How to Grow Your Own Garden from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

How to Grow Your Own Garden from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

Have you ever dreamed of having your own garden, but felt overwhelmed by the idea of starting one from scratch? If so, you are not alone. Many people want to enjoy the benefits of gardening, such as fresh and healthy food, beautiful flowers, and a relaxing hobby. But they don’t know where to start or what to do.

Don’t worry, we are here to help. In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know to start your own garden from scratch. You will learn what to grow, where to grow, how to grow, and how to enjoy your garden. You will also get some tips and tricks from experienced gardeners who have been there and done that.

So grab your tools and get ready to dig in!

Key Takeaway

  • Gardening is a rewarding and enjoyable hobby that can improve your physical and mental well-being, reduce your carbon footprint, and save you money on groceries.
  • You can start your own garden from scratch by following these simple steps: choose what to grow, where to grow, how to grow, and how to enjoy your garden.
  • You can grow a variety of plants in your garden, depending on your climate, soil, and space available. Some easy-to-grow plants for beginners are herbs, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, etc.
  • You can choose a location for your garden based on your inspiration, style, space, budget, and goals. Some different types of gardens are raised beds, containers, trellises, vertical gardens, etc.
  • You can plant your seeds or seedlings in your garden, following the instructions on the packets or labels. You can care for your plants throughout the growing season by watering, weeding, pruning, mulching, etc.
  • You can deal with common pests and diseases in your garden by identifying the symptoms, applying organic remedies or treatments, or removing infected plants. You can harvest your crops at the right time and in the right way by checking for ripeness or maturity signs, cutting or picking gently without damaging the plants, or storing or preserving them properly.
  • You can make the most of your garden experience by observing the changes in nature, learning new skills and knowledge, or sharing your produce with others. You can use your garden produce in different ways, such as cooking delicious meals, making herbal teas or remedies, or creating crafts or gifts. You can celebrate your gardening achievements by keeping a journal or a photo album, joining a gardening club or community, or entering a gardening contest or show.

Table of Contents

What to Grow in Your Garden

Photo of planted garden beds showing various plants

The first step to start your own garden from scratch is to decide what you want to grow. This will depend on several factors, such as:

  • Your climate: Different plants have different requirements for temperature, sunlight, rainfall, and frost. You need to choose plants that are suitable for your climate zone.
  • Your soil: Different plants have different preferences for soil type, pH level, drainage, and fertility. You need to test your soil before planting anything. You can buy a soil test kit from a garden center or online shop. You can also improve your soil by adding compost or fertilizer.
  • Your space: Different plants have different sizes and shapes. You need to consider how much space you have available for your garden. You also need to think about how you want to arrange your plants in terms of height, width, color, and texture.
  • Your taste: Different plants have different uses and benefits. You need to choose plants that match your personal preferences and needs. For example, if you want to grow food for yourself or your family, you might want to grow vegetables, fruits, herbs, or edible flowers. If you want to grow flowers for decoration or fragrance, you might want to grow roses, lilies, sunflowers, or lavender.

Some examples of easy-to-grow plants for beginners are:

  • Herbs: Herbs are great for adding flavor and aroma to your dishes. They are also easy to grow in pots or containers. Some common herbs are basil, mint, parsley, rosemary, and thyme.
  • Lettuce: Lettuce is one of the fastest and easiest crops to grow. It is also very nutritious and versatile. You can harvest it as baby leaves or full heads. You can also grow different varieties of lettuce, such as romaine, butterhead, leaf, or iceberg.
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes are one of the most popular and rewarding crops to grow. They are also very delicious and healthy. You can grow them in the ground or in pots. You can choose from different types of tomatoes, such as cherry, grape, beefsteak, or plum.
  • Carrots: Carrots are one of the most fun and satisfying crops to grow. They are also very crunchy and sweet. You can grow them in the ground or in containers. You can also try different colors of carrots, such as orange, purple, yellow, or white.

To help you choose the best plants for your garden, you can use this table to compare their characteristics and requirements:

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PlantClimateSoilSpaceSunWater
HerbsWarm or coolWell-drained, fertile, slightly acidicSmall pots or containersFull sun or partial shadeModerate
LettuceCool or mildLoose, moist, rich, neutral or slightly acidicSmall beds or containersFull sun or partial shadeFrequent
TomatoesWarm or hotWell-drained, fertile, slightly acidicLarge pots or cagesFull sunRegular
CarrotsCool or mildDeep, loose, sandy, neutral or slightly alkalineDeep beds or containersFull sun or partial shadeModerate

Once you have decided what to grow, you need to find seeds or seedlings to start your garden. You can buy them from local nurseries, online shops, or friends and neighbors. You can also save seeds from your own plants or swap seeds with other gardeners.

