October 12, 2021 (Last updated: November 7, 2021)
The Ultimate Guide to Online Garden Resources
Home gardening is one of the world’s most popular hobbies. Gardeners can learn new skills, practice creative problem-solving, beautify their homes, and produce at least some of their own food. But if you’re just starting out with your garden, there’s an awful lot to learn.
Nowadays, most gardeners head to the internet when they have a question or want to research a plant. But not all of these gardening websites are created equal, so we’ve compiled a list of the best of the best online resources for gardening beginners and experts.
In addition to the fact that gardening can be incredibly fun to engage in, there are also significant benefits:
When you spend time outside, your skin is able to absorb sunlight and create Vitamin D--one of the most essential vitamins. Vitamin D plays a part in hundreds of bodily functions, including the immune system and skeletal strength. Sunshine can also help lower your risk of various diseases.
Your own outdoor gym
The kinds of tasks gardeners engage in are considered moderate to light exercise, but they still build muscle, stay flexible, maintain a healthy weight, and encourage better sleep at night.
Form of meditation
One study from 2011 had people with depression participate in “therapeutic horticulture” for 12 weeks. All the participants had a significant improvement in their mental health following the program, and that improvement lasted for three months or more. Think of it as a form of meditation, fully immersing yourself in the here and now. In this way, gardening can reduce stress and anxiety.
Becoming more Self-Sufficient
The first wave of modern home gardening in the US was set in motion by World Wars I & II. So-called “victory gardens” were planted by ordinary citizens in the United States in order to produce fresh food as close to home as possible. By the end of World War II, 20 million victory gardens produced 40 percent of the United States’ vegetables. In many ways, victory gardens were an early form of community gardening. Also, since the outbreak of the corona virus, we have seen an increase in interest in gardening. Disruptions in consumer goods has led to more people seeing the value of growing a self-sustaining garden. Everyone can grow their own food and become more self-sufficient. Read this beginner's guide to growing tomatoes, peas, herbs and more.
Better Homes and Gardens has been around in magazine form since 1922. Its easily navigable gardening website includes guides for growing flowers, vegetables, and trees and shrubs, plus an exhaustive plant encyclopedia (including houseplants) and articles on gardening by region.
This site has a wealth of articles on vegetable gardening, houseplants, and lawn care--and that’s just the beginning. If you don’t find what you're looking for in their archive, you can submit a question to their Q&A site. From season extension methods to pest elimination, no gardening goes uncovered here.
This excellent website has a number of “Gardening Basics” articles along with comprehensive plant growing guides, practical tips, and How-To articles that explore pests and diseases, building soil, creating greenhouses and cold frames, and more.
Countryliving.com is the digital extension of a long-running print magazine that helps people create homes that are as beautiful as they are functional. Their gardening page is a great place to find outdoor decor ideas, discover new plants and how to grow them, and get inspiration for your own garden. Make sure to check out their Editor’s Picks for the newest and best garden supplies.
The Spruce specializes in practical tips and tricks for new gardeners. Their Gardening Basics hub can help you learn a lot of fundamental concepts, such as soil amendments, annuals vs. perennials, best garden layouts, and more! All articles from The Spruce are easy to read and super informative, so they’re great for beginners looking for in-depth information on a particular topic.
The original Gardeners’ World is a TV show that began airing on the BBC in 1968 and is still going strong. This valuable website features tool reviews, “how-to” growing articles, and a very helpful “What To Do Now” section that will help guide your garden work month-by-month.
Fine Gardening provides a mixture of practical how-to articles with inspiring glimpses into the gardens of others. You can dive into the “My Region” feature, peruse their many articles on garden design, and view an extensive library of helpful videos demonstrating various garden to-do’s. And make sure to check out their podcast, Let’s Argue About Plants!
Love a good DIY project? This one’s for you! HomeTalk specializes in low-cost, high-impact DIY projects for your home and garden. On their Grow page, you can learn anything from how to start a garden in 8 steps, to how to make seed starter pots out of toilet paper rolls.
Interested in sustainability as well as gardening? Treehugger will help you embrace both. This green-living site has a wealth of resources on permaculture, garden planning, composting, drought-tolerant plants, and container gardening. It’s a great resource for those to are trying to learn more about eco-friendly living in addition to gardening.
If you like to look at images in order to spark your own ideas and creativity, Gardens Illustrated will be right up your alley. With lavishly photographed “case studies” of urban and rural gardens, small and large, shady and sunny, Gardens Illustrated shows just how beautiful--and diverse--our gardens can be. GI also reviews garden equipment and features articles on flowers, trees, shrubs, and garden design.
Want to add some finishing touches to your garden decor? Plow and Hearth is one of the best places to shop for trellises, benches, solar lights, memorial plaques, fountains, and more.
If you want to grow a garden, you’re going to need some seed! Park Seed sells seeds for flowers, herbs, and vegetables, along with fall and spring bulbs and small live fruit plants. You can even buy supplies like seed starter kits, grow lights, potting soil, and fertilizer. Prefer organic or heirloom varieties? They have those too! And make sure to check out their primer on organic gardening.
Based in Indiana, Gurney’s is a well-known mail-order seed catalog that also takes orders online. Their seeds are high quality and they have a great selection to choose from. Some types of seed can only be found through Gurney’s, such as Gurney's Pride Improved Hybrid Zucchini and Gurney's Girl's Best Hybrid Tomato. This family-owned and operated company is a great option if you prefer to shop from an independent business.
Amazon is an excellent resource for seeds especially, with a huge selection at reasonable prices. You’ll also be able to find a large number of seed-starting supplies, such as warming mats, humidity domes, grow lights, and seed trays.
Another great seed company, Burpee has one of the widest selection of seeds for vegetables, herbs, flowers, annuals, and perennials. You can specify seeds for plants that are easy to grow, that are good for containers, deer-resistant, and drought-resistant. Their supply shop is another great resource for tools and kits, and their garden guides will help you get started growing your garden, keeping disease and insects in check, harvesting, preserving, and preparing for next season.
This company supplies not just some of the industry’s highest-quality tools, irrigation parts, planters, and harvest helpers, but also an extensive Advice page. Here you can find tips for growing your garden plus recipes and directions for canning and preserving, along with planning tools such as a Rainfall Calculator, Soil Calculator, Vegetable Encyclopedia, and Square-Foot Garden Planner. Truly a one-stop shop.
eBay is a great place to find second hand tools in excellent condition, as well as new tools at discounted prices. eBay also offers seasonal sales on some of its items, making it a great resource for gardeners sticking to their budget.
Not sure what the difference is between a spade and a shovel? Check out this exhaustive buying guide from the experts at Lowe’s to learn how different hand tools are specialized for different jobs in the garden and how to use them to make your life easier.
Amazon is a good place for beginner gardeners to find inexpensive tools and garden supplies. The review function is a helpful way to determine what’s worth your money and what you should pass on.
This mainstay of the home improvement industry offers a good selection of quality tools and garden accessories. You can shop online to pick up at your local store, or order goods to be delivered to you.
Walmart carries a surprising amount of quality garden goods, from hand tools to small greenhouses to pesticides and herbicides. They also have some of the most affordable prices around for things like potting soil, live plants, and hydroponics systems.