12 Best First Time Gardening Tips

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Are you ready to start a garden for the first time? Here are some first time gardening tips for beginners.

First Time Gardening Tips
People planting plants in a garden

The gardening season is upon us!

Perhaps this will be the first time you decide to plant your own garden. Growing your garden can be a hobby that is wonderfully enjoyable. Even if you have to pull weeds out of your garden – it can be really fun. But if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re completely inexperienced – there can be moments when you get confused.

When you aren’t able to set things up, it can be disheartening, and you might start thinking that maybe you aren’t cut out for this. If only it was as easy as planting seeds and watching yummy things come out of the ground! But to your disappointment and ours – it is not that simple. But there’s no need to fear!

12 Best First Time Gardening Tips

If you’re gardening for the first time and you have some confusion that you want to get rid of – this article is for you. Hopefully, when you’re done reading this article, you’re going to feel a lot more empowered to start your own garden! Here are some first time gardening tips for beginners.

#1. Don’t Dream Too Big

“The seed packs are so small!” you say as you add 10 different varieties of tomatoes to your cart from the gardening store. Even though the seed packs may look small, they can have between 20 to 300 seeds in each packet. But this depends on which seed you choose to buy.

If you’re just starting to garden, we would recommend that you keep your garden simple. Stick with one variety of fruit and one variety of vegetable. You’ll be surprised to know that you might not even plant one pack completely into your garden, let alone the 10 different packs you just bought from the store!

#2. Stick to the Tried and Tested

One of the most ignored gardening tips for beginners is sticking to safe options. When you’re starting your gardening journey – there can be various plants that look fun to grow. At the start, you’re going to have the urge to grow something in your garden that you haven’t seen anyone grow. If no one has decided to grow a plant – there’s probably a reason that you’re missing out.

Found a crazy-exotic looking plant that you want in your garden? Save that idea for next year. Try to use your first year as a gardener as a learning experience. Don’t experiment with everything, because once you do, it will be hard to get things back to normal. Some good options for a start are:

  • Black Beauty Zucchini
  • Early Girl Tomatoes
  • Lettuce (any kind)
  • Nantes Carrots
  • Blue Lake Bush Beans

#3. Pay Attention to the Location You Live In

If you live in North Dakota, you can try to grow bananas in your garden – but it won’t be too fun because it’s not a practical idea. If you’re selecting garden seeds, keep the weather conditions of the area you live in at the back of your mind.

There’s no point in selecting a seed that gives a higher yield if the climate around you does not compliment it. If you live in the south, get plants that fare well in warm conditions, and if you live in the north, select plants that can grow in a shorter season. Most seed packets have the required temperature conditions written on top of them. So when you’re choosing different varieties for your garden – pay attention to what the seed pack says.

#4. You Can’t Grow Everything in the Ground

First Time Gardening Tips
First Time Gardening Tips

If you’re in the north, you can’t plant tomato seeds directly in the ground. If you want to grow tomatoes in the ground, you’ll have to plant them inside a few months prior to taking them outside and planting them into the ground. You can also decide to buy a greenhouse which can control the weather for you.

Depending on the location you live in, you won’t be able to grow everything in the ground. Many plants will require some pre-existing growing conditions before they are planted into the ground. When you’re buying a seed pack, make sure you check its growth times on the packet. This will tell you how long the plant will take to mature.

Even though these numbers are not always completely accurate, they do give you a very good idea. Once you’ve gone through one complete growth cycle, you’ll understand the exact time a plant may need. If you don’t have enough time to grow plants inside under a grow light – then we would suggest that you buy a greenhouse. It will make things a lot easier for you.

#5. Keep It Small

One of the most essential first time gardening tips is to keep your initial garden small. At the start, you won’t have much of an idea of what kind of garden will be easy to manage for you. Even if you have a large garden at your disposal, we would recommend you to start by gardening in a small area.

When your garden is small, you have plenty of time to understand every little element associated with your garden. Understand what the soil is like and if it needs extra nutrients. You can understand which part of your garden is more susceptible to pests. Since this is the first time you’re gardening, you won’t have many ideas of how other elements like frost and wind can affect your plants, so take out some time to understand that, too.    

Try to get familiar with the best gardening practices and figure out before-hand how you’ll water, weed or care for the soil. Planning ahead keeps you prepared and you won’t take up a lot of time this way.

