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How To Start A Garden From Scratch (Step By Step Guide)

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

In this guide, you are going to learn how to start a garden from scratch.

Let’s jump right in.

Making your own garden can be as easy as you may not think of unless you complicate it yourself.

There are essential skills you need to know before you can make a successful and profitable garden.

Here are 10 beginner’s friendly steps on how to start a successful garden from scratch:

1# Pick a good location for your garden

how to start a garden from scratch 4 (1)

The first step to launching a successful garden is to choose a portion of your lawn or backyard that is neither too acidic nor basic. In other words, the PH level of the plot should be optimal.

This is because soil PH is the determining factor that indicates whether plants can survive on a certain garden plot or not.

Most plants survive under a soil PH that is optimal. And very few plants survive under very acidic or basic levels. (Learn how to lower the pH of a soil here.)

Tip: Learn more about soil PH here.

Another important factor to consider when choosing a plot for your garden is soil fertility. You need to make a garden on soil that is fertile, a soil that contains a reasonable amount of nutrients.

This type of fertile or nutritious soil supports quicker plant growth and you do not need to regularly spend your money buying inorganic fertilizers.

However, when you select a wrong garden plot that has not enough nutrients, the plants can only grow poorly and you have to be regularly supplementing your garden plants with both organic and inorganic nutrients.

You also need to look at the soil type. A soil that is sandy should not be selected as a garden plot. This is because sandy soil does not retain water and nutrients. And therefore, water and nutrients will not become available to the plants’ roots.

And this in turn will affect your plants’ growth greatly.

Likewise, a soil that is clay is also not recommended for gardening. This is because clay soil retains plenty of water and this can cause serious damage to your plants.

The ideal soil for gardening is sandy-loamy soil.

There are also other factors to consider while selecting plots for gardening, and they include relative humidity, availability of sunlight, absence of pests, and availability of water. Having a space with poor water drainage and retention? Read our miracle gro water storing crystals review to learn how to solve this problem.

Recommended: want to level up your gardening knowledge? Here are 5 best gardening courses that can take you from beginner to a seasoned gardener.

However, there are some cases sometimes where you want to make a garden but you don’t have space. In this case, you can use either a container garden or raised beds garden.

2# Select good Crops/Transplants

The second step to starting a new garden is to choose the type of crops or transplants you want to grow in your garden.

You need to choose the type of crop or transplant that suits your dream garden and environmental conditions.

Basically, plants can be grouped into different classes such as the time they spend before they die (duration), color scheme, and aroma.

Base on Duration

Some plants can only grow and die within a year. These plants that grow and die within one year are called annual garden plants. These plants include onion, tomatoes, and other vegetables.

And some garden plants can grow up to two years before they die up. These types of plants are called Biennial plants.

While some garden plants are evergreen and can live for a long period of time. These plants that can last for more than two years are called perennial plants. They include trees and some flowers.

So, as a beginner to gardening, you need to plan how your garden is going to be. However, it is recommended to combine plants that have different lifespans or durations. For instance, you can combine annuals and perennial plants or biennial and perennial plants.

Base on Color Scheme

While creating a garden, it is also important to think of the final outlook of your garden. If you want a garden that blends yellow, red, and green, then you need to grow plants with green foliage that produce yellow and red flowers.

In general, whatsoever color scheme you want for your garden, there are plenty of annuals, biennials, and perennials that can meet your needs.

This knowledge of color scheme is important for those who want to start a flower garden.

Base on Aroma

As plants are different likewise their aroma. Some plants possess pleasant aroma while others do not.

That is why it is always recommended if you are planning for a flower garden to choose plants with the most pleasant aroma. This way your home and maybe your neighbor’s house will remain forever fragrant.

However, this aroma should not be of concern if you are planning to start a vegetable garden.

Learn more about how to select quality seeds for planting

Plant Types

There are different types of plants that are widely used in landscaping and home gardening.

Some are good for ornamental gardening while others are grown in the garden for personal consumption.

These plant types include:

  • Flowers
  • Vegetables
  • Herbs
  • Cactus
  • Succulents
  • Trees

3# Buy Quality Seeds/Transplants

Now, you have chosen a good location and crops that you want to grow in your garden.

But, wait,

Do not buy seeds or transplants online. Always go to your local store and buy your crops or transplants.


This is because the storeman or seller of the seeds/transplants in your local area knows the best variety of seeds or transplants that can grow well in your climates.

Additionally, the seller may guide you personally on the best crops and transplants combination for your new garden.

Other important factors you need to consider:

4# Start the Seeds indoors

If you have decided to grow your garden plants from seeds, you may need to start them indoors. So that they can grow into plants without getting affected by cold winter.

They can also easily be transferred to the garden plot when they grow into seedlings. However, some people prefer to directly plant seeds on the garden plot.

Moreover, this seed starting is sometimes not beginner-friendly because the plants or seedlings may die up if not transplanted correctly.

Learn more about seed starting from our guide to growing plants from seeds here

5# Prepare the Garden Plot

how to start a garden from scratch 4

Adding compost manure on the garden plot after removing grasses and weeds

Before you plant any seed or transplant on the selected plot, you need to clear and prepare the garden plot for planting.

Mark the boundaries of the selected garden using a string and stakes. Clear the existing lawn if you are sacrificing part of your lawn by slicing underneath the sod with a spade into different portions and manageable sizes.

Pack these grasses and keep them in a separate place. I will tell you what to do with the grasses later in this article.

You can use herbicides to kill the weeds. However, the use of herbicide is not recommended. The safest but manual way of removing weeds is to pull them and rake them up.

After removing the grasses and weeds, add about 1-2 inch layer of well-rotted livestock manure on top of the garden plot.

