Matt and I have had a garden every year for the last 11 years. We’ve had all sizes and locations for our vegetable gardens from a little backyard at our house in town, to a giant in ground garden in California, to raised garden beds here in South Carolina.
We’ve grown much of our own produce over the years, and also realized that it can become really overwhelming when you start reading all the things out there about gardening! So if you’re a beginning gardener, here are my quick tips for what to do right now if you want to start a vegetable garden this spring/summer!

Choose about 5 fruits or vegetables that your family consumes a lot of. Some things you can start by seed, and some you can direct sow (plan directly into the ground). You can also purchase some plants that you will continue to growing year after year like strawberries and blackberries. You strawberries will spread like crazy, so plant them in an area where you can keep them and allow them space to expand. If you can get your hands on some strawberry plant starts, that would be ideal, and you can plant those after your last frost date, directly into the ground.

For starting plants by seed, I purchase my seeds from Johnny’s seeds and have had good luck with germination rates. I just started seeds for:
tomatoes- sungold and early girl are both delicious, hearty varieties! I also got some San Marzano.
lettuces (these won’t do well once it gets too hot, but they love the cool spring days! Once you notice the tops flowering, that’s called bolting, and the lettuce will taste very bitter. Just pull them out and toss them on the compost pile).

kale (heartiest crop that grows well all summer!)
Snap peas
Pole beans

flowers: feverfew and chamomile I start from seed because they are very fragile and a bit tough to grow, but I always get a small crop and I love them so much mixed in bouquets.

I will wait until all of these are a few inches tall and transplant into the ground.

I will wait until just after the last frost date for my zone, then I will direct sow:

Flowers : zinnias and cosmos

I use THESE cells for starting seeds
I use THIS soil for starting seeds in and when direct sowing I make sure the seed is surrounded by this soil in the ground
I use THIS fertilizer
I wear THESE clogs

and I’m using THIS baby wrap (use this link for 10% off your purchase!)

I also grow dahlias from some tubers I bought from my friend who is a flower grower in the area. I leave the tubers in the ground all year!