Tips for beginner gardeners

Not everyone is born with a green thumb. However, with a little bit of knowledge and some persistence, anyone can learn to be a gardener. Whether you live in a cooler Northern climate or a warmer Southern one, these tips for beginner gardeners are sure to help out. Once you have these things under your belt, you are ready to grab a trowel, dig in the dirt and get growing. Many of these tips are geared toward growing a vegetable garden, however, nearly all of them can apply to flower gardens as well. Now, let’s get started!

Tips for beginner gardeners

Know your grow zone

Grow zones, also referred to as hardiness zones, determine several things. They tell you how long your growing season is, which in turn will determine whether you can have multiple gardens in a single year or just one. This will also tell you when to plant and when to harvest. Additionally, it will let you know the general temperature and precipitation ranges for your area. This knowledge will then lead to knowing what plants will do well in your zone and which will be more of a challenge. There are a number of sites out there that will tell you what your hardiness zone is, such as the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Start small

It’s great that you eventually want a large garden. However, you should always start small. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when first starting out. Start with a few pots or even a small raised bed. Once you have mastered that, then it will be time to expand. People often underestimate how much work a garden is. Thus, they dive into a large one and soon have no desire to do it anymore. This leads to wasted money and time.

Grow only what you will eat

It’s great that you can grow an eggplant, but if it’s not something that you will eat then it’s a waste. The exception to this is if you are growing these plants for friends or family. If that’s the case, then go for it! For example, I grow radishes in our garden every year though only my husband eats them. Therefore they are not a waste of space because some of the family does consume them and they take up very little space to grow. However, if you are growing something just to grow it, then you need to rethink your garden project. Focusing on plants that you enjoy eating will, in turn, make gardening more enjoyable. There is nothing better than the anticipation of that first tomato of the year or your first harvest of peas.

Related: See this list of 8 gardening tools you need.

Plant extra

This may seem counter-intuitive to the whole start small point. However, there is a reason behind it. Loss happens. A garden can get hit by diseases or pests. Having one of two extra plants can sometimes mean the difference between getting a harvest or not. So, grow two pepper plants instead of one. If they do well, then you will get plenty of peppers, which is always a good thing. But should one fall to disease, then you have a second one to take its place. It’s basically a gardener’s insurance plan.

Make it South facing

Ideally, you want your garden to be South facing. This will maximize the amount of sunlight that that garden gets. The more sunlight, the better the garden will grow. Now, this is not always possible. Depending on how your house is situated, you may not be able to take advantage of all that sunlight. Not to worry. If you pay close attention to your yard throughout the day, you will be able to see the areas that get the most sunlight. If at all possible, put your garden there.

Expect failure

This may seem like an odd thing to say. However, even the most skilled gardeners experience failure. A season can be too hot, dry, or just an off-year. It happens. So don’t give up just because your pepper plant bit the bullet before it did anything. Gardening is a yearly challenge and no two growing seasons will be the same. As you gain experience and knowledge, you may be able to catch signs of incoming disease or notice that you need to water more. Just accept that not every plant will survive or that not every harvest will be amazing. No matter how much or how little you get from your garden, it will still be a success.

With these tips for beginner gardeners, you will be on your way to having a successful garden. Are you growing a garden?


  1. Great post! I don’t have a green thumb but, I’ve been wanting to get into gardening. These tips are great and will apply them to starting a vegetable garden. Wish me luck! ?

    1. Good luck! It will take some time but I’m sure you will get that green thumb. Stay tuned for more gardening tips in the future.

  2. Great tips! Particularly to expect failure, even after 30 years of gardening I still expect failure lol

    1. Failure is a fact of life. Expecting it in gardening will help prevent people from giving up when something doesn’t go right the first time.

