I need more help than one can give so I'm just hoping for someone to point me in the right direction. We just bought our first home and it's on a 1/4 acre lot I GET TO HAVE A GARDEN!!!! So we'll build planter boxes soon and get soil and all that and do drip...that I can handle. We'll get a compost bin built (thank goodness for DH and his buddies who have tools and know what they are doing somewhat) But do I do seeds, or the little 3 or 4" pots from the nursery? And how ambitous do I get? Of course, I want loads of veggies and herbs and all sorts of goodies but I don't really know what I'm getting myself into. I have no idea what will work here...I am in Northern California - zone 8A. Every time I look for ideas on what to plant and when it seems to come up with planting schedules for Georgia?! WTH? Is there a resource that's out there to get me going? Any one with any help would be greatly appreciated!
Start out with little potted plants for tomatoes and peppers. Use seeds for carrots, lettuce, radishes, peas.
Here is a garden guide for Sacramento, is that near where you are?http://www.sacramentogardening.com/edible_gardening.html
lol, if you're in northern california. I'd start with planting grapes! We love grapes.
Seriously though, I'd almost in the same boat as you. I just bought my first house, and I want to grow most of our own food (even if I have to start planting on the empty lots around here!). :)
I don't know what your climate is like, you could try going over to a garden store (or a farmer) and asking them.
I went crazy with planting veg when we got our first house. It wasn't overwhelming because I don't weed or water, that might not apply where you are.
As for seeds or plants it depends on what your are growing. Some things are better started from seed (don't transplant well).
Do read some good gardening books.
This one is a must read.
Congratulations on the new yard! I can't give you specifics on how and when to plant where you are (I'm in a much different climate), but can weigh in on the seed/plant issue. I'd suggest, for your first garden, doing a little of each. Some plants are very easy to start from seed, and some are easier than others. If you're browsing seed catalogs, you'll notice that many will mark varieties that are easy to grow. This would be a great guide to follow as a beginner. As a general rule, though, beans, peas, radishes, carrots and lettuce are all very easy to grow from seed.
Other plants you might want to consider buying plants for (at least to start). In my area, the plants that just aren't worth starting from seed at this point in my life are tomatoes peppers, eggplant - basically, anything that would require starting inside in my climate. I'd love to try some of the amazing varieties that are not available as plants, but I also have to be realistic about all of my other committments that would take me away from caring for the seedlings inside. I'm not sure which veggies would be best to consider purchasing plants for in your climate, but keep in mind that it doesn't have to be an 'either seeds or plants' decision.