Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch

Starting a garden from scratch can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Whether you want to grow vegetables for your own use, or cultivate an aesthetically pleasing outdoor space, a garden can add beauty and function to your outdoor space. In this article, we will guide you through the process of starting a garden from scratch, from choosing a location to harvesting your first crop.

There are many benefits to starting a garden. Growing your own food can save money and ensure you are eating the freshest, healthiest produce possible. Growing your own plants can also be a therapeutic and calming hobby, one that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. Additionally, gardens can be designed to be aesthetically pleasing and can serve as outdoor living spaces, ideal for entertaining guests or enjoying a peaceful outdoor space.

Anyone can start a garden, regardless of their gardening experience or the size of the space available to them. With a little bit of planning and preparation, even those with limited gardening experience can start a garden.

When selecting a location for your garden, there are a few factors to consider.

Sunlight Considerations

The first factor to consider is the amount of sunlight the location will get throughout the day. Different plants require different amounts of sunlight, so be sure to research the sunlight needs of the plants you plan to grow before deciding on a location.

Soil Considerations

The next factor to consider is the soil. Test the soil in your desired location to determine its composition and fertility. If the soil is not suited to the plants you plan to grow, you may need to amend it with nutrients or compost.

Size Considerations

Think about the size of the garden you want. Consider the outdoor space you have available, as well as the size of the plants you plan to grow.

Accessibility Considerations

Finally, make sure the location you choose is easily accessible. Consider the placement of the garden in relation to your house and any other outdoor spaces. Make sure it is easy to access the garden, as you will need to tend to it regularly.

Once you have chosen a location, it’s time to design your garden.

Layout Considerations

When planning the layout of your garden, consider the size and shape of the space and the sunlight it receives. You may want to create a formal garden with straight lines and defined shapes, or a more natural garden with curved lines and undulating shapes.

Planting Considerations

Consider the types of plants you want to include in your garden. Choose plants that will thrive in the climate and soil conditions of your location.

Functional Considerations

Think about how you want to use the garden. Do you want to grow vegetables? Are you looking for a spot to entertain guests? Make sure the layout of your garden reflects its intended use.

Aesthetic Considerations

Finally, consider the aesthetic of your garden. Think about the colors, textures, and shapes you want to include. A unified aesthetic will give your garden a sense of cohesion and harmony.

Once you have designed your garden, it’s time to prepare the soil.

Removing Existing Plants

If the space you are gardening in already has plants, you will need to remove them before you start. Dig up existing plants and pull out any weeds, roots and all.

Testing the Soil

Test the soil to determine its composition and fertility. This will help you determine what type of soil amendments, if any, you need to make.

Correcting Soil Acidity

Test the pH of your soil to determine if it is too acidic or alkaline for the plants you want to grow. You can adjust the pH of the soil with lime or sulfur.

Adding Nutrients

If the soil is lacking in nutrients, you can add compost or fertilizer to boost its fertility.


Once the soil is amended, you can till it to loosen it up. This will help ensure that air and water can penetrate the soil and reach plant roots.

Now that the soil is prepared, it’s time to plant your garden.

Choosing the Right Plants

Choose plants that are suited to the climate and soil conditions of your location. Make sure the plants have enough space to grow and that they get enough sunlight.

Seed Starting

If you are starting from seed, sow the seeds in seed trays and keep them in a warm spot until they sprout. Once the seedlings are ready, you can transplant them into the garden.


If you are transplanting plants, make sure to water them thoroughly before and after transplanting. Make sure the roots of the plants are covered with soil.

Caring for Plants

Once the plants are in the ground, you will need to care for them. Water the plants regularly, and apply fertilizer to ensure they get the nutrients they need.

Once your plants are in the garden, you will need to protect them from weeds, pests, and other threats.


Pull out any weeds that appear in your garden. Weeds can compete with your plants for nutrients, so remove them as soon as they appear.


Apply a layer of mulch to the soil to prevent weeds from sprouting. Mulch will also help keep the soil moist and prevent it from drying out.

Pest Control

Monitor your plants for pests and take action if necessary. Use natural pest control methods such as hand-picking or neem oil if possible.

Rotating Crops

If you are growing more than one type of plant, consider rotating them to different parts of the garden each year. This will help prevent pests and diseases from taking hold in one area.


Finally, make sure to water your plants regularly. Soil should be kept moist, but not soggy.

Starting a garden from scratch can be a rewarding experience. With a little bit of research and planning, anyone can create a beautiful and functional garden. With the tips outlined in this article, you can choose a location, design your garden, prepare the soil, and plant your garden with confidence.


Nelson, K. (2020, March 26). How to Start a Garden from Scratch. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from

Gardening Know How. (2020). Soil Testing: What Does Your Soil Need. Retrieved April 28, 2020, from

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