Beginning Gardening Tips

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When you are wanting to start your garden, but need some encouragement, these beginning gardening tips are sure to help you be more successful!

For those of you who are just beginning to garden, you are about to embark into a world full of pleasure and reward. Welcome!  Enjoy your mistakes, learn from them.  As my grandfather told me, “The basics are the same for everyone, but we all have our own way of gardening.”  

Don’t be afraid to try and fail, learn and implement the lessons in your next garden. There is a great deal of information available to you, especially with the internet, but I’m kinda old school and still trust my copy of Carla Emery’s The Encyclopedia of Country Living more than any other source. I just bought my copy of the 40th Anniversary issue, not because it has really changed, but because the copy I had is falling apart and it was time for a new one.

This book is the essential resource for homesteading.  It tells you how to do everything from purchasing land to butcher your farm animals.  How to plant, when to plant, what to plant, on and on.  She truly wrote a comprehensive guide to sustainable living. 

guy in garden with basket of vegetables

With that said, there are a few lessons for beginning gardening tips I have learned that I would like to share with you.  

1)Have a “go to” person or book 

My grandfather and grandmother taught me everything their parents taught them about gardening.  I am very blessed to have had them as my grandparents. They taught me everything from how plants grow to creating a small garden. 

My vegetable garden is my favorite outdoor space because of their influence. And the best part? When you become more experienced, you can help others year after year maintain an easy to grow space, too!

2)Keep a journal.

I use a spiral bound notebook.  In it, record your garden layout – what you plant and where you plant it; a kind of sketch of your garden spot, beds, or however you plant.  Keep track of what you ordered and from whom you ordered or purchased it.  

At the end of the season, write down which variety you and your family liked best, which produced best. This will help you with your crop rotation and keep you from ordering something you did not like, something that did not perform well, and from a company you did not like doing business with. 

3)Save your seeds.

Some people say this is not necessary, “We can always order seeds.”  I strongly disagree with this philosophy.  It is becoming harder to find reliable seed companies who have heirloom seeds and not GMO seeds not GMO seeds. 

Learning to save your seeds is a great way to save money on your garden as well. Start small and learn one or two vegetables each month, and when you harvest, save those seeds. Create a “seed packet” and store your saved seeds in an envelope that is clearly marked with the type of vegetable and date saved. 

Read more gardening tips:

The difference between GMO and Hybrid seeds 

Seed Saving

4)You have to “visit” you garden every day.

Some days may not take more than 10 – 15 minutes.  Other days, you may spend an hour or more, depending on your garden size.  You should pull weeds or hoe them, check for signs of bugs or worms and deal with those, check for ripe fruit, hill potatoes and corn, just generally take care of whatever you see needs to be done. 

5) Know your growing season, and learn your frost date.

There are certain vegetables that do better in cool weather, and some that do better in hotter weather. Knowing when you should plant a certain vegetable is crucial to gardening success. Check with your local cooperative extension or even a local garden center if you need help with this. 

6) Have all your garden tools ready at the beginning of the season.

Your garden will need tools to help you make the most of it. You will want to protect your hands and feet from dirt, bugs, and other dangers. I have found broken glass in our garden beds before, and not in the best way.

Some good tools to have on hand:

  • rake
  • hoe
  • garden hose
  • gloves
  • washable boots or shoes

7) Don’t try and plant everything the first year.

Especially in the beginning, you want to take a season or even two to learn what grows best in your area. If you have rows of vegetables that won’t do well in your gardening zone, you may wind up frustrated. Some good vegetables for a beginner gardener to try:

  • radishes
  • lettuce
  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • green beans
  • spinach
  • kale

Those are the most easy to grow vegetables in nearly every gardening zone. Plant your garden for the best possible successful outcome! 

8) Know how to protect your young plants.

When the seeds are sprouting, and all your garden is starting to grow, now is the time to protect it. Squirrels, birds, deer, and other animals can come and wreck havoc in a matter of a few minutes, and tear young plants out, or down to the root. 

You will want to keep some type of fence up for keeping stray animals out. Chicken wire, dug 1 inch to the ground will deter rabbits from getting into your lettuce. Planting a few marigolds around your garden perimeter can ward off deer. Cinnamon or cayenne pepper sprinkled around your seedlings can help deter squirrels from getting your plants before you do. 

What are some beginning gardening tips you wish you had known when you started out? Be sure to share your wisdom here, we’d love to hear it! 


gardening tips for the beginning gardener

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2 Comments

  1. Everett Reitz on February 28, 2015 at 10:57 am

    I have used twine for squash, cucumbers and beans except after I put the horizontal lines I put vertical lines tying at the top and to each line they cross. the lines should reach almost to the ground. The plants grow up the vertical lines the go from there. I have also used PVC pipe for uprights with one across the top and tied the twine to them to support heavy vines

    • Rhonda on February 28, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Everett, Thanks for sharing your great tips. I didn’t think of supporting my horizontal with vertical lines. Should have, that makes perfect sense!

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