From step-by-step tutorials to helpful hints, the Readers.com family is always up for trying new things. Join us each month as we consult the experts in fields ranging from social media to antique hunting in our Hobbies & How To’s series, and hopefully learn a thing or two along the way! 

Whether you’re a perennial expert or are just developing a green thumb, spring is the time to start thinking about growing your own vegetable garden. It might seem as easy as planting a few seeds in the ground and waiting for them to sprout, but there’s definitely a few things to keep in mind along the way — and it calls for a pinch of patience, too! To help you get started, we’ve put together some basic tips for growing a thriving garden of your own. Read on for more advice, and happy planting!

5 Ways to Grow Your Garden

1. Start Small

Shopping for seeds and researching how to plan the perfect garden can be exciting. It’s easy to get carried away with big plans and ideas for your own backyard patch, however, sometimes less is more. Especially if you’re new to gardening, you don’t want to bite off more than you can chew. Start by planting only a few easy-to-grow vegetables like tomatoes, summer squash, sugar snap peas, or cucumbers.

2. Plan Before You Plant

Organization is key to growing a successful garden! Plan your space before you plant your seeds, making sure you are choosing plots with plenty of access to sunlight and that are easy-to-reach for watering. If this is your first garden, you have a few different options as far as where you might want to plant. You can start many vegetable plants in pots and transplant them into the ground as they begin to grow. If you like to be super organized, you can design your own garden box and give each plant its own space within a grid system.

3. Be a Smart Waterer

Providing your plants with enough water, at the right time, is the most important element of gardening according to many sources. Many gardeners recommend watering your plants either before or after the sun goes down, when the temperatures outside are a bit cooler. Another tip for watering is to set up an automatic sprinkler system. That way, your plants are watered and cared for no matter your schedule!

4. Beat the Weeds

Tackle weeds in your garden often and early! Do not let too many weeds sprout up around your plants before you start getting rid of them. It’s important to have the right tools on hand to properly get rid of weeds. Many experienced gardeners recommend using a long hoe to help you break them up and rake them out of your garden for good. Another tip to note is that when your plants are large enough, you can mulch around them to help prevent weed growth.

5. Detect Pests Early

Just like weeds, pests are something that can ruin your garden early on and create more work than necessary. As soon as you plant your garden, begin checking for pests regularly. Spending time with your plants and checking to make sure they’re healthy will make you proud of your new green thumb.

What tricks do you use when planting your own garden? Share your tips with us on Facebook! We’d love to hear from you.