  3. So needed this! Once we finally move I want to start gardening. May need to get more tips from u!?

    1. Great! I will be sharing more gardening tips in the future, so keep your eye out for them!

  4. Glad they will prove to be helpful in the future!

  5. These are excellent tips. I really needed this post! Thank you for sharing. We actually have grown a HUGE tomato plant on accident. I think some seeds were brought over from our old garden and all of a sudden a tomato plant started growing. Now we have over 30 green tomatoes growing, and I’m working on figuring out how to properly support it… with a fence or poles? Open to any advice you may have!

    1. Usually, a tomato cage is your best bet. I would recommend a larger one because the smaller ones tend to bend if the plant gets too large. They are somewhat expensive but worth the money. Another option is to put several stakes around the plant and use twine or strong string to create a tomato cage. This might be your best bet if the plant is already large. Can be hard to fit a tomato cage over an already well-established plant.

  6. Hope these tips help you embrace your inner gardener. I’ll be sharing more gardening tips in the future!

  7. This is a great guide for beginners. I’ve grown strawberries and have a patio cherry, but otherwise I’m a total novice. I would love to grow courgettes. Our neighbour gave us some small courgettes and courgette flowers. They made lovely fritters.

    Have a lovely weekend. 🙂

    1. Strawberries are a great place to start because they are fairly low maintenance. I love to grow zucchinis (courgettes) but I have very bad luck with them, but I keep trying because they are so tasty. Hope these tips help you to embrace your inner gardener. I will be posting more gardening tips in the future.

  8. I loved this post so much, it reminds me how much I’ve come on since I started gardening. I used to have a window box and now I have a garden and an orchard to play with – it’s hard work! You’re right about no two growing seasons being the same, what grew well last year hasn’t worked this year because of our UK heatwave. But I still love it, it’s my time for me and I don’t think I’ll ever fall out of love with gardening 🙂 xx

    Lisa |

    1. That’s fantastic that you now have a garden and an orchard. My hope is to have an orchard one day, perhaps when we move and have a bit more land to work with. Heatwaves definitely will affect the gardens. Our summer was warmer than normal, but nowhere near what you guys had in the UK, and I can see that some things in our garden really struggled. Going to have really small onions this year but that’s okay, last years were almost too big.

  9. Great post! I pinned this so I can refer back to it! I’m going to try a garden again this coming year!

    1. Excellent. I hope these tips prove useful to you. I’ll be posting more gardening tips and guides in the future as well.

  10. I miss my garden.

    1. I hope you are able to have a garden again in the future.

  11. Great advice! I love gardening and every year I have one or two plants that do not make it!! LOL

    1. Thanks. It happens to me too, some plants just aren’t going to make it no matter what you do to try to save them.

  12. Thanks so much for your great tips. I like gardening, but lack vision to see what needs to be done. Your tips will help!

    1. I’m glad I could be helpful. Gardening does have some tricks to it, but with time everyone can learn them.

  13. Great tips, I’m just starting a garden myself.

    1. Thank you! Oh, that’s so exciting that you are getting started. I hope you have a great garden season.

  14. Great post, i kbew nothing about grow zones. I enjoy growing plants and flowers and grow my own herbs too. But not grown my own veg yet… My green thumbs are itching reading this! Lol 😉 Helen

    1. Knowing your grow zone will be very important for when you want to grow your own vegetables.

  15. Thank you so much for these awesome tips! I’ve been thinking of doing a little gardening this spring and summer so I will be keeping these in mind!

    1. I’m glad you found these tips helpful. I hope you have a successful garden this year.

  16. I’m loving the timing of this post. I’m starting a small garden with my kiddo this spring, but haven’t even begun to learn what needs to be done.

    I knew that the zones were important, but learning about the garden being south facing is new information. I definitely expect to have a learning curve but hope it’s something that she enjoys and that we can have fun with together.


    1. How exciting that you are starting a garden this spring. I’m glad this could help you learn some more about gardening before you start. Remember,t hat usually a first-year garden doesn’t do very well, so don’t get discouraged if your plants struggle or even die. Good luck with your garden!

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