#6. Connect With Fellow-Gardeners

When you’re starting a garden, you’re going to meet many people who will be willing to give you advice on how you should care for your garden – but we recommend listening to gardeners who have gone through the process. When you find an experienced gardener who is willing to give you advice – listen.

No matter how well you surf the internet, information specific to your area and the weather conditions you live in can be hard to find. Finding an experienced local gardener can be the best thing that can happen for your initial gardening year. Even when you’re experienced, having different opinions from like-minded people certainly won’t hurt!

#7. Make a Plan and Start Taking Notes

Since this is the first time you’re gardening, your whole garden will be a large experiment for you. Make sure you have a lot of information about what you’re planting in your garden and keep documenting every change you see in the plant. If you face a problem and you learn how to solve it, document it into your notebook.

This will save you from hours of brainstorming if you encounter that same problem again. After you’ve filled a journal for one year of gardening, keep it on your shelf. This will act as a good reference point for any gardening needs that you may have in the future.

#8. Plan the Style of Your Garden

Are you planning to grow your plants directly in the ground? Or are you thinking of growing them in containers? Or perhaps you want a raised garden bed? Where you decide to put your garden will determine how well your garden will grow crops in the future. Deciding where your garden will sit be a crucial decision and once you commit to it, it can be hard to back off.

Some people create raised garden beds so they have to deal with the least amount of weeds; this way, the can also minimize the gardening space that they need. Although it can cost you more money to create a raised gardening bed – we believe that this decision will pay off in the long run. 

#9. You Won’t Necessarily Have to Spend a Lot of Money

When you walk into a garden centre or a greenhouse, you’ll see many gardening items and tools that look shiny and appealing to you. You might start to think that these items will improve your garden considerably and that without these items – creating an ideal garden won’t be possible.

But the truth is, the most important things you’ll need for your garden are often the easiest to find. It won’t be too hard to find good soil or good seeds. Sure, the weather is important too, but unless you’re God – you won’t be able to control this element.

If you’re tight on a budget, you’ll be surprised to know those essential gardening items like pest control spray, weed killer, and garden fertilizer can be made at home. There are various videos on YouTube that can tell you how you can make all of this at home!

#10. Don’t Forget to Enjoy What You Do!

If you think that gardening can be stressful for you, or if you’re thinking of planning a garden that is too big for you to handle – then you might not have a lot of fun while gardening. Gardening can get out of hand very quickly if you don’t pay attention to your garden well enough. Watching your fruits and vegetables die even though you cared for them can be sad to see.

Now you’ll have to go through the whole process again and be extra careful so that this doesn’t happen again. The best way to do gardening is in a laid back way. Your first garden won’t be able to produce all of the food your family will need to get you through the season. But it can be an amazing experience to learn from your first gardening year.

The best part is, with time, it gets more fun because you learn the essential skills that can help make your job easy and a lot more fun.

#11. Your Soil Matters, Too!

The one thing gardeners often forget is to take care of their soil. The truth is, you might forget to water your plants, and there will be seasons when your plants won’t get enough sunlight – but the one thing that will always stay with them is the soil they are in.

The soil of your plants can be highly organic, this will allow your plants to grow better and mature earlier. There are various ways you can improve the soil. Firstly, if you’re running low on budget, compost can be a great idea. Add compost to the garden bed as frequently as you can. This will improve the health of your plants and also save you from fertilizer costs.

But if you’re adding something that is still pretty much solid like banana peel, give it time to decompose and become a part of your garden. Once the first layer of compost has decomposed, you can add additional layers.

#12. If You Want to Plant Asparagus, Plant It Now!

This can be good advice for any plant that is a perennial and takes years for bearing. Grapes and strawberries can take two seasons to fruit and asparagus won’t be ready until the third year – and that too if you’re lucky. Blue berries can trickle bit by bit every season, but their full harvest takes until the third year, too. Fruit trees can take longer.

So if you’re planning to plant any perennial crops like these – plan ahead!

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Conclusion

The appropriate gardening tips for beginners can ensure that your garden is fun and productive at the same time. Just remember, when you’re starting out, try not to bite off something that you can’t chew! Keep your garden small, your crops simple, and don’t work too hard on your garden. The first year for any gardener is more about learning the basics and the essential skills that are needed for gardening – planning for a good produce comes later! I hope you are ready now with these first time gardening tips.