gardening for beginners

Gardening for Beginners: How To Start Gardening From Scratch?

Start small when you’re getting started with gardening. First, decide what kind of garden you want, what you want to grow, where you want to grow, have some basic gardening tools in place, and understand the sunlight and water needs for the plants you choose.

For gardening beginners, embarking on a journey to cultivate your own green oasis is an exciting adventure. Gardening for beginners offers an opportunity to create a vibrant and thriving outdoor space from scratch. Whether you dream of a lush vegetable garden, a colorful flower bed, or a compact balcony oasis, this beginner’s guide to gardening will provide you with the essential knowledge and tools to get started on your horticultural journey.

From choosing the right location and soil type to selecting the appropriate plants, this guide will help you confidently start your garden. With some planning and preparation, you’ll soon have the garden of your dreams!

How to start gardening for beginners?

Decide what kind of garden you want to have:

Vegetable garden – If you choose vegetables for their contributions to your dinner table, plant ones your family will eat or be willing to try.

Flower garden – If you want flowers for their flair, colour, and fragrance, decide whether you want annuals that blossom most of the summer or perennials with a shorter bloom time. Each one makes a stunning garden but will require different maintenance requirements.

Herb garden – If you want herbs, plant ones you and your family will eat.

Container garden – This type of gardening is related to growing plants in various types of containers such as pots, hanging baskets, planters, etc. It is usually used on balconies.

Indoor garden – This type of gardening is concerned with planting and growing plants within the residence – roof, backyard, greenhouse, etc.

Rock garden – It is also known as an alpine garden or Zen rock garden. It contains various types of rocks, stones, and boulders.

Determine your climate zone 

gardening for beginners

Knowing the hardiness zone can help you choose the best plants. It describes the coldest place a plant can grow. The higher the zone number, the warmer the climate. 

If a plant is hardy in zone 4 and your garden in zone 5, the plant will survive in your yard. However, if you are in zone 3, its’ too cold to grow that particular plant. To find your plant hardiness zone, put your zip code here

Apart from the hardiness zone, several factors for your plants include altitude, moisture, humidity, wind, and heat. 

Decide what to grow.

Grow what you love to eat – For instance, if you love salads, grow a variety of salad vegetables such as lettuce, radishes, green onions, and so on.

Grow what’s expensive to buy at the store – Some fresh vegetables and fruits are costly to buy at the store. For instance, raspberries and blackberries are incredibly pricey. 

Grow what fits in your space – If you have a small garden, you might not want to grow space hogs like melons. Or, if your garden consists of containers, choose small varieties better suited to small spaces. 

Grow plants that will grow well in your garden’s location – Most fruits and vegetables grow best in full sun. If your garden space is less than ideal, choose varieties that can tolerate some shade. 

Choose the garden location

choose garden location

Make your garden accessible – The best spot is where it is convenient for you, someplace where you frequently see and walk often. You might forget about your garden if you don’t see it regularly. 

Consider the light requirements of different plants – Ideally, this place should get morning sun. Look for spots that get at least 6-8 hours of sun. There should also be a water source nearby. 

Pick a spot with good soil – Healthy plant growth depends on the soil’s pH level, relative humidity, soil texture, and nutrients. Therefore, check for all these soil qualities for your garden spot. 

Look for an airy but not windy place – If you grow plants in an area with high wind velocity, your garden plants can be damaged by this high-speed wind. Therefore, pick a garden area that has windbreakers so that these windbreakers can reduce the wind speed and prevent its effects on your garden plants. 

Acquire basic gardening tools

basic gardening tools

Hand trowel for turning the soil – A trowel is a small hand tool used for digging at ground level and digging small holes for planting seeds, measuring depths in the soil, and digging up tough weeds. Look for a trowel with a narrow, sturdy blade that will cut into the soil easily and a comfortable grip. 

Hand pruners – It is highly versatile for cutting or trimming small branches from perennial plants, shrubs, and trees. Hand pruners are also helpful for harvesting ripe vegetables without damaging the plant. Look for razor-sharp blades and a comfortable grip. 

Gloves – A pair of gloves can help prevent blisters and cuts and keep your hands clean. For digging, look for gloves that have waterproofing along the palm and fingers.

Hand Long-handled shovels and spades for digging holes – A long-handled spade with a straight-edged, flat blade is suitable for digging straight-sided holes, cutting roots, making edging, and removing plants & weeds. Long-handled garden shovels with pointed, rounded blades; help dig holes and move soil. Both make gardening easier for older people. The longer the handle, the more leverage you will have. 

Garden rake – It has metal tines and is used for smoothing out the compost or for raking the soil level to create a beautifully crumbly seedbed. 

Garden hoe – It is used to remove shallow-rooted weeds effortlessly. It comes in many different shapes and sizes. Make sure that the metal head is securely attached to the handle. A smooth wooden handle will resist splintering. 

Garden fork – It helps turn over soil and compost, dig out root crops, and divide perennials. Its long, metal tines allow it to easily penetrate the soil and avoid the smaller rocks that would get in the way of the shovel. 

Watering can – It is best suited for small watering jobs. It should have a capacity of at least 2 gallons but be easy to carry when full. You can select a plastic or metal model with a removable sprout.

Wheelbarrow – It is great for weeding, hauling soil or leaves, collecting debris, and many other tasks. The sturdiest wheelbarrows are made of one piece of heavy steel for heavy loads. Still, heavy-duty plastic wheelbarrows are a better choice for home gardeners. 

Test your soil

test your soil

Before building your garden beds or planting, you must know about your garden soil. Is your soil acidic, alkaline, or neutral pH? Do you have sand, silt, clay, rocks, or a mix of all four? 

