moist.

Once the plants start to emerge, move the tray to a warm sunny spot. The seedlings will need a lot of sun. If they don’t get 16 to 18 hours of sun, you will need a to hang a grow light.  You can remove the Tray Cover.

Make sure to keep the soil moist. Try not to soak the plant.

Check your plants daily!


God Created The Farmer




Abraham Lincoln Created the U.S. Department Of Agriculture in 1862. At that time 90 out of 100 people were Farmers – Now it’s 2 out of 100. The motto is:  “Agriculture is the Foundation of Manufacture And Commerce”

Farm Days are LONG! There is no 9 to 5 Here! They get up with the Chickens, if not sooner. So next time you think how you hate to be at work at 9:00 a.m. think about the Farmer who is up at 4:00 a.m. to start at 5:00 a.m.  He has put in HALF of your Day by the time you get out of Bed!

Farming requires a lot of Education. Formal Education and Work Experience, Keeping up with new regulations by the Government, finding out what is new on the Market or just talking with other Farmers to find out what’s working for them. This is what it takes to succeed at Farming!

Farming is EXPENSIVE!  Just think about it some of the Farm Equipment cost more than you House! Plus the cost of Feeding the Animals, Keeping their stalls clean, Upkeep of the Equipment, Buying New Equipment,Buying the seeds to plant, Paying the help and Keeping the Animals Healthy, Paper work, Taxes, all this costs a great deal of money!

So next time you complain about working on Saturday, just remember the Farmer works all Weekend and I mean every weekend. The Animals don’t quit eating so the Farmer can take the Weekend off to Go Fishing!

Did you ever stop to think where All of Your Food Comes From? It’s the Farmer.

So I’d Say, Don’t Forget To Thank God and The Farmer Daily For All The Things They Do For You!



13 Interesting Facts About Farming!

  1. Texas has the most farm acreage of any U.S. State. They not only have Big Hats – They have Big Farms
  2. The average size of U.S. Family farm is around 400 to 450 Acres.
  3. Cattle are the largest segment of U.S.Agriculture and Dairy is Second.
  4. 90% of Farmers would like their children to be Farmers too.
  5. Only 2 out of 100 American’s work on Farms.
  6. More than 6000 different kinds of Apples are grown around the World. The Biggest producer is China followed by the U.S.
  7. Tractors were invented in the 1880’s to pull plows through fields.
  8. Livestock Farming feeds billions of people. 1 in 5 people are Farmers.
  9. Most Livestock is raised on Large Factory Farms called: Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations or CAFO’s,
  10. Raising Beef Cattle is the Single Largest Segment Of American Agriculture.
  11. One of three acres are harvested for Export!
  12. The Average Cow produces 7 Gal. of Milk/Day, 2100 Lbs. of Mild A Month, 46,000 Glasses of Milk/Yr. and There are 350 Squirts of Milk in a Gallon!
  13. Pigs are thought to be the 4th most intelligent animal after Chimps, Dolphins, and Elephants. They can run 11 Miles/Hr., which is faster than the 6 Minute Mile!


Farm Boys How Long You Been Farmin?

So never forget the work that goes into Supplying The World with food and other products that comes from the Farm! Just think how much work it would be for you to supply your own!


A Farmers Work Is Never Done!

The Cows Are Content In The Pasture

Surveying His Fields

The Dinner Bell Calls

Sunset and His Bed Calls His Name, Morning Comes Quickly, He'll Rest Another Day...

Contact Us

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Me and Grandma’s Flower Garden

Pickin' Flowers for Grandma

Learning in My Grandma’s Flower Garden!

As Children, many memories are created, some we hang onto for life!

I remember Gardening with My Mom, starting seeds, and planting the flowers in the flower beds.

My Dad showed us how to plant the Vegetables, every row had to be straight, He used a string on two posts.

And, My Grandma’s Flower Garden is where She taught me about Her Roses, something I’ll never forget.

I will be a Gardener for the rest of my life!

Mason Jar

Roses “n” Mason Jar

The Rose "Peace" Symbolizes Peace in the World

The Peace Rose has it’s own Special Story.

In 1935, The French Rose Breeder, Francis Meilland selected 50 seedlings, one he tagged 3-35-40. For 4 years he and his Father watched and developed it

With Hitler’s Attack on France, there was fear that the Nursery would be destroyed. So, 3 parcells of the Budwood 3-35-40 were smuggled out in a diplomatic bag to America.

The rose was planted in its own Bed and tested by other growers in other Climate Zones in America.

It did so well, they decided to release it in Pasadena California, On April 29th, 1945. The same day Berlin Fell and A Truce was Declared.

They issued A Statement That Read “We are persuaded that This Greatest New Rose of our time should be named for the world’s greatest desire: “PEACE”

The Rose has Won many Awards, and it sill with us today, and so is the Meilland line of Roses.

Red Rose

A Rose Is A Rose

Elegant Themes

Themes By Elegant Themes Design With DIVI

About Me

Blog Contents

When I was a little Kid My Grandma used to come and get me, so I could stay with her for the weekend. Those were such fun days.

She was a good cook, I never knew what we were eating, probably something she shot when she went hunting or she caught when she went fishing. All I know was it really tasted good. Especially the Homemade Noodles!

