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How to Start a Garden: 5 Tips for First-Timers

If you’re a new gardener, don’t spend your money on expensive gardening gadgets before you know what you really need. Planting a garden can be fun, but it’s also a lot of work. Even if you start small, there’s still plenty to think about and take care of.

To help first-time gardeners get started, here are five tips from the pros:

  • Choose the right place. Make sure your garden is located in an area that receives at least six hours of sun each day. If this isn’t possible, make sure you choose plants that will do well in partial shade or full shade. Don’t worry if you have to start small. As your confidence grows, so can the size of your garden!
  • Select good soil. Your plants will only grow as well as the soil they’re planted in allows them to. The best type of soil is loam, which has a soft texture and drains well. If you aren’t using loam, add compost or other organic matter to help improve drainage and aerate clay soils. Soils that are too acidic can be corrected by adding lime, while soils that are too alkaline can be fixed by adding sulfur — both are readily available at most garden centers
  • Start small and choose plants that are easy to grow like lettuce, beans, tomatoes and any plant that is native to your region.
  • Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water your plants. The best time to water plants is early morning before the sun rises. Watering in the evening can lead to disease problems because the foliage stays wet all night long.
  • Use the right tools. Using good quality tools will help make your gardening experience more enjoyable and less frustrating. If you buy cheap tools that break, rust or wear out after just one season, they’ll cost you time and money in the long run.
Mary J. Payne
Mary has over 10 years of experience as a journalist. She loves to travel and write about her experiences, but she also covers topics such as education, career advice and finances.