Have you ever considered growing a home garden? Even if you have just a little plot of land or tiny space for a few containers, an edible garden is both beautiful and very rewarding. It can be overwhelming at first, so Beth LaDove and Jen Long co-founded Garden Tribe, an online community to bring master gardeners and dilettantes together. Today Beth is sharing some of her secrets with us. And if it’s feels too late in the season to get started, she promises us there is still plenty of time. “Depending on where you live, there’s almost always something you can be growing. Lots of plants, like tomatoes, basil and peppers need the soil and the air temperature to be warm before planting, so those are great crops to plant in late spring.” Plus, Beth shares a favorite recipe for slow roasted tomatoes — check out the slideshow!

Starting a home garden can be intimidating, how does Garden Tribe help newbies get started?
Yes, the amount of confusing — and sometimes conflicting — information out there is overwhelming. Our approach is to sift through all that noise and teach people, step-by-step, the key things they need to know to be successful. Each of our classes are broken down into several lessons and also have downloadable materials. So people can go at their own pace and review whenever they want.

With our food-growing bootcamp, we also have a private group where our students from all over the world are sharing their experiences and questions. It’s a very supportive community where a lot of great learning also happens.

What are your tips for starting an edible container garden?
Great question! This is such a popular topic that we made an entire class just about this. But here are some quick tips that we always tell people:

Get the right size container for what you’re growing. The size a plant gets on top is about the same space the roots need below. So with something large like a tomato plant, you need a really big and deep container (at least 18” deep) whereas lettuce will be just fine in something 6” deep.

Make sure your container has holes in the bottom. Drainage is key! Plant roots will rot if they are sitting in standing water.

Use fresh potting soil every time you plant. This will be your plants’ only source of food, so get high quality organic soil if possible.

For a list of edibles to grow in containers & the size pot, download our free 21 Genius Things to Know guide.

Get more tips and the recipe for slow roasted tomatoes in the slideshow!