Gardening Guides

Unearth Gardening Success: How to Start a Garden for Beginners!

how to start a garden

Starting a garden can be a rewarding experience, providing not only fresh produce or beautiful flowers but also a sense of accomplishment and a connection to nature. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced gardener looking to expand your knowledge, this guide will provide you with the essential steps to start a garden.

Essential Gardening Tools for Beginners

Starting a garden requires more than just seeds and soil. You’ll also need some basic tools to help you plant, maintain, and harvest your garden. Here are some essential gardening tools that every beginner should consider:

  1. Garden Gloves: Protect your hands from dirt, thorns, and blisters. Look for durable gloves that fit well and are suitable for the type of gardening tasks you’ll be doing.
  2. Hand Trowel: This is perfect for tasks like transplanting bedding plants and herbs, and for planting container plants. Choose one with a comfortable grip and a sturdy blade.
  3. Pruning Shears: Essential for trimming plants and cutting back overgrowth. Look for a pair that fits comfortably in your hand and has sharp, high-quality blades.
  4. Garden Fork: This tool is efficient for turning soil and can dig into dense soil better than a spade. It’s especially useful if you’re working with compacted soil or breaking up hard ground.
  5. Watering Can or Garden Hose: Depending on the size of your garden, you’ll need a way to water your plants. A watering can is suitable for smaller gardens or container plants, while a garden hose with an adjustable nozzle is better for larger gardens.
  6. Garden Rake: This is useful for clearing leaves and debris from your garden, and for smoothing soil after it’s been turned.
  7. Weeder: This tool is designed to remove weeds at their roots, preventing them from quickly growing back.
  8. Wheelbarrow or Garden Cart: This is useful for transporting soil, compost, plants, and other materials around your garden.
  9. Garden Spade: This is useful for digging holes for plants, edging, lifting sod, and moving small amounts of dirt from one area to another.
  10. Garden Hoe: This tool is used for shaping the soil and controlling weeds. A hoe can be used to dig trenches and hills for planting.

how to start a garden

Remember, you don’t need to buy everything at once. Start with the basics and add tools as you find you need them. As you gain more experience, you might find that other tools, like a garden knife or a soil pH tester, could be useful additions to your gardening kit. Happy gardening!

Choosing the Right Location

The first step in starting a garden is choosing the right location. Most vegetables and flowers need about 6 hours of full sun each day. Look for a spot that gets well-drained, fertile soil. If you’re not sure about the quality of your soil, consider getting a soil test. Our latest soil test report provides key insights into the quality of Oregon Super Soil.

Choosing the Right Plants

Choosing the right plants for your garden is crucial. Some plants are easier to grow than others, and it’s important to select plants that match your skill level and the conditions of your garden. Here, we’ve categorized some beginner-friendly plants into two groups: “Easy-to-Grow Vegetables” and “Beginner-Friendly Herbs and Flowers”.

Easy-to-Grow Vegetables

These vegetables are known for their hardiness and minimal care requirements, making them perfect for beginner gardeners:

  1. Lettuce: This leafy green is a fast grower and can be harvested multiple times throughout the growing season. It prefers cooler temperatures, so it’s best to plant in early spring or late summer.
  2. Peppers: Both sweet and hot peppers are relatively easy to grow. They prefer warm weather and well-drained soil. Plus, they can be grown in containers, making them a good choice for those with limited space.
  3. Tomatoes: A favorite for many gardeners, tomatoes are relatively easy to grow from seedlings. They need plenty of sun and well-drained soil. With proper care, a single plant can produce a plentiful harvest.
  4. Cucumbers: These are fast growers and can be grown either on the ground or on a trellis. They prefer warm weather and plenty of water.

Beginner-Friendly Herbs and Flowers

These plants add beauty to your garden and are also quite easy to care for:

  1. Basil: This aromatic herb is easy to grow from seeds or transplants. It prefers warm weather and well-drained soil. Plus, it’s a great addition to a variety of dishes.
  2. Zinnias: These colorful flowers are a great choice for beginners. They’re easy to grow from seeds and can thrive in most types of soil. Plus, they attract butterflies to your garden!