Grandma had a lot of flower gardens. They were so Pretty. But, the Best Were The Roses. They were sooooo Big and they Smelled so good.

She said they were Peace Roses. I’ll never forgot that name, or smell.
She showed me how she cut them, and how she started started a new Rose, She did have a lot of Roses.

I regret that I never got one of the Roses. I always wished that I had. It would be so great to have a Huge Peace Rose of my own. Especially One that she had started with her own hands.

If you have Grandchildren, take the time to teach them Gardening. It will be a memory that they will never forget, and they’ll be Gardeners for Life!

Create a Memory Today!

Earn Your GREEN THUMB, and get a FREE E-book for joining!

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A Roses Is A Rose Is A Rose

Donna, The Down And Dirty Gardener

God Is Good!

The Curving Flower Garden

Follow The Purple Road

My Hanging Gardens!

Nature's Drop Dead Blue!

Nature's Drop Dead Blue!

My Pot Runneth Over!

Oh Boy! They're Ready For The Garden!

Planting Day!

Raised Beds! What a Wonderful Way To Garden!

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Donna Harvey

Donna Harvey

Owner & Author of the Down and Dirty Gardener


Hi I’m Donna the Country Girl who LOVE’S GARDENING and GETTING MY HANDS DIRTY! I have always loved Gardening.

As Kids, we were always expected to work in the Garden. My Parent’s taught me how and what to plant in the Vegetable and Flower Garden.

Later, I worked at twoDifferent Nurseries, first as the Outside Plant Manager, and the other I was the Landscape Designer.

I was fortunate enought to attend Penn State’s Master Gardener Program, and afterword started and ran My Own Landscape/Design and Maintenance Business.

So, I’d guess you’d say Gardening is in My Blood.

This Blog The Down And Dirty Gardener was started as a way for me to share the things that I’ve learned along the way and things that didn’t work so well! You will find articles for Beginners and Experts Alike.

There is always something new to learn. And if your like me, it’s always more fun if you have a bunch of avid Gardener’s telling their stories.

I hope you will stop in and visit often and Don’t Forget To Subscribe so you won’t miss anything.

I look foward to seeing and hearing from you soon!


Gladys the Resident Gardening Knows It All

Gladys the Resident Gardening Knows It All

Thinks She's The BOSS!

Gladys knows everything about Gardening, just ask Her, She’ll Tell You!

Become A Member of The Down And Dirty Gardeners Club & Earn Your GREEN THUMB and a FREE Planting Guide!

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The Garden Catalog, There’s Hope For Spring!


Where you'll find Dirt on Your Hands and A Beautiful Garden To Show For It!

Don't forget to Join The Down And Dirty Garden Club. Earn Your Green Thumb And A Free E-Book!


Hi Guys, well here it is Feb. 6th, I’m so excited, just got my Gardening Catalog, and its time to get Gardening!

I Bet your thinking How the Heck am I going to do any Gardening, it’s freezing out there!

Don’t go getting yourself in and Uproar Now!  I just noticed I’m beginning to sound more and more like Gladys! She’s rubbing off! (You’ll meet her later)!

Let’s start over, there is something you can be doing. You can start out by getting yourself a Garden Catalog. This will help you see whats out there even though it freezing! Study the Seeds and Plants, that will help you to plan out your garden.

One suggestion, Don’t go overboard buying seeds, you won’t need to many Seed Packets. How do you know this you ask?

I’m embarassed  to tell you this! I bought 3 Pkg. of one type of Tomato Seeds and a Couple of other type of Tomatoes. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PLANTS THAT MAKES? I ENDED UP WITH ABOUT 300 PLANTS! So don’t do what I do, but do what I say.

Back to the Catalogs – You can find my favorites by going over to:

  •  Catalog request or shop on line
  • request Catalog or shop on line.
  •  Seed and Plant Catalog Request


You Can Find Us First In The Seed Catalog, "Seeds now, Supper Later!"

This is my own Testimonial, I have never enjoyed anything more than Gardening. I have been fortunate enough to have Started and Planted My own Plants for many years.

I have Designed many different Landscape Designs. When the instalation of the plants was finished, I was able to see what my Design acctually  looked like!

Gardening is a relaxing hobby, it removes stress, it supplies food, and flowers for your home.  Gardening Helps to keep you in shape, and the finished product is something that you can be proud of.

Go Ahead And Try It,  You’ll Like It!

Donna Harvey

Owner and Author of The Down And Dirty Gardener

Join Us For "Info & Freebies" At The Down And Dirty Gardeners Club

Put You're Green Thumb On The Button And PUSH!
Summers Light Snack!

I’ll be shareing some great recepes for your Beautiful Tomatoes and other Veggies in other Posts.

So if you have a favorite please Share in the Comments. I’ll make sure to get it out in a Post later, that is if I have your Permision. Thanks Donna

Little Red Cherry Tomatoes, Ripe For the Picking!

Nothing Beats a Red Ripe Tomato that’s Still on the Vine. Remember to take your salt with you when you go out to check on them, if your like me, you’ll have to eat some!

Checking your plants will become a Morning ritual. Take some Coffee with you, it may take a while.

Its still so amazing to watch all the little seedlings that you started, grow into Fruit Bearing Plants.    Enjoy!