Starting Your Garden

Gardening Season!
Gathering of people at a community garden bed. Various ages, all are leaning over or kneeling to put in vegetable plant starts.

Have you caught the gardening bug – but don’t know where to start or need some guidance? Vermont 211 can refer you to helpful resources that can set you on the right track.

Community gardens allow families and individuals without land of their own the opportunity to grow their own food, providing access to fresh and nutritionally rich produce. Studies have shown that community gardeners and their children not only eat healthier, more nutrient rich diets, but that their well-being is enhanced from a variety of mental health benefits that being in nature provides.

The Vermont Community Garden Network provides a Garden Directory of nearly 400 community, school and group gardens around the state. For information about becoming a community garden member or about becoming a garden director in your community visit or call 802-861-GROW. Their directory is here:

If you are forging ahead on your own and you find yourself with gardening questions, you can find answers through the UVM Extension Master Gardening Program. The Master Gardener program offers a free helpline for home gardener's horticulture questions. (802) 656-5421, Live Helpline is open on Thursdays, 9-12 from April-October. You can also submit your question in an online form: There also is a soil testing service: Earlier in the year, you can sign up for the Extension Master Gardener Course, which covers the fundamentals of home gardening and plant and soil sciences.

Another resource is the website of The Old Farmers Almanac, which provides a free planting calendar based on your zip code that can be printed out. It shows the best times for putting in transplants for a wide range of vegetables as well as when to start seeds outside and the latest you can plant crops.