Have you always wanted to start your own home garden? Don’t let intimidation hold you back. Although it takes time to develop a green thumb, starting a garden is easier than you think. You simply need to break the process down into basic steps. They include the following:

Choose What You’ll Grow

You want your garden to eventually yield crops you’ll actually use. Thus, it’s important to consider what types of fruits, vegetables, and herbs you enjoy the most when choosing what to plant.

It’s also smart to talk with experts at your local gardening center to find out which crops they recommend for beginners in your region. You want to start with something easy before advancing to more difficult crops.

Choose the Right Location

The next step in starting a garden involves researching what types of environments are best for your chosen crops. For instance, some crops require regular exposure to direct sunlight, while others don’t.

Knowing what environment your crops thrive in is key to knowing where to plant them. Additionally, you should consider how accessible the garden will be. A garden that’s in an awkward spot to reach on your property, or in a spot where it’s relatively out of sight, may get neglected. Place it somewhere you know you’ll pay attention to it.

Plan Garden Beds

The space you have to work with will play a role in determining how you’re able to organize your garden beds. If you have limited space, you might want to arrange them vertically to maximize your usage of it.

It’s also a good idea to arrange beds in blocks. Individual rows aren’t always easy to tend to and can take up more space than beds.

Make sure the beds are no longer than four feet wide (you want to be able to reach every part of them when tending your crops) and 10 feet long. You can also consider adding companion plants to maximize the health of your crops.

Additionally, if you’re planning on planting climbing crops, like green beans or tomatoes, you will need to put stakes into the ground. You can easily make your own by cutting scrap wood with oscillating saw blades or an electric chainsaw, depending on the size of the job.

Get the Right Supplies

Speak with the experts at your local garden center to determine which supplies you’ll need to grow your crops. Explain to them how you plan to arrange your beds to get more accurate recommendations. Basic supplies you’ll likely need include dirt and leaf rakes, gloves, a lightweight wheelbarrow, garden and scuffle hoes, and a proper garden shovel.

Prep the Soil

The condition of your garden’s soil plays a major role in the potential growth of your crops. Luckily, there are many kits you can use to test it. Although most crops thrive when the soil has a relatively neutral pH of seven, it’s important to research your crops beforehand to confirm this. Some may thrive better in slightly more acidic or alkaline environments. Make any adjustments necessary based on the results of your test.

You should also research the types of organic matter that will provide your crops with the best nutrients. Add them when building the soil in the garden bed to boost its fertility.

Plant & Tend

The crops you buy will likely come with instructions for planting them. Follow these carefully to ensure the best results.

They’ll also likely explain how to tend to your crops. You may want to ask your garden center expert for any extra trips. Again, follow the advice carefully to maximize your harvest. Consider setting a schedule ahead of time so you’re more likely to stick to it.

The first garden you create will be an experiment. You’re learning a complicated process. Luckily, following these steps will help you achieve quality results the first time around. As you get more comfortable with gardening in general, you can experiment with other crops, bed designs, and more!