Nolan's garden, now in its third season, has thrived, but not every homeowner is so lucky. Why do some fail where others succeed? At least one aspect of soil preparation, plant selection, or growing wasn't right.
"Often, just a few tips can make all the difference," says Katie Pencke, who teaches vegetable gardening for the Seattle Tilth gardening education program. Her first tip to newbies: Don't attempt too big a garden. "If you start small, you make small mistakes," she says, "and it's a lot easier to achieve success."
Shown: Besides growing garden staples, such as tomatoes and beets, try a few unusual varieties. These red carrots proved especially sweet.