How to Start a Garden in 4 easy steps – Guide to Beginner Gardening

Published on February 23, 2015 By Lauren

The biggest hurdle many beginning home gardeners face after the Seeds or Plants question is where and how much work will this involve.  Here is a simple guide to beginner gardening to help you start nice and easy and know what you are getting yourself into:

1.) Pick your Garden Spot Wisely

Make sure that your garden spot isn’t too far from your home.  If it’s a trek to get there, you’re more than likely to not want to go there.

I made this mistake last year and joined a community garden. I thought it would be easier than having to set up my garden myself, but it was 10 minutes away and I never had time to go out there.  This year, it will be in my backyard and I am SO excited about it!

Guide to Beginner Gardening

Your garden area should be in a sunny location, that doesn’t receive a lot of shade.  Most garden plants will need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight, although 8 hours is ideal.  It should also be close to an outdoor water faucet or water source so it’ll be easy for you to water your plants.

Guide to Beginner Gardening

Make sure that your garden area has good drainage. The last thing you want to do is drown your plants!  Your space should be slightly elevated so that any excess water can drain off or you could also use containers or raised gardening beds.

2.) Prepare your Garden Spot

Guide to Beginner Gardening


Once you’ve determined the best place to plant your garden, you’ll need to get it ready to plant your vegetables.  If you have a tiller available, that will be the quickest option.  If not, use a garden hoe to break the soil and remove any grass and weeds.  The more you get rid of now, the easier your garden will be to maintain down the road.

Try to refrain from spraying any chemicals on your garden spot to kill the grass that is currently there.  These chemicals will stick with the soil and will pass onto your plants.  If you feel like you need to spray them with something, use this organic weed control spray::



Organic Weed Control Spray Recipe


  • 1 quart white vinegar
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 1 tsp organic dish detergent


  1. Mix all ingredients in a medium size stove pot and heat over medium heat until the salt is completely dissolved.
  2. Once it’s cool, add to a spray bottle and spray any weeds you wish to get rid of.



3.) Amending Your Soil

Rich garden soil is essential to good plant growth and production.  Inadequate soil is a source of contention for many gardeners.  While you might think that you’re stuck with what you’ve got, that isn’t the case at all!

Guide to Beginner Gardening

After tilling up your garden spot of the year, add in some aged manure, fallen leaves, straw, or some compost from your kitchen waste.  All of these options are cost effective (even free!) and can provide many valuable nutrients to your soil, not to mention that it will improve the overall texture of your dirt.

4.) Don’t Overwhelm Yourself!

When Spring hits, I’m in a seed and plant buying frenzy. All I want to do is plant plants and get outside.  However, too many plants can be a bad thing!  As a beginning gardener, start small and work your way up instead of planting 20 tomato plants right off the bat.

Guide to Beginner Gardening

You should ask yourself what your purpose is with your garden.  Are you looking to supply your family with all its vegetable needs during the summer months?  Are you wanting to preserve any of it to use throughout the winter?  Or, are you just wanting to play around and eat from the garden occasionally? This will help you to determine how many plants you need.  If you’re looking to see if you have what it takes to garden at home start with one plant of the main vegetables your family likes.

Do you have any other tips for helping people start their gardens?

Guide to Beginner Gardening