Free Gardening Resources to Help You Grow Food

Posted on 03/28/2011

You won’t need the supermarket this summer if you get started with your backyard vegetable garden. Once the threat of frost is over, it’s time to get planting! Even if you don’t have a green thumb, you can grow food with the help of these free gardening resources.

Free Seeds - Need free seeds to get your garden going? There are several organizations handing out freebies to help get growers started. Check out, an organization fighting to end hunger in the US through community gardens. The website maintains a list of locations handing out free seeds around the country and you may also be able to request the seeds by mail.

Free Garden Layouts and Planning Sheets - Gardeners of all skill levels will likely find helpful free resources at Download free garden plans based on the plants you want to grow and your available space.

Free Kids Gardening Catalog - Parents can get help involving their children with vegetable gardening. Request a free Gardening with Kids catalog from the National Gardening Association. This is dirty work they may actually enjoy!

Free Urban Farm Magazine - Get inspiration and information from Urban Farm magazine. Its focus is on sustainable city living. While an annual subscription will set you back $15 you can virtually flip through the current issue at

Free Soil Testing - Soil testing is important because it will let you know whether you’ve got a good foundation for seeds and seedlings. Check with your state’s agriculture department to see if they offer free soil testing. For instance, in North Carolina free soil testing supplies can be picked up at any Cooperative Extension office.

Free Composting Guide - Compost adds rich nutrients to your garden soil, but it’s also good for the planet. Get some help starting one at You won’t need any fancy equipment to get going and according to the US EPA, yard trimmings and food waste make up more than a fourth of the municipal solid waste stream. Instead of trashing that stuff, use it to make free compost for your garden.

By Alison Storm

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