Plant the Backyard Garden of Your Dreams with These Simple Tips

Has buying local food at the Brown Deer Farmers Market inspired you to grow your own? A backyard garden not only lets you know exactly where your food comes from, but it’s also a fun way to eat seasonally and spend more time outdoors! Even if you’ve never gardened before, you can transform your backyard into a productive and beautiful garden with these simple steps.

Before Planting Your Garden

Before you plant anything, learn the basics of growing a backyard garden.

Preparing Your Garden Plot

How do you turn a lawn into a productive garden? Here are the best options for backyard gardeners.

  • Digging with a shovel or sod cutter is the fastest way to create a backyard garden.

  • Gardeners with time to spare can kill grass with lasagna gardening.

  • Raised bed gardens are best for a neat and tidy look.

Irrigating Your Backyard Garden

Watering with a hose is time-consuming. These irrigation tips take the work out of watering your garden.

  • Drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and portable sprinklers are the best irrigation options.

  • Drip irrigation is more work to set up, but also more efficient.

  • Ball valves can be used to set up multiple irrigation zones.

  • Timers let backyard gardeners set it and forget it.

Gardening Without a Backyard

No backyard? No problem! Here’s how you can grow more with less space.

  • Compact plants are best for indoor and container gardening.

  • Consider size, material, and drainage when choosing containers.

  • The right potting soil is also key for container gardening success.


Gardening for the first time can be daunting. There’s a lot to learn and do in order to turn your yard or balcony into a bountiful garden. But when you discover how rewarding it is to grow your own food, you’ll wonder why you’ve never done it before! In fact, this foray into backyard gardening just might be the beginning of a lifelong hobby.