Ten Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners

If you want to start your first garden but aren’t sure where to start, these tips for first time gardeners will be a big help. Growing a garden can be very rewarding, but there are a few things you should consider before you start.

Ten Practical Tips for First Time Gardeners

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Tips for First Time Gardeners

1. Keep it small and manageable

Gardens take a lot of work and the work increases exponentially with the size. You’ll need to have time to plant, water, weed, de-bug, harvest, and cook, so it makes a lot of sense to learn small. You can still grow a lot of food, even in a small garden. You’ll be surprised at how much food you can grow in a 4 x 8 or even a 4 x 4 raised garden bed! Keep it small the first year so you don’t get scared off from trying again. grow veggies you like

2. Grow fruits and veggies your family loves to eat

It’s really easy to get caught up in the beautiful seed catalog and order many different types of seeds, but keep it simple the first year. If you don’t like zucchini, there’s absolutely zero reason to plant it. I give you permission to skip zucchini if you want! 🙂

3. Plant these seeds directly in the garden

Some plants do fine when you plant them as seeds. And some you must plant as seedlings. Know the difference! 🙂

  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Lettuce
  • Radish
  • Spinach
  • Watermelon
  • Zucchini / Squash

4. Plant these as seedlings

  • Tomatoes
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel Sprouts

Buy Tomato Seedlings

5. Buy veggie starts at the garden nursery instead of trying to start your own.

Stating seeds is a lot of fun and can be very rewarding, but if this is your first time gardening, it’s easier and more practical to just buy the baby plants at the store. It might even be cheaper in the long run too.

6. Learn your frost free dates and garden zone.

It’s very important to plant your garden at the right time, so head on over to this first and last frost calculator, plug in your zip code, and learn when it’s safe to plant your garden. Frost kills plants so make sure you know this very important detail! You’ll also want to know what your garden zone because some plants grow better in certain zones. Go here to learn your garden zone.

7. Choose a good garden location.

Most plants need full sun (at least six hours of sun each day) so keep that in mind when choosing where to place your garden. You’ll want to avoid trees of course, and also consider tall fences or other vegetation that may cast shadows on your garden.

8. Keep a garden journal.

If you want to continue gardening, it’s important to learn from your mistakes. Keep track of what you plant, when you plant it, how it grows, and how well it harvests. This will help you plan future gardens. This is the amazing garden journal I have!

don't forget mulch

9. Don’t forget mulch

Mulching your garden will help keep moisture in and weeds out. All of your plants will benefit from mulch, so don’t forget to include it in your garden. Straw, grass clippings, and wood chips can all make good mulch and sometimes you can even find free mulch too!

10.  Spend time in your garden each day.

Make sure you head out to your garden each day to check for bugs, weeds, and other problems. Tending a garden does take devoted time each day so make sure you’re able to spend at least 10 – 30 minutes a day with your plants (depending on the size of your garden).

More awesome garden posts to check out!

5 Must Know Tips for Planting Tomato Seedlings

Tips for Planting Seedlings

How to Plant Potatoes – No Dig Method

Tips for Spring Garden Planning

Tips for Ordering Garden Seeds

How to Grow a 3 Sisters  Garden

Companion Plants You Must Have in Your Garden

My Favorite Garden Seed Organizer

If you want to start your first garden but aren't sure where to start, these tips for first time gardeners will be a big help. Growing a garden can be very rewarding, but there are a few things you should consider before you start.

Happy gardening, my friends! Make sure you check back each Tuesday for more gardening tips, tricks, and tutorials. If you liked this post, you may want to sign up for my weekly newsletter too!

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  1. Zinnias are my favorite flower companion plant!!! Nothing like a burst of color! I need to try the radish trick this year.
  2. I have flirted with companion planting. We have marigolds, basil rosemary and nasturtiums in the greenhouse. Your ideas are germinating lots of new ways to companion plant out in the garden. Wait til my hubby finds out Arugula is a weed preventer in Onions! Happy days! Thanks so much for this valuable load of info. I love the idea of adding more life and color (that is not weeds) into our garden! And befitting it in so many ways!
  3. I need to grow a few marigolds to add to my garden this year. My mom and grandma always grew them in the garden but I've neglected to add them, but I'm going to change that this year.
  4. Oh I love this post - just told my husband about it and I'll be reading and re-reading it. We are having a hellova time with the little caterpillars in our tomato plants and this advice of planting other awesome herbs and such to help is GREAT! Thank youuu!
  5. I am a huge fan of companion planting! I actually started doing it immediately when I was getting into vegetable gardening. I’m not one to use chemicals, and I can most definitely say this is a much better option! Every year, I plant basil, marigolds and chives with my tomatoes. It really has worked wonders! I'm always deadheading marigolds, so my hands constantly smell like them in the summer! I also feel like nasturtiums benefit literally EVERYTHING! What a miracle flower! I didn’t know about sunflowers keeping down bugs, I must give that a try! The arugula between onions is also a great tip! Never tried it before, it’s definitely a must now. :) Thank you for sharing. I will be using this as a reference when I start up my summer garden this year!
  6. Great Share! Companion plants really support the growth of your plant but on the other hand it consumes some of the nutrients of soil which affects the growth of other plants.

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