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tips for the beginning gardener

So many new gardeners start out for the first time, excited to grow a garden, only to feel discouraged at the end of the season when their garden did not quite meet their expectations. What did they do right? What did they do wrong? Don’t know where to start? Check out these ten helpful tips:

1) Start with great soil. Soil quality is the answer to growing the best plants;

2) Select plants for your area – know your hardiness zone and your frost dates. Pick plants that have enough time to mature with your conditions and choose disease-resistant varieties as often as possible;

3) Start out small – keep your first garden or two simple - don’t try to plant every vegetable available in the area – pick 5 or 6 favorites and grow from there;

4) Plant your sun-loving plants in a sunny locale, your shade-loving plants in a shady locale and don’t crowd your plants;

5) Water regularly and deeply, avoid overhead watering;

6) Apply mulch around your plants (this helps with #8 below);

7) Fertilize as needed;

8) Pull weeds regularly;

9) Check for insects frequently so you can eliminate pest problems before they get out of control; and

10) Start with great soil. Yes, it bears mentioning twice!

And don’t worry – sometimes it takes a few gardens to get it right!

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