Garden Design

Gardening for Beginners: 7 Tips and Tricks

You have never checked to see if you had a green thumb before, but figured since your houseplants are still alive and thriving that you would give it a go. 

Think of all of the advantages of having a garden. You could grow your own vegetables, herbs, and maybe even fruits and save money at the store. You would be growing them organically knowing that your product is not inundated with chemicals and pesticides during their maturing at the farms they grow on. Plus, that is one part of your yard you would not have to worry about mowing!

And, hey, in all seriousness. How about the satisfaction that you are growing a garden. It doesn’t even have to be for foodstuffs. You could raise all sorts of flowers and just make your yard colorful.

So here we go. Tips and Tricks to get you started and thriving in no time. Well, whatever time it takes to grow whatever you are growing.

Location, Location, Location

When starting a garden, consider these things:

  • How much sun does the area receive in a day? Vegetables and the like need over 6 hours of sun in a day to thrive well. Be cognizant of your whole yard and how much sunlight it gets to see where is best to start your new hobby.
  • Where is your closest water source? You don’t want to have to carry water over to your new plant babies every time they get thirsty. Of course, having a hose that reaches all areas of your garden without going straight over your lawn would be nice, too.
  • Can you see the area? One of the hardest things about any new habit to start is remembering to do it. If it is in a corner that is out of your sight of vision from your kitchen window, you may forget to go check it and/or water it. Plus, once the veggies start to mature, there may be some varmints to watch out for. Don’t want all that hard work to go the way of the local rabbits!!

The Ingredients

What does it take to grow a great garden? Lots of sunlight, plenty of, but not too much, water, your love, and great soil!! If you can get your soil checked, that is good, but consider using soil that is designed to be nutrient-rich. The six most essential nutrients to grow anything are:

  • Calcium
  • Sulfur
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorus
  • Nitrogen

If your soil doesn’t naturally have these 6 nutritional elements, you are cheating your plants and starting off on the wrong foot as far as gardening goes.

Your Time

Gardening is going to take some of your precious time to nurture it and you already have enough to do, right? What about the rest of your yard? You can’t let the grass just grow untended. Consider getting a lawnmower at to cut down on the amount of time you have to spend on your other outdoor chores. You would much rather be watering and picking your new vegetable labors, wouldn’t you?

Zones And Plants

Somewhere in history someone did you a favor and worked up a list of which vegetables would grow best as far as your normal temperatures in your immediate area. Do some homework as far as your zone (or ask someone else around you with a garden) and pick your vegetables accordingly. It’s not as easy as saying I want sweet potatoes and they grow at your house, unfortunately. 

The plants or seeds you pick will have a rating with the zone number on the packaging. Each zone is warmer than the last, or the larger the number the warmer the climate. When picking possible vegetables to grow, you can use that as your guide as well.



Frost is not the #1 killer of plants, but it can be up there as a killer. Your job is to find out when the last(to start gardening in spring) and the first before winter to make sure you don’t accidentally kill your pride and joys. But Mother Nature is fickle and can surprise you sometimes. Keep an eye on the Weather Channel to make sure there are no surprise frosts you have to contend with.

Ground Covering

Around your plants, contemplate a ground covering of mulch or straw of some kind. Even shredded leaves work. This will help with keeping weeds out of your purposeful planting and keep your soil moist so you don’t have to water as much as there is not as much sunlight baking the ground around your plants. You want the sun on the plants, not the soil.

As far as watering your plants, if the soil is dry an inch down into the soil(about a knuckle deep), it is time to do some watering.


There are some basic tools needed for gardening besides just the shovel. 

  • Get yourself a good trowel for digging some small holes for the seeds. 
  • Pruners are also an essential tool for both clipping and harvesting your prize veggies. 
  • A rake is used for churning and leveling soil prior to planting
  • Hoes are great for weeding and working up hard soil
  • Wheelbarrows are great for saving your back from the soils and plants you could be hailing from the back of your car. Just about whatever.
  • A good pair of gloves go a long way in protecting your hands. Treat yourself to some.

Try out the tools for weight and comfort before you buy and consider what size you need depending on ground level or raised bed gardens.

An item to note: some plants and vegetables are easier to grow than others. If you are a novice, start with plants that help you grow your confidence levels before you start the big stuff. Slow and steady wins the race.

Start Planting!

You now have a piece of good knowledge of what to look for in starting your own garden. Good luck, however, constantly remind yourself to be patient, take care of your plants, show them love, and they will respond. Also, you may find it calming and enjoy it even more.

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Allen Brown

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