Advice for New Gardeners

With the rise of gardening in America lots of people new to gardening are taking up trowels and digging in the dirt. Some people are just returning to gardening while others are trying for the first time. Here is just a little advice for those starting off to help you along.

1. Start Small. Don’t bite off more than you can chew (This is an incidence of the pot calling the kettle black!) You can always expand your garden as your successes grow. By starting small you can determine how much time you have to devote to gardening.

2. Location. It matters in gardening just as it does in real estate. Vegetables love the sun so give them a place they can work on their tans.

3. Expect something to fail. Temper your expectations somewhat as you will run into some hardships. Whether it is bugs or disease, through no fault of your own, bad things happen. Learn about why the problem happened and how you can avoid it in the future.  Often new gardeners will see things fail and blame themselves and say “I have a brown thumb”, while this may be true there is one thing you must do (See number 4).

4. Persevere. Just don’t give up. You have officially failed when you stop trying! If something doesn’t work, do it in a different way. If your plants don’t like the ground you have build a raised bed or amend it. There are many ways of doing things in gardening, find what works for your garden.

5. Read, read, read. Did I say read? Information is a key to a successful garden. If you read my gardening blog great! Keep doing it! (Tell your friends and neighbors too!) If you get your information through books and magazines or other websites that’s good too. What is important is that you fill your head with solid knowledge about what your plants need including what pests and diseases may come and what cultural planting practices work best.  Learn the general information you need to know then branch outwards as your interests evolve.

There’s my advice for new gardeners. Everyone will have varying degrees of success in their gardens and it’s always important to keep on going and learn and you grow.  While there are some more specific things I could list above I think I’ll save them for another Thoughtful Thursday!

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About Dave

Dave has written since 2007. He gardens on an acre and a half where he raises his 4 children. He enjoys growing vegetables, herbs, and propagating plants. Dave has a side business growing and selling heirloom vegetables and herb plants through Blue Shed Gardens and works as a real estate agent in Spring Hill, TN.


  1. Great advice Dave. Couldn’t have said it any better myself. I’d like to reiterate the not biting off more than you can chew tip. It’s part of a new philosophic movement in gardening Felder Rushing started called “slow gardening.”

  2. That was quite tips to the new gardeners

  3. Great advice Dave! Love “slow gardening,” too, but knowing Felder, I suspect that was a bit tongue-in-cheek!

  4. Most enjoyable advice, Dave. Sometimes I myself will “bite” off more than I can chew. Bad trait of mine. But am learning to slow down or nature has slowed me down.

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