Remember, the key to a successful garden is choosing plants that match your skill level and the conditions of your garden. As you gain more experience, you can start to experiment with more challenging plants. For more detailed information on different types of plants and their requirements, check out our gardening guide.

how to start a garden

Plants Beginners Should Avoid

While gardening is a rewarding hobby, it can also be challenging, especially for beginners. Some plants require more care and attention than others, making them less suitable for those just starting out. Here are some plants that beginners might want to avoid until they’ve gained more experience:

Challenging Vegetables

  1. Cauliflower: While cauliflower is a popular vegetable, it’s also one of the most difficult to grow. It requires consistent cool temperatures, which can be hard to maintain in many climates.
  2. Celery: Celery requires a long growing season and a lot of moisture, making it a difficult vegetable for beginners.
  3. Eggplant: These plants are sensitive to cold and require a long, warm growing season. They’re also susceptible to several pests.
  4. Artichokes: Artichokes are not recommended for beginner gardeners because they require a specific climate and can take up a lot of space in your garden.

Difficult Herbs and Flowers

  1. Rosemary: This herb is a slow grower and can be difficult to start from seed. It also requires well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight.
  2. Orchids: While beautiful, orchids are known for being difficult to care for. They require specific humidity, temperature, and lighting conditions.
  3. Gardenias: These beautiful flowers are quite finicky. They require a specific pH, high humidity, and they need to be kept free from pests.
  4. Lavender: While it’s a favorite among many gardeners, lavender can be difficult to grow. It needs well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight, and it doesn’t tolerate humidity well.

Remember, gardening is a learning process. As you gain more experience and confidence, you might find yourself ready to take on the challenge of these more difficult plants. Until then, stick with the easier options and enjoy the process of learning and growing.

Preparing the Soil

Proper soil preparation is key to a successful garden. Remove the sod covering the area you plan to plant. If you want quick results, you can dig it out, but it’s easier to smother it with newspaper. Put a 3- to 4-inch layer of chopped leaves, compost, or aged manure over the newspaper and wait. It’ll take about four months for the compost and paper to decompose.

If you’re looking for a quicker solution, consider using our Super Soil Starter Kit. It’s designed to give your garden a strong start with nutrient-rich soil. For larger gardens, we also offer bulk soil options.

how to start a garden

Planting Your Garden

Once your soil is prepared, it’s time to plant. Some vegetables, such as lettuce and root vegetables, are best grown from seeds directly sown in the garden. Others, like tomatoes and peppers, are usually started indoors and transplanted to the garden as small plants.

To ensure healthy root growth, consider using our root enhancer. It’s designed to promote strong and healthy root systems, which are crucial for plant health and productivity.

Watering Your Garden

Watering is an essential part of garden care. Seedlings should never dry out, so water daily while they are small. Taper off as the plants get larger. New transplants also need frequent watering—every other day or so—until their roots become established. After that, how often you need to water depends on your soil, humidity, and rainfall.

Mulching Your Garden

Mulching your garden can help control weeds and keep soil moist. Organic mulches can also improve the soil as they decompose. If you’re not sure how to get started with mulching, check out our guide on understanding soil.

Keeping Up with Your Garden

Your garden is on its way. Keep watering when needed, and keep an eye out for weeds. It’s easier to pull weeds out of moist soil. If weeds get out of control, and you’re in a hurry, at least chop off their heads before they go to seed.


Starting a garden can be a rewarding experience. With the right location, the right

plants, and the right care, you can create a beautiful and productive garden. Remember, gardening is a journey, not a destination. Enjoy the process, learn from your experiences, and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

If you’re in Arizona, be sure to check out our Arizona locations for local gardening resources. And for more in-depth information on gardening, check out our comprehensive gardening guides, including our guide on how to start a garden and our guide on super soil.

Remember, at Oregon Super Soil, we’re here to help you every step of the way on your gardening journey. From our soil bags to our root enhancer, we have everything you need to start your garden off right. Happy gardening!

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just the body, but the soul.” – Alfred Austin

This quote perfectly encapsulates the joy and fulfillment that comes from gardening. So why wait? Start your gardening journey today with Oregon Super Soil!