My First Garden: Tips For Beginners

It’s been quite a few years now since I started my first garden, but this spring will be my daughter’s first. She came to me, overwhelmed by all the information she found about soil pH, plant needs, mapping sun exposure, and many other “absolutely essential” points. I gave her these few tips to get started. Surely it will be the beginning of a lifetime of satisfaction and excitement in the garden.


Start Small There is so much information out there these days – it’s no wonder my daughter was overwhelmed with just how big she ‘could’ make her garden. Start small. That’s my advice. For a first time gardener, it’s important to not overextend yourself: with time, effort, or money. If you’re not sure what you’re willing to dedicate to this new venture, start with container gardening. It’s a great way to get started without breaking the bank. You can also check out Spring Hill Nursery’s preplanned gardens ? pick a garden layout that fits your needs and follow our step-by-step gardening instructions. What could be easier than that? Once you have a better idea of what you like and how much effort is required, your garden can grow and expand each year. Make a Plan It’s important to start at the beginning. Test your soil to know what you’re working with. You can buy a soil-testing kit, or find your local extension agent at This will tell you if you need to treat your soil and what type of fertilizer to use. You should also consider the mature size of your plants. Don’t overcrowd your plants, and give them the space they need to look their best. If you’re creating a new bed, use a garden hose to outline the area for a preliminary design. It will help you visualize what the bed will look like and its size before you start digging. Ensure Success Feed the soil, not the plant. Plants receive their nutrients from the soil; you’ll want to create a foundation that will support your plants as they grow. Enough light is an essential element for successful gardening. Know how much light your garden spot receives each day, and know what light requirements your plants have. Vegetables do best with at least eight hours of sun, while hostas do well in shady spots. The right tools for the job are essential to successful gardening. A few of the tools that you’ll need to get started are: a hose or watering can, a trowel, and pruning shears. Other tools and equipment can come later as you develop your gardening skills and interests. Stay Motivated I like to have some of my favorite plant beds near a window so that I can see what I’ve created each time I glance outside. It’s a great way to keep an eye on how things are growing, and to keep the creative juices flowing with ideas for the future. And don’t let the rough times get you down. Even a master gardener can lose a plant or experience a particularly rough season. Gardening is supposed to be fun – so get out there and enjoy yourself!