5 Tips for the First-Time Gardener

by R.I. Lampus
Raised Garden Beds

Many of us have great big plans and ideas of what we want our dream gardens to look like. We picture them being luscious, overflowing with the ripest, red tomatoes, crunchy crisp lettuce & carrots, all ready for the picking. The reality is that you can’t just jump into gardening without starting from the beginning and learning the basics. It takes time and effort to achieve such lofty gardening goals. Taking the extra time to follow some gardening blogs, reading articles like this one is a perfect jumping-off point. Below is a list of simple steps to get your garden off the ground (or in the ground better yet)!

Starting a garden is all about location. You want to consider a place in your yard that you see regularly so you are more likely to spend time in it. Out of sight, out of mind is very real when it comes to gardening, so find a spot that you can keep on your radar easily. It’s also important to pay attention to where the sunlight lands in your yard since most edible plants, including most vegetables, fruits, and herbs, need at least 6 hours of sun in order to thrive. A crucial gardening tip is that you need to plan your new garden location near a water source. Make sure you can run a garden hose to your garden site for convenience.

Do your homework and choose plants that match the climate you live in as well as plants that work well in the space you have available. This means purchasing heat-tolerant plants for warmer climates or allowing more space for vine plants like pumpkins. Talk to other local gardeners or employees at the local greenhouse in your area for more information on what plants are best for where you live.

Planting too early or too late in the season is detrimental to the success of your garden. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the last frost date average in your area so you do not put your plants down too early and risk them getting killed before they have a chance. On the flip side, make sure you know the last frost date in your area so you have the opportunity to harvest or bring your plants indoors in ample time.

Invest in soil that is nutrient-rich because gardening does not just start with a seed, it begins with good dirt too. You can’t have healthy, productive plants without rich, soft soil that allows the roots to grow deep enough to soak up nutrients. Adding plant food that is top-notch provides your plants with a boost of nutrients and is also super important to gardening success. You can improve your soil with compost and organic matter as well. Always make sure to remove rocks and any debris that may get in the way of your new green goodies laying strong roots.

Applying mulch around each plant will help reduce weeds by blocking out the sunlight and helps to lock in moisture so you do not need to water as much. You can also grow plenty of plants in pots when ground space is limited. Always make sure that you choose a container with enough space for the plant it’s hosting.

With most things, try to enjoy the process of starting off your new adventures in gardening. Some of the plants may not survive, or the harvest might not be as mighty as you had hoped for the first time around, but that’s okay. Just know that you can try again, and just keep track of what is working and what is not so you have a better chance of being more successful the next season.

Whether you are being more health-conscious, looking for a way to relax, or hoping to spend more time outside away from screens with your kids, gardening can be a very rewarding pastime. Find some foods you love and want to eat, roll up your sleeves and get ready to get dirty. You’re going to DIG gardening!

Comments (0)