Tips to Get STARTed

During this #GrowFoodChallenge season, here are a few tips, tricks and great information about how to get your veggie and herbs seeds started.

The #GrowFoodChallenge is a call to action for individuals, families, schools, youth, & community groups in Northwest Tennessee to grow food & build soil.

From Saturday, April 13 – June 29, 2024, registered participants residing in NWTN may earn up to 6 prize entries through the START. GROW. HARVEST categories by submitting online photos of your growing food AND reducing food waste projects.

Learn more about photo submission forms HERE

Register for the #GrowFoodChallenge HERE

How to Read Seed Packets

Learn from Dr. Bethany Wolters, Assistant Professor of Plant and Soil Sciences at UTM, about how to read the information on your seed packets (in 9-minutes).

START your Seeds

There’s something almost magical in the process of planting a tiny, humble seed, and watching it transform into a plant with broad, green leaves, magnificent flowers, and delicious fruits.

Growing a garden in the ground or in pots from seed takes a little planning and care, but seeds want to grow. With a little know-how, a few tools, and some prep work, you can help them.

Learn more garden planting & tips at

Beginner Gardening Tips

Are you looking to start your first garden this season? Have you been gardening for a while, but just can’t seem to get it right? We have been there! The journey to a productive garden isn’t always an easy one. Learn from Jessica Quinn, owner of the Mama on the Homestead blog, with her 20 beginner gardening tips to help you get started.

Learn More from Mama on the Homestead

Download Composting Made Easy E-Book

Beginner Gardening Tips

Follow Jessica on Facebook

Plants have friends, too! All about Companion Planting

Here are a few plants we have gotten started for our #NourishingConnection Early Childcare Center partners in Weakley County, TN #FarmtoECE #GrowFoodChallenge

For a healthy, thriving garden, companion planting can help guide when you’re deciding what seeds to put where.

In Depth Companion Planting Guide

How To Water Your Garden

Learn from Farmer Dave a few tips and tricks about how to water your garden from seed to harvest.

Watch 1-minute Video Here

Now that you can start growing your own food, let’s get started on making compost!
START Turning Waste into TN Gold

Challenge accepted? You’ve got this! Grow food and reduce food waste with the Northwest Tennessee Local Food Network during this year’s #GROW FOOD CHALLENGE!!!

~Samantha Goyret
Local Food Network Team Blogger