Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Beginning Garden Primer: Elements for First Garden Success → A Successful Garden Plot →Basic Gardening Tools

Beginner Gardening: A Successful Garden Plot

The benefits of the home garden are many. As well as the near infinite number of plants you can grow, gardening mixes relaxation with exercise. The home garden adds beauty to your landscape, value to your property, and increases your quality of life. Flowers offer aesthetic value and fruit and/or vegetable gardens provide the additional benefit of adding money to your pocket by cutting your food costs.Corn Flowers Annuals

The final benefit of a successful garden is the satisfaction of true accomplishment. Even if you're a beginner, you can experience the satisfaction of a successful gardening if you start with a good garden plan and the right gardening tools.

Do Plan Your Garden

Start small.

The beginning garden is an experiment. You'll find out which plants you enjoy growing and how much you'll reap from what you sow.

In addition, first year gardens are more work than second and third year gardens.

Generally, to plant a first-year garden you'll need to till new ground. Gardening in large, previously unplanted areas can be overwhelming. Even if you add garden soil, you'll spend more time weeding a first-year garden than an established plot. A twenty to thirty square foot area is sufficient to let you experience the satisfaction of a successful harvest with a minimum of work.

Know your plants before you plant them.

You'll need to choose plants for your new garden according to the soil that best suits them and the light they need to grow.

Time is also a variable factor in gardening. As well as varying in the time from planting to harvest, cultivars have different care requirements while they're growing. Some require little care other than an occasional weeding and others require daily care for successful growing.

Know what you can expect to reap before you sow. Vegetables like carrots and onions usually grow one plant per stem, while you may get a bucket full of potatoes from a single hill, depending on the variety you plant. Green beans are prolific after bloom as are many vining plants such as cucumbers, zucchini, and pumpkins. Green beans, tomatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, and potatoes are all easy-to-grow plants in the beginning vegetable garden. Easy grow flowers include petunias, marigolds, violets, and of course, flower bulbs are little growth factories that require little effort from your green thumb after planting.

After you've chosen plants to grow, the next part of planning your garden is deciding how you'll grow them.

Seed or Transplants?

You can grow plants either from transplants or from seed. Many seed packets contain more seeds than you'll need for your first garden, yet a packet of seeds is less expensive than most transplants and many plants are as easy and in some cases easier to start from seed. However, because most seeds are relatively inexpensive, you lose little if you don't plant a complete packet of seed. Remember that you are gardening for enjoyment as well as a successful harvest. You'll have a better gardening experience if you keep rows small and plant a variety of plants than if you limit your garden space to only one or two types of plants.

When you've made your planting decisions, outline your garden plan on paper. A paper gardening plan helps keep spring planting fever at bay when you actually plant your beginning garden! After you've completed your garden plan, assemble the tools you'll need to plant your garden.

top…