Using a garden fork, turn the manure into the top 6-12 inches of the garden soil. Break any large clod and separate rocks and large weed roots from the garden soil.

Moisten the soil gently with water and add a small number of inorganic nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese.

You can alternatively add 1 inch of compost manure on top of the garden soil. Then, add water gently to moisten the garden soil.

6# Seeds/Transplants Planting

how to start a garden from scratch

When you are growing plants on a garden plot, you have two options: you either buy and use seeds or plant seedlings (transplants) that you bought from a commercial gardener.

The seeds can be grown into seedlings indoors before transplanting to the garden. This is called seeds starting and I discussed it under the previous steps.

If you grow your seedlings indoors or bought them from a greenhouse, you need to harden them before planting. Hardening is the process where seedlings that are grown indoors or in greenhause are gradually introduced into the outdoor so that the seedlings can adapt to the harsh weather of the real world.

However, seedlings gotten from the nursery can go straight to the garden plot without any problem.

This is because the nursery seedlings are already used to the direct sunshine.

Now, it is time to prepare the soil and create garden beds.

When you are removing seedlings from biodegradable containers such as peat pot and nylon, just make a slit on the underside of each pot so that the roots can be pushed through to the ground.

Plant during the cloudy day or in the afternoon. Late afternoon is usually recommended because during that time seedlings can recover from the shock that resulted due to transplanting.

7# Take Care of Your Garden

One of the most important things after establishing a garden is to look after your garden.

If you really want to maintain the health of your garden and to continue enjoying your hard work, then proper care must be put in place. Otherwise, all the energy and time you invested in making the garden will become wasted for nothing.

A healthy and beautiful looking garden needs timely maintenance. Plants require water, and therefore you need to irrigate your garden in a timely.

Most plants prefer plenty of water and sunlight. However, water your garden plants according to needs or ask an experienced gardener around for advice.

Prune your garden plants from time to time to make sure enough air is passing through your garden. This can help prevent dense canopy, pests, and diseases.

You also need to check your garden regularly for weeds. When you observe that your garden is bushy, find out time to cut them down and add them to your compost pile.

Additionally, plants require plenty of nutrients. Therefore, add nutrients to your garden plants timely.

8# Start a Compost Pile/Bin

how to start a garden from scratch

Now, it is time to show you the importance of those grasses I told you not to throw away during garden plot clearing.

Those grasses and weeds can be used to make compost. As we discussed above, plants require nutrients for optimal growth and performance.

And compost is one of the cheapest and immediate sources of nutrients. This is because you don’t need to buy it. You only need to make the compost and use it whenever your plants need nutrients.

Making the compost is simple. Just find a compost bin and start storing grasses, weeds, and sawdust, and other shredded brown paper bags.

You can alternatively compost in a pile. However, the compost that is made using bins is cleaner and the heat is also preserved.

9# Harvesting

After all the hard work, there will be a time when you will start to enjoy your efforts if everything is done correctly. That is the time of harvesting.

It is recommended for you to know exactly the right time to start harvesting your garden. This is especially important if you have pests or diseases that started establishing in your garden.

This is because some pests and diseases attack farm produce either during ripening or harvesting.

So, if you learn the techniques of harvesting and understand the right time for harvesting your garden, pests and diseases can’t damage your garden and make your effort wasted.

10# Prepare for Specific Season

Not all seasons are perceived the same by plants. For instance, most plants do not tolerate the extreme cold of winter especially when they are just growing (young).

Therefore, as a gardener who is just raising a new garden, you need to prepare for the change in the season if you want to maintain the health of your garden.

FAQs: How to Start a Vegetable Garden in Your Backyard

To start a vegetable garden in your backyard, follow these steps:

Choose a sunny location: Select a spot with at least 6-8 hours of sunlight per day.

Prepare the soil: Test your soil and amend it with compost or organic matter to improve fertility.

Plan your garden layout: Decide what vegetables you want to grow and create a planting plan.

Start with quality seeds or seedlings: Purchase high-quality seeds or young plants from a local nursery.

Plant and care for your vegetables: Follow planting instructions, water regularly, and mulch to retain moisture.

How to Start a Garden Bed from Lawn

To convert a lawn into a garden bed, follow these steps:

Mark the area: Outline the garden bed’s shape using a garden hose or spray paint.

Remove the grass: Use a sod cutter or manually remove the grass and its roots.

Prepare the soil: Loosen the soil, add compost or organic matter, and mix it well.

Edge the bed: Install edging material to define the garden bed’s boundaries.

Plant and mulch: Plant your chosen plants, apply mulch, and water thoroughly.

What is the Cheapest Ground for a Garden?

The cheapest ground for a garden is often your existing soil. Improving your soil’s fertility with compost or organic matter is a cost-effective way to create a productive garden. Additionally, using raised beds or container gardening can be affordable alternatives, as they require less soil amendment.

What is the Best Soil for a Ground Garden?

The best soil for a ground garden depends on your location and the specific plants you want to grow. However, a well-balanced garden soil should have good drainage, adequate nutrients, and the right pH level for your plants.

You can achieve this by amending your native soil with compost or well-rotted organic matter. Conduct a soil test to determine any specific amendments needed for your garden’s success.

Wrapping Up

The Garden is very useful not only as a source of food but also it is good for our health. The Garden was shown to improve memory and sight.

It was also shown to lower the greenhouse effects, which means gardens can help monitor global warming. The benefits of a garden are many.

In this article, I discussed a step by step guide on how to start a garden from scratch. I  hope the article will be of help to you in finding ways to lunch a new successful garden.

I would love to hear from you. So, let me know your gardening questions if you have any.

Go back to Homepage: Webgardener

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