Is there a risk of soil contamination from nearby structures, roadways, or other sources? Does it have a good amount of essential nutrients? Some of these characteristics can be determined just by looking at the soil. Others may require home tests or professional tests. 

To know more about your soil, have a soil test done. A soil test indicates your soil’s pH level (acidity or alkaline), which affects how well plants take up nutrients and thrive. Soil pH ranges from 1.0 (highly acidic) to 14.0 (highly alkaline), with seven being neutral. 

Most soil crops prefer soil with a pH of around 7, though some like slightly acidic or alkaline conditions. Balanced nutrient levels are also important, as is the presence of organic matter. 

In rainy regions, the soil is typically more acidic. In desert areas, the soil is more alkaline. The soil in these areas often needs to be amended to allow a wider variety of plants to thrive. 

To raise too-low pH (acidic): Add garden lime, dolomite limestone, or wood ashes.

To lower too-high pH (alkaline): Add horticultural sulfur, composted oak leaves, or pine needles.

Build your soil

Most plants prefer deep, well-drained, fertile soil rich in organic matter. Plant roots need good garden soil to produce good vegetables and fruit. 

Once you start gardening, you will see healthy soil as it improves year after year. Healthy soil will help you produce a healthy plant that is disease & pest-resistant and has more nutrition.  

Make your garden bed 

Loosening the soil in new beds before sowing or planting helps roots to grow more easily and access the water and nutrients they need. There are two ways to do it – tilling with a mechanical device such as a rototiller or digging by hand. 

The first one is good when you need to mix in a large number of amendments. However, it may be possible to overdo it, which will end up damaging the soil structure. Whereas digging is more practical for preparing small beds. 

Either way, work with soil only when it’s moist enough to form a loose ball in your fist but dry enough to fall apart when you drop it. Use a spade or spading fork to gently turn the top 6-8 inches of soil, mixing the organic matter simultaneously. 

Choose the right seeds or transplants 

choose the right seed

Some plants are best suited as seeds in the garden, while others should be transplanted as seedlings you’ve bought from the shop. 

Root crops like carrots, beets, and radishes should be sown as seeds, while tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant should be planted as transplants. 

Understand how much sunlight your plants need 

When you talk about sun exposure, there are a couple of terms to remember, which will help you get a general idea of the plant’s needs for the sun:

Full sun: Plants that need at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight

Part sun: Plants that need at least 3-6 hours of direct sunlight

Full shade: Plants that need less than 3 hours of direct sunlight

Part shade: Plants that need 3-6 hours of direct sunlight but need protection from the afternoon sun. 

Plant with care 

Most seed packets and transplant containers have basic planting instructions. Once you’ve read them, you need to grow them accordingly. As a rule of thumb, follow the below instructions:

  • Plant seeds roughly three times as deep as the seed’s diameter unless otherwise directed on the package. 
  • Most transplants are planted at the same depth they were growing in the pot. The exception is tomatoes, which can be planted deeper. 
  • Young plants tend to damage more easily than older plants, so they need protection when planted outside. 
  • Wait until the frost is over for heat-loving plants such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, etc., 

Protect your garden with some mulch

Cover the soil with a couple of inches of mulch to help keep weeds out and moisture in. You won’t have to water as often and preventing sunlight from hitting the soil prevents weeds from germinating. 

Use water sufficiently

Seedlings should never be allowed to dry out, so water them daily. Transplants also need frequent watering until their roots are established. After that, the watering amount depends on your soil, humidity, and rainfall, though once a week is a good place to start.

Clay soil dries out more slowly than sandy soil, so you won’t need to water it as often. Sunny and windy conditions dry out soil more quickly than cool and cloudy weather. If unsure, feel the soil 3-4 inches below the surface. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. 

Water slowly and deeply so the water soaks in instead of running off. To minimize evaporation, water in the early morning. 

Understand weeds 

understand weeds

Weeds are a gardener’s enemy, so it’s important to know about them. Weeds will pop up again and again despite your best efforts to prevent them. Specific characteristics associated with weeds are:

  • Abundant seed production
  • If you try to pull them, they break off and resprout
  • Roots or stems from rhizomes or runners
  • They can live anywhere.
  • They grow fast
  • Their seeds may stay dormant in the soil for long periods.

Control pests 

All gardeners face pests at some point. For instance, if you have seen rabbits in your yard, surround your garden beds with rabbit-proof fences. 

But in some cases, you’ll have to take harsh measures. Natural and synthetic chemicals can combat pests, and each has pros and cons.    


Gardening is not only a hobby but an art and science. It is one way to express your love, care, and nurture the plants. Building a beautiful garden requires a lot of effort and hard work.

Gardening provides fresh vegetables, sometimes organic medicines, fruits, blooming flowers, and so on. Not only that, but it also gives you immense pleasure and soothes your mind.

I hope this article has given you enough confidence and direction to get you started. Let us know in the comments below what you are planting.


What types of gardens can I create as a beginner?

As a beginner, you can explore various garden types, such as vegetable gardens, flower gardens, herb gardens, container gardens, indoor gardens, and rock gardens.

What are the benefits of gardening for beginners?

Gardening for beginners not only allows you to create a beautiful outdoor space but also provides the opportunity to grow your own food, reduce stress, and enjoy a fulfilling hobby. It connects you with nature and offers numerous physical and mental health benefits.

How can I share my experiences and seek further guidance?

You can share your gardening experiences and seek additional guidance in the comments section of the article. Feel free to ask questions, share your progress, and connect with other gardening enthusiasts.

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