10 Gardening Tips for Beginners

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Interested in gardening? Check out these 10 Gardening Tips for Beginners.

10 simple Gardening Tips and Ideas for Beginners. Spring is almost here. It's time to plan your vegetable and flower gardens.

So, you’re feeling inspired and want to try your hand at gardening. If you have never gardened before or know very little about it, you are probably thinking….”Where do I begin?” Don’t fret, gardening can be a fun and therapeutic activity. I just love the satisfaction of planting a small vegetable plant or flower and watching it grow into something beautiful.

I consider myself lucky to live in the middle of a 500 acre garden – also know as Russo’s, our family fruit and vegetable farm. Our retail garden center and 2 acres of greenhouses are pretty popular this time of year. These gardening tips will hopefully help get you started.

10 Gardening Tips for Beginners - feature1

Here are 10 Gardening Tips for Beginners to help you get started.

1. Decide what you want to plant…veggie garden or flower garden or herb garden – or all three.

fall vegetable cart

2. Once you decide what to plant, this will determine the type of space you need. For instance, veggies need a sunny area of your yard. Most flowers do so as well but some flowers like shade, so you will need to pay attention to the plant tag for specific growing advice {more about that in tip #4 below}. Also make sure the area you choose is water-accessible, meaning you have a Garden Hose nearby or long enough to water your plants. All your work would be in vain if you planted your garden 500 feet from a water source and were not able to reach the area with your garden hose.

3. Clear and till the area. A rototiller works best for larger areas but if you don’t have one, you can turn over the ground with a shovel. You will get pretty strong muscles this way (wink..wink).

Gardening Tools

What other garden tools will you need?
Sticking with the basics, gardening gloves a raketriangular hoe, 4-tine cultivator, pruning shears and good set of small garden tools should do the trick.

Plant Tags

4. Choose the proper vegetable and/or flowers plants. The Plant Tag is your best friend. It will list all the specific growing information about the plant. Pay particular attention to the plants growing environment – sun vs. shade.

seed packets

If you are planting directly from seed, this information is located on the back of the packet.

5. Determine when to plant. Some plants tolerate cooler temps better, like lettuces, cabbage, spinach, so you can plant them earlier in the spring. Some flowers can tolerate cooler weather, like pansies, but generally most need to be planted after the threat of frost. Your region depends on your planting conditions. Since I live in the Mid-Atlantic, I usually recommend to our customers planting flowers anytime after Mother’s Day. Vegetables just depends on they type you are going to plant.

6. Fertilize the soil before planting to improve soil. We always recommend spreading a 10-10-10 fertilizer to your soil before you plant anything. Apply with a hand-held broadcast spreader and work the fertilizer into the soil with your rake or 4-tine cultivator. As your plant and flowers grow, they will suck up the nutrients in the soil so you will need to fertilize again. Refer to that handy Plant Tag for recommendations on the specific plant.

7. Water your plants AS NEEDED. I stress the word “as needed” because all flowers and vegetables are different. Some require more water, others do not. Be aware of your plant environment too. Plants that are baking in the full hot sun all day will definitely need more water as opposed to the shade loving plants that stay moist because they are not exposed to as much sun. Remember that plant tag I talked about before….again, your best friend!

zucchini plant

8. Weed, feed and maintain plants. You want you garden looking pretty, right? You can’t very well enjoy watching a beautiful flower or plant grow if the area is overgrown with weeds. Pull weeds as needed. You can apply Preen to both your vegetable and flower gardens before you plant too. This will help control the weed growth. Also, make sure you feed your plants at least once a month. I always recommend Miracle-Gro All Purpose Plant Food. Some vegetables require special fertilizer so again, check the plant tag for specific fertilization suggestions. There are also varieties of fertilizer that are called “smart-release plant food“. This means the fertilizer will be released to the plants and vegetables over a longer period of time.

9. Mulch your flower gardens. Mulching your flower gardens will also help deter wee growth. Mulch also helps to keep the soil moist underneath. Spread about 2 inches thick around flowers.

Bicycle with Flowers

10. Dead head vegetables and flowers. This is where those handy pruning shears come in. Some flowers naturally dead head themselves. Others, like geraniums and petunias, don’t. Snip off the dead flowers so you plant will produce more blooms. You should do the same with your vegetables. Cut off any dead or rotten vegetables off your plants.  This allows the plant to produce better with less stress.

Hopefully, these gardening tips will help get you started. You don’t necessarily need a green thumb to grow a garden, just a little patience. Remember to have fun too and get the family involved. Kids love to play in the dirt. Why not introduce them to gardening at a young age so they can better appreciate this beautiful planet we live on! It is always a sense of accomplishment enjoying at the final outcome!

Gardening with Kids

Happy planting!

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  1. Great tips, I need to pin this because I deff do not have a green thumb! We don’t have a fence so I can’t plant veggies in the yard like I want because the animals get them! But, maybe I can do some pots up on the porch! I’m going to read your container garden post next!

  2. Hi! Great Tips indeed. Actually, I want to plant potatoes in my vegetable garden. The soil of the selected place is a bit acidic. Is it good to plant Potatoes there? Please guide. I am a beginner

  3. As a beginner, I found this article really helpful and motivate me more to start my gardening journey. Thank you for sharing these words. You inspire me!

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