7 Helpful Tips for Beginner Gardeners

Due to the coronavirus global pandemic, a lot of people are staying home for an extended period of time & they’re looking for new hobbies to keep themselves occupied. Gardening is a great hobby to pick up right now or any time really. There is just something so satisfying about growing your own plants, especially during times like this when life just seems like pure chaos. It’s comforting to know that if you can follow a few directions you can be a successful gardener. Gardening is also a great stress reducer, which is something we all need right now. But where do you start when you have never grown anything before? & how do you start? There are a lot of great resources out there for beginner gardeners, but I decided to compile my list based on my own experiences. Check it out.

raised bed vegetable garden picture
My raised bed veggie garden a few months ago. It’s easier than you think.

Follow the directions

  • The plant information/tags that your plants come with are your best gardening friend. If it tells you a plant needs full sun, then give it full sun. Don’t have a full sun space? Then find a plant that better suits your sun situation. Ditto with a plant’s water needs. As simple as it sounds, the best chance for success in your garden is to follow directions.
seed packet instructions picture
Follow the directions is my first direction.

Start from seed

  • Do you want a big impact for a fraction of the cost? Start your plants from seed. A packet of seeds usually costs less than the cost of one small plant. Why buy one plant for the price of 20-50+ seeds? Seed starting is the best way to plant a lot of plants with a small budget.
  • Check out my seed catalog review, my tutorial on how to start seeds indoors & my indoor seed starting tips.
gazania seed packet picture
Flower seeds might be my new favorite thing.

Plant prolific & fast-growing plants

Supertunia vista silverberry picture
Yes, this is just one plant. One amazing Supertunia Vista Silverberry plant.

Choose easy to grow plants

  • Start your gardening journey with simple & forgiving plants like tomatoes, green beans, garlic, strawberries, cucumbers, petunias, impatiens, oregano, basil, thyme, etc. All of these plants will flourish if given the levels of sun & water that they need. Add in trickier plants once you have your gardening feet.
gardening harvest haul picture
One of my harvest hauls from the summer.

Run drip irrigation

  • Running drip has been the biggest lifesaver for me in the garden. It takes some time to set it up, but it cuts down your maintenance time in the garden by so much. You also use less water, which means a lower water bill & it directs that water right to the plants’ roots. 
  • Not convinced? Read my reasons why you need drip irrigation asap.
drip irrigation raised bed picture
From the fall when only my broccoli was still going strong. As you can see, drip runs throughout my raised bed.

Go hydroponic

  • I have sung the praises of my AeroGarden a lot on this website, but it really is such an easy way to garden, so much so that it is my number one recommendation for new gardeners. No soil needed & no worrying if your plants will get enough sun or water. All you have to do is basically keep enough water in the tank & you’ll be a success. It’s really that easy. 
  • See my AeroGarden initial review & my tutorial on how to maintain it.
aerogarden harvest picture
My AeroGarden all grown up 3 months later.

Container it

  • Short on space? Live in an apartment? Containers are the way to grow. Look for compact or bush varieties of veggies & you’ll be growing your own edible garden in no time. Flowers are really easy to grow in containers too. Liven up your balcony with hanging baskets, balcony baskets & decorative pots full of flowers.
mums picture
Mums on mums on mums on mums.

I wasn’t really sure how to address the global pandemic that we are facing right now. It feels disingenuous not to mention it, but at the same time, I am certainly no expert on the subject. I thought my best bet was to just give a little update on how we’re doing with the hopes that you are all hanging in there as well. We have been under a stay at home order here in Illinois since Saturday and we are trying to bunker down during this time. Thankfully, I have my plants to tend to right now which gives me a much-needed distraction. Our houseplants are thriving thanks to our grow lights & the spring bulbs are popping up all over the garden. Soon I will need to do the big spring clean up, which for me means to rake up the leaf mulch, till/prep the raised bed & prune the rose garden & other perennials. With everything that is going, for once I am looking forward to the big spring clean. There’s nothing like a good clean to make you feel better.

crocus flowers picture
My sweet little crocus flowers are the first of my flowers to bloom this spring.

I hope all of you are doing well at this time & I hope that gardening will help you get through this period as well. Sometimes all you need to calm down your anxiety is a little time dedicated to taking care of your plants. You take care of your plants, but they take care of you too. The sheer joy that you get from seeing a new flower just about to open up or your first ripe tomato can really be such a light in your life. You have to try it, beginner gardeners. Welcome to the club, we are so excited that you are here!

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