When you buy seeds or seedlings, make sure to check the packets or labels for information such as:

  • Name: The common and scientific name of the plant.
  • Variety: The specific type or cultivar of the plant.
  • Description: The appearance, taste, and use of the plant.
  • Sowing: The best time and method to plant the seeds or seedlings.
  • Spacing: The distance between plants in a row and between rows.
  • Depth: The depth to cover the seeds with soil.
  • Germination: The time it takes for the seeds to sprout.
  • Harvest: The time it takes for the plants to mature and produce crops.
  • Care: The special instructions for watering, fertilizing, pruning, etc.

Before you plant your seeds or seedlings, you need to plan your garden layout. You need to consider how to group your plants by their water and sun needs, rotate your crops to prevent diseases, and companion plant to attract beneficial insects.

Some tips on how to plan your garden layout are:

  • Group by water and sun needs: You need to group your plants by their water and sun needs, so that you can water and shade them accordingly. For example, you can group lettuce, spinach, and celery together, as they need frequent watering and partial shade. You can group tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants together, as they need regular watering and full sun.
  • Rotate your crops: You need to rotate your crops every year, so that you can prevent diseases and pests from building up in the soil. For example, you can rotate your crops by plant families, such as brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower), legumes (beans, peas), solanaceae (tomatoes, peppers), and cucurbits (cucumbers, melons). You can also rotate your crops by nutrient needs, such as heavy feeders (corn, squash), light feeders (carrots, onions), and soil builders (clover, alfalfa).
  • Companion plant: You need to companion plant your crops, so that you can attract beneficial insects, repel pests and diseases, or improve the growth and flavor of your plants. For example, you can companion plant basil with tomatoes, as basil can repel aphids and hornworms, and enhance the taste of tomatoes. You can companion plant marigolds with carrots, as marigolds can deter nematodes and carrot flies, and attract pollinators.

Where to Grow Your Garden

How to Grow Your Own Garden from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

The second step to start your own garden from scratch is to choose a location for your garden. This will depend on your inspiration, style, space, budget, and goals. You can grow your garden in different places, such as:

  • Your backyard: Your backyard is the most common and convenient place to grow your garden. You can have more space and freedom to design and maintain your garden. You can also enjoy the view and the privacy of your own garden.
  • Your balcony: Your balcony is a great option if you live in an apartment or a condo. You can still grow a variety of plants in pots or containers. You can also enjoy the fresh air and the sunlight from your balcony.
  • Your rooftop: Your rooftop is another option if you live in a high-rise building. You can create a green oasis in the middle of the city. You can also benefit from the extra insulation and cooling effect of your rooftop garden.
  • Your community garden: Your community garden is a shared space where you can grow your garden with other people. You can learn from each other, exchange seeds and produce, and build friendships. You can also contribute to the social and environmental well-being of your community.

Some examples of different types of gardens are:

  • Raised beds: Raised beds are gardens that are built above the ground level, usually with wooden frames or bricks. They are ideal for growing vegetables, herbs, or flowers. They have many advantages, such as:
    • Better drainage and aeration
    • Easier weed control and pest prevention
    • Higher yield and quality
    • Less bending and back strain
  • Containers: Containers are gardens that are grown in pots, buckets, barrels, or baskets. They are perfect for growing plants that need more care or attention, such as herbs, strawberries, or tomatoes. They have many benefits, such as:
    • Portability and flexibility
    • Water conservation and efficiency
    • Space saving and creativity
    • Protection from frost and wind
  • Trellises: Trellises are gardens that are grown on vertical structures, such as poles, wires, or lattices. They are suitable for growing plants that climb or vine, such as beans, peas, cucumbers, or grapes. They have many advantages, such as:
    • More sunlight and air circulation
    • Less disease and rotting
    • More space and productivity
    • More beauty and interest
  • Vertical gardens: Vertical gardens are gardens that are grown on walls, fences, or towers. They are amazing for growing plants that need less soil or water, such as succulents, ferns, or orchids. They have many benefits, such as:
    • Noise reduction and pollution filtering
    • Temperature regulation and energy saving
    • Privacy enhancement and security improvement
    • Aesthetic appeal and artistic expression
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To help you choose the best location for your garden, you can use this table to compare the pros and cons of each type of garden:

Type of GardenProsCons
Raised bedsBetter drainage and aeration, easier weed control and pest prevention, higher yield and quality, less bending and back strainHigher cost and maintenance, more watering and fertilizing, limited mobility and flexibility
ContainersPortability and flexibility, water conservation and efficiency, space saving and creativity, protection from frost and windSmaller size and capacity, more frequent watering and feeding, more root problems and diseases, less stability and durability
TrellisesMore sunlight and air circulation, less disease and rotting, more space and productivity, more beauty and interestMore support and structure, more pruning and training, more wind damage and exposure, less accessibility and convenience
Vertical gardensNoise reduction and pollution filtering, temperature regulation and energy saving, privacy enhancement and security improvement, aesthetic appeal and artistic expressionHigher complexity and difficulty, higher installation and maintenance, higher water and nutrient needs, higher risk of leakage and damage

Once you have chosen a location for your garden, you need to prepare your site for planting. You need to clear any weeds, rocks, or debris from your site. You also need to level the ground and mark the boundaries of your garden. You can use stakes, strings, or bricks to outline your garden area.

You also need to improve your soil by adding compost or fertilizer. Compost is decayed organic material that can enrich your soil with nutrients, moisture, and beneficial microorganisms. Fertilizer is a substance that can provide your soil with specific nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. You can buy compost or fertilizer from a garden center or online shop. You can also make your own compost by using kitchen scraps, yard waste, or animal manure.

To help you improve your soil by adding compost or fertilizer, you can use this table to compare the benefits and drawbacks of each type of soil amendment:

Type of Soil AmendmentBenefitsDrawbacks
CompostImproves soil structure, water retention, and aeration. Provides a balanced and slow-release source of nutrients and organic matter. Enhances soil biodiversity and suppresses diseases.Requires time and space to make or buy. May contain weed seeds or pathogens if not properly decomposed. May have a variable nutrient content depending on the materials used.
FertilizerProvides a quick and precise source of nutrients for specific plant needs. Boosts plant growth and yield. Easy to apply and store.May damage plants or soil if overused or misused. May leach into groundwater or runoff into surface water, causing pollution and eutrophication. May deplete soil organic matter and biodiversity over time.

You can apply compost or fertilizer to your soil by following these steps:

  • Measure: Measure the area of your garden and the amount of compost or fertilizer you need. You can use a tape measure, a ruler, or a scale to do this. You can also use online calculators or charts to estimate the amount of compost or fertilizer you need per square foot of your garden.
  • Spread: Spread the compost or fertilizer evenly over your garden area. You can use a shovel, a rake, a wheelbarrow, or a spreader to do this. You can also use your hands, but make sure to wear gloves to protect your skin.
  • Mix: Mix the compost or fertilizer into your soil. You can use a hoe, a fork, a tiller, or a digger to do this. You can also use your hands, but make sure to wear gloves to protect your skin.
  • Water: Water your soil thoroughly after applying compost or fertilizer. You can use a hose, a sprinkler, a watering can, or a drip irrigation system to do this. You can also use rainwater if available.

By preparing your site and improving your soil, you are ready to plant your seeds or seedlings in your garden.

How to Plant Your Seeds or Seedlings in Your Garden

Photo of person gardening and planting seeds in rows

The third step to start your own garden from scratch is to plant your seeds or seedlings in your garden. This will depend on the type of plants you have chosen, the time of the year, and the instructions on the packets or labels.

Some general guidelines on how to plant your seeds or seedlings are:

  • Choose the right time: You need to choose the right time to plant your seeds or seedlings, based on the weather and the plant’s life cycle. You can also check the packets or labels for information such as:
    • Hardiness zone: The hardiness zone is a measure of how well a plant can survive cold temperatures. You need to choose plants that match your hardiness zone.
    • Last frost date: The last frost date is the average date of the last spring frost in your area. You need to wait until after the last frost date to plant most seeds or seedlings outdoors.
    • First frost date: The first frost date is the average date of the first fall frost in your area. You need to harvest or protect your plants before the first frost date, as most plants will die or stop growing after a frost.
  • Prepare the holes or rows: You need to prepare the holes or rows where you will plant your seeds or seedlings. You can use a trowel, a dibber, a hoe, or a rake to do this. You also need to follow the spacing and depth instructions on the packets or labels. You can use a tape measure, a ruler, or a string to do this.
  • Plant the seeds or seedlings: You need to plant the seeds or seedlings in the holes or rows you have prepared. You can use your fingers, a spoon, a tweezers, or a transplanting tool to do this. You also need to cover the seeds with soil and press them lightly. You can use your hands, a shovel, a rake, or a watering can to do this.
  • Water and label: You need to water and label your seeds or seedlings after planting them. You can use a hose, a sprinkler, a watering can, or a drip irrigation system to do this. You also need to make sure that the soil is moist but not soggy. You can use your fingers, a moisture meter, or a rain gauge to do this. You also need to label your seeds or seedlings with their name and variety. You can use popsicle sticks, plastic tags, metal markers, or chalkboard signs to do this.
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To help you plant your seeds or seedlings in your garden, you can use this table to compare the benefits and drawbacks of each type of planting method:

