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Gardening Tips for Beginners

Spring has definitely sprung and tis the season to start your gardens!    Growing your own food is a wonderful way to be green and save money, too.  Even if you think you might not have a green thumb, gardening certain things can be easier than you think.  

Here are some tips for someone just trying to get into gardening:

  • Location is (almost) everything.  When choosing what to plant where, do your research on how much sunlight different plants need.  This info is usually on seed packets or the little tag that comes with seedlings.  If not, you can always find that information online or in books.  For instance, don't plant something that needs full sun in a shady part of your yard.  Pay attention to how much sunlight different parts of your yard get before planting anything.
  • Find some things that are easy to grow.  1GreenGeneration has a list of 12 easy veggies to grow from seed.  For fruit, berries can be very easy to grow.  Raspberries are ridiculously easy to grow...they're pretty much like weeds and they really don't need watering.  Raspberry pie, anybody?  Yum!  Mother Earth News has a helpful article about berry gardening and they suggest growing strawberries.
  • Get creative.  You don't need a huge yard to grow a garden.  Our yard is extremely itty bitty but we make the best of our space and we even have containers at the end of our driveway and on our small porch.  
  • Start composting!  "Compost is the magic bullet for many things.  So many things in compost help the plant and it's the key to a thriving garden," Joe Lamp'l of Growing a Greener World has said.  Don't know how to start with composting?  Check out our Beginners Guide to Composting.
  •  Mulch is important.  Once your garden is planted, make sure to put mulch over it.  Mulch is great for your garden because it keeps soil moist and lets you use less water.  It looks nice and smells good, too!
  • Prepare your soil.  Get to know your soil and get it ready for your garden.  Here's some info on soil prep from Lewis Gardens.  
  • Ditch synthetic fertilizer and pesticides if possible.   Remember:  compost & mulch!
  • Remember to water your garden.  This is always my downfall.  I forget to water my plants!  Try to get into a routine, and water your garden in the morning.  That's the best time of day to water. Vegetable Gardener has some great information on watering your garden.  
  • Weed.  Keep those pesky weeds out of your garden.  Mulch helps, but remember to weed regularly.  Those things can kill your plants.
  • Be patient.  It's okay if you end up killing plants or if your harvest is low.  Just try to figure out what went wrong.  Maybe you didn't water your plants enough -- or maybe too much.  Maybe you planted something where it didn't get enough sun.  
  • Have fun!  Gardening is fun!  Don't get stressed and enjoy it.  


We have started our seeds indoors and we're looking forward to replanting them next month.  The Farmers' Alamanac can tell you when to plant seeds outside in your area.  We are excited for our garden this year and hope you enjoy the gardening season as well.