Start Your Own Edible Garden

Grow delicious, nutritious fruit and vegetables in your own backyard. Whether you want to provide food for your family, save money, get exercise, or just be more self-sufficient, this course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to have a successful harvest.

6 Weeks / 24 Course Hrs
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Learning method

Course code: seg

Grow delicious, nutritious fruit and vegetables in your own backyard! In this course, you'll learn how to give your garden a healthy start and keep it growing strong all season.

You'll begin by figuring out which type of garden is right for you. You'll explore climate considerations, learn how to read a zone hardiness map, and find out how to spot a micro-climate in your yard. You'll discover how to properly prepare a garden bed so your crops have the best opportunity to thrive. You'll even learn to understand fertilizers and make compost! Whether you want to provide your family with nutritious food, save money, get some exercise, or just be more self-sufficient, this course will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be on your way to a successful harvest.

What you will learn

  • Decide crops you'd like to grow in your edible garden, and learn about practical considerations such as personal taste, time, and climate
  • Discover how to grow and harvest common herbs, what pests to watch out for, and techniques for keeping herbs healthy indoors
  • Examine practical irrigation methods for different types of gardens, and determine the best choice for you and your garden
  • Learn how to collect seeds from your crops and how to preserve your surplus harvest through freezing, drying, canning, and pickling

How you will benefit

  • Learn how to grow your own delicious, nutritious, and cost-effective food
  • Gain confidence in your ability to provide for yourself and reap the rewards of doing so
  • Become a more responsible citizen of earth as you learn how to save, recycle, and compost

How the course is taught

  • Instructor-Moderated or Self-Guided online course
  • 6 Weeks or 3 Months access
  • 24 course hours

This lesson will begin by discussing the many great benefits of growing your own food. You'll discover why food from your garden is likely to have more nutrients than the food you can purchase from the grocery store, and then learn about ways to keep your costs down and options for designing your garden beds. By the end of the lesson, you'll be prepped and ready to begin planning your own edible garden!

Not sure what you want to plant in your garden? That's good! Because there are lots of practical considerations that you should be aware of before you make that decision. Considerations such as personal taste, time, space, and the local climate will all impact your plant selection. This lesson will discuss what you need to think about before planning your garden, and you'll start to learn the basics about climate zones and the types of plants that grow well in your area.

In this lesson, you'll look at strategies to keep your garden looking as good as it tastes! You'll begin by considering layout, style, flowers, and all of the little extras that make your garden unique. Then, you'll learn how to prepare your containers, raised beds, and in-ground gardens. The lesson will walk you through the steps of placing, measuring, and building your garden to give your plants a healthy place to grow and thrive. You'll look at some time-saving tips and learn when you should begin preparation and what method might be best for your garden.

A whole lesson devoted to soil! Don't worry—this is actually much more interesting than it sounds. What you learn here will prepare you to create the perfect foundation for your edible garden. You'll examine soil up front, because you'll need to have a good understanding of your garden soil before you begin planting the delicious crops that will be discussed in the upcoming lessons. This lesson will discuss your unique soil type. You'll find out about the drainage, pH, and nutrients in your soil. Finally, you'll learn about soil amendments to create healthy soil that will nourish your garden.

Leafy greens are easy to grow, but they can get bitter if you aren't careful. In this lesson, you'll learn how to keep your leafy greens healthy and delicious. The lesson will start with an introduction to some of the varieties you can find and the benefits of each. Then, you'll look at important topics that affect your leafy greens, like bolting and slugs. Finally, you'll learn a technique to extend your growing season that can be applied to lots of vegetables, not just greens—starting your seeds indoors!

In this lesson, you'll discover the vegetables that lie beneath the soil. You'll explore different types of these special veggies, including carrots, potatoes, and beets, and then learn how to grow and harvest your crops. Finally, the lesson will show you how to make the perfect seed bed for your root vegetables to flourish.

