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Gardening Basics

What You Need

  • Seeds
  • Soil
  • Sunlight: check your seed packet to find out how much!
  • Water
  • Space: each plant needs the correct amount of space for growth, above and below ground.
  • Attention and love!


  • When you plant the seeds, give the soil a really good watering. Seeds will not germinate in dry soil.
  • Seedlings (baby plants) should never dry out, so water them every day. After the plants are about as big as your hand, you likely won’t need to water them every day
  • Try keeping a garden journal where you write down the changes you see as your plants grow.

Gardening Terms

  • Days to germination: the average amount of time it takes for a seedling to start to grow out of a seed.
  • Days to harvest: Unless stated otherwise, the number of days a plant needs to grow before it can be harvested to eat. (Some plants, like snap peas, can be harvested for multiple weeks.)
  • Planting depth: how far beneath the surface of the soil you should plant each seed.
  • Row spacing: how much space you should leave between rows. In a garden, the plants do not need to be in straight rows, but make sure to give them the correct amount of space.
  • Sow: to place seeds in soil.
  • Spacing: how much space should be between each plant in a row. Make sure to give plants enough space below the ground as well. Most plants need 12 inches or more space for their roots. Check the seed packet for details.
  • Transplant: to move plants, most often from an indoor space to a new, outdoor location. (Some plants need warm temperatures to germinate.) Gardeners will start the seeds in small pots inside until it’s warm enough to take the small plant out of its pot and plant it outside in a larger pot or directly into the ground.
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