Gardening for beginners does not have to be hard! If you want to start your first garden but aren’t sure where to start, these ten practical vegetable gardening tips and tricks for first time gardeners will be a big help.
Practical Gardening Tips and Tricks to Help Your Garden Thrive
Growing a garden can be very rewarding, but there are a few things you should consider before you start.
1. Start 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.
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. Knowing the difference will make a big difference in your success and can save you a lot of money too. Seeds are a lot cheaper than seedlings. The following ten common garden vegetables can be planted directly from seeds and they will do great.
Follow the instructions on the back of the seed packet and plant them at the right time of year using proper spacing and depth. Don’t forget to water your garden after planting the seeds as seeds need water to germinate.
- Zucchini / Squash
4. Plant these as seedlings
The following six plants are best if you plant as seedlings. They have a longer growing season and need to be well established in order to bear fruit. Make sure to plant them according to best spacing and depth requirements as well. You’ll want to water your plants well after planting to make sure the plant roots have everything they need to really take hold. Most plants need an inch of water a week to thrive, so pay attention to rain and water your garden as needed.
- Brussel Sprouts
5. Buy vegetable 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!
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.
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< 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).
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Happy gardening, my friends! Make sure you check back each Tuesday for more gardening tips, tricks, and tutorials. If you liked this post on gardening tips and tricks to help your garden thrive, you may want to sign up for my weekly newsletter too!
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