Type of Planting MethodBenefitsDrawbacks
SeedsCheaper and more available, more variety and choice, more satisfaction and funSlower and less reliable, more vulnerable to pests and diseases, more care and attention
SeedlingsFaster and more reliable, more resistant to pests and diseases, less care and attentionMore expensive and less available, less variety and choice, less satisfaction and fun

By planting your seeds or seedlings in your garden, you have completed the most exciting part of starting your own garden from scratch. Now you need to take good care of your plants until they grow and produce crops.

How to Enjoy Your Garden

Photo of floral bouquet made from garden flowers

The fourth and final step to start your own garden from scratch is to enjoy your garden. This is the most rewarding and enjoyable part of gardening, as you can reap the fruits of your labor and appreciate the beauty of nature.

There are many ways to make the most of your garden experience, such as:

  • Observing the changes in nature: You can observe the changes in nature that happen in your garden, such as the seasons, the weather, the growth stages, the wildlife, and the colors. You can also learn more about the plants and animals that live in your garden, such as their names, characteristics, habits, and roles. You can use a magnifying glass, a camera, a notebook, or a guidebook to do this.
  • Learning new skills and knowledge: You can learn new skills and knowledge that are related to gardening, such as how to compost, how to propagate, how to prune, how to preserve, or how to cook. You can also learn more about the history, culture, science, and art of gardening, such as how different plants originated, how they are used in different cuisines, how they affect the environment, or how they inspire creativity. You can use books, videos, podcasts, or courses to do this.
  • Sharing your produce with others: You can share your produce with others who appreciate your garden, such as your family, friends, neighbors, or community. You can also donate your produce to those who need it, such as food banks, shelters, or schools. You can use baskets, bags, boxes, or jars to do this.

Some examples of how to use your garden produce in different ways are:

  • Cooking delicious meals: You can cook delicious meals with your garden produce that are fresh, healthy, and tasty. You can also experiment with different recipes, cuisines, and flavors that suit your palate. You can use a kitchen knife, a cutting board, a pot, a pan, or an oven to do this.
  • Making herbal teas or remedies: You can make herbal teas or remedies with your garden herbs that are soothing, healing, and aromatic. You can also customize your own blends, infusions, or tinctures that suit your needs. You can use a teapot, a strainer, a cup, or a bottle to do this.
  • Creating crafts or gifts: You can create crafts or gifts with your garden flowers that are beautiful, fragrant, and meaningful. You can also express your own style, personality, or sentiment with your creations. You can use scissors, wire, ribbon, or paper to do this.

Some ways to celebrate your gardening achievements are:

  • Keeping a journal or a photo album: You can keep a journal or a photo album of your gardening journey that documents your progress, challenges, and successes. You can also reflect on your feelings, thoughts, and insights that you gained from gardening. You can use a pen, a paper, a camera, or a computer to do this.
  • Joining a gardening club or community: You can join a gardening club or community that connects you with other gardeners who share your passion, interests, and goals. You can also exchange tips, seeds, produce, or stories with them. You can use social media, forums, meetups, or events to do this.
  • Entering a gardening contest or show: You can enter a gardening contest or show that showcases your garden to a wider audience who appreciate your work, talent, and creativity. You can also compete for prizes, recognition, or feedback from them. You can use online platforms, magazines, newspapers, or exhibitions to do this.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article on how to grow your own garden from scratch. We hope you have learned a lot and are ready to start your gardening adventure. Starting your own garden from scratch can be easy and fun if you follow these simple steps: choose what to grow, where to grow, how to grow, and how to enjoy your garden.

Gardening can help you live a healthier, greener, and happier life. It can also bring you closer to nature and yourself.

Remember, the best time to plant a garden is now!

If you have any gardening stories or tips that you want to share with us, please leave a comment below. We would love to hear from you!

If you haven’t started your own garden yet, what are you waiting for? Grab your tools and get ready to dig in! 

About The Author

Samantha
Samantha

I'm Samantha, a plant enthusiast who has been growing plants for years. I believe that plants can make our lives better, both physically and mentally. I started growit.wiki to share my knowledge about how to grow plants. I want to help others enjoy the beauty and benefits of plants.

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