Members of the 24,900-member Facebook group Backyard Gardeners Maine offer advice to beginning growers:


Lea Carver: “Use resources like the UMaine Extension Service, which has numerous free bulletins for home gardeners. Read books by author Eliot Coleman and especially the “Garden Primer” by Barbara Damrosch (they both live/grow in Maine). And perhaps most important, always look for the science behind anything you read. Sadly, there are many home remedies and wacky planting ideas that have no scientific basis.”


Sharla Stone: “I’ve been gardening my whole life, but new to cold climate gardening. My best advice to anyone new to gardening (or gardening in a new location) is keep a journal. A lot of gardening is about timing, and that is a dance with Mother Nature. Although the weather is different every year, over time you’ll see the patterns and average best times etc. Record things like when you planted what, when it sprouted, when you harvested.”



Pat Germann Small: “Select A few tried-and-true plants such as tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, maybe even potatoes. Start small. see how your land works and then next year you can add to your garden.”


Amber Schmaling: “Get your soil tested or start with a bought mix in containers, then choose just a few types of plants, but several of them. That way, instead of your one tomato plant dying, several of the 5 or 6 will likely make it and produce. Choose veggies you will eat, and start with hybrids which are usually disease resistant, rather than heirlooms, which are more susceptible to issues and sometimes more finicky to care for.”


Katie Bird: “Don’t get discouraged if you feel like the first few attempts aren’t successful. The reward is in the process. Every year you learn, get better, and can expand. I have a blog/website:”

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