In this lesson, you'll take your garden up into the air by exploring vine and bush vegetables. You'll learn about lots of great edible options for adding height to your garden, including beans, peas, and tomatoes. The lesson will discuss important information about heirlooms and hybrids, as well as pests and diseases. Then, you'll explore the many ways that you can support your vertical vines as they grow up!

This lesson will satisfy your sweet tooth as you learn about growing fruits and berries. It will discuss some of your options like apples, grapes, and blueberries, and then cover the specifics of planting, pollination, and pests. You'll also learn about the importance of pruning and how to make a proper cut.

This lesson is all about herbs. You'll learn some specifics about herbs, like which ones are invasive and which ones need extra-deep containers to grow well. Then, you'll explore ways to harvest your herbs and still keep them producing. Finally, the lesson will go more in depth about how to grow crops indoors so that you won't have to leave your kitchen to collect your harvest!

Watering has the potential to be one of the most time-consuming parts of caring for your garden. It's often the part that beginning gardeners skimp on or overdo, resulting in a less-than-desirable crop. In this lesson, you'll learn about the various irrigation methods for different types of gardens and consider the best approach for your edible garden.

This lesson will talk about ways to use your excess bounty so that it doesn't go to waste. You'll learn how to collect seeds from your crops, which seeds you should collect, and what to expect when you grow them next year. You'll also discover ways to preserve the rest of your harvest through freezing, drying, canning, and pickling so that you can enjoy your surplus later.

Congratulations! You've grown a delicious, nutritious garden, and now it's time to put the garden down for the season. This lesson will discuss how to make sure your garden is properly prepared for the winter and how to get a head start for the spring. You'll also learn how to care for your tools so that your investment will last for many years.

Eva Shaw

Eva Shaw, Ph.D. is a full-time working writer and author of the new historical mysteries "The Seer" and "The Pimp" (Torchflame Publishing). She has authored thousands of articles, essays, and short stories and more than 100 books including "What to Do When a Loved Ones Dies" and "Shovel It: Nature's Health Plan." Her work has been featured in USA Today, San Diego Union Tribune, Publisher's Weekly, and others. She has won several awards, including the Book of the Year Award from the American Journal of Nursing, the Benjamin Franklin Award, and the Woman of Merit Award. She teaches other courses including: How to Make Money from Your Writing, The Craft of Magazine Writing, Travel Writing, Write Your Life Story and Writeriffic: Creativity Training for Writers. She's also passionate about gardening.

Instructor Interaction: The instructor looks forward to interacting with learners in the online moderated discussion area to share their expertise and answer any questions you may have on the course content.


There are no prerequisites to take this course.


Hardware Requirements:

  • This course can be taken on either a PC, Mac, or Chromebook.

Software Requirements:

  • PC: Windows 8 or later.
  • Mac: macOS 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

Instructional Material Requirements:

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment and will be available online.

Instructor-Moderated: A new session of each course begins each month. Please refer to the session start dates for scheduling.​

Self-Guided: Your course begins immediately after you enroll.​

Instructor-Moderated: Once a course session starts, two lessons will be released each week for the 6 week duration of your course. You will have access to all previously released lessons until the course ends. You will interact with the instructor through the online discussion area. There are no live sessions or online meetings with the instructor.

Self-Guided: You have 3 months of access to the course. After enrolling, you can learn and complete the course at your own pace, within the allotted access period. You will have the opportunity to interact with other students in the online discussion area.

Instructor-Moderated: The interactive discussion area for each lesson automatically closes two weeks after each lesson is released, so you're encouraged to complete each lesson within two weeks of its release. However, you will have access to all lessons from the time they are released until the course ends.​

Self-Guided: There is no time limit to complete each lesson, other than completing all lessons within the allotted access period. Discussion areas for each lesson are open for the entire duration of the course.

Instructor-Moderated: Students enrolled in a six-week online class benefit from a one-time, 10-day extension for each course. No further extensions can be provided beyond these 10 days.​

Self-Guided: Because this course is self-guided, no extensions will be granted after the start of your enrollment.