Garden For Beginners; Simple, Easy and Fool Proof

5 Materials
3 Hours

I’m not kidding when I say I have a black thumb. The truth is that I’m pretty lazy when it comes to taking care of anything other than my kids, husband or myself. I can’t believe I just admitted that :). When my husband told me he wanted to create a small beginners garden for my kids, I was a little weary. He has planted gardens before and his father used to own a nursery, so I had full faith that it would be a success. I figured if I was learning this whole gardening thing I would share the journey and write all about it. Join me as I give you my simple, easy and fool proof guide to creating a beginners garden.

  • The very first thing is to decided WHERE you will put your garden. Make sure you pick a sunny area in a stable environment that isn’t prone to flooding or strong winds.
  • Next decide on how you will contain the garden and how large you need it to be. A good-size beginner vegetable garden is about 16×10 feet. We decided to outline the garden with something we already had. You know me, I’ll always prefer to repurpose than buy new. We had a few extra pavers, so why not use those to create the outline of the garden?
  • My husband decided that rather than filling inside the pavers with garden soil, which can be very pricey, he would haul in a load of dirt and then add the garden soil on top.
Our area for the garden

We didn’t do anything fancy to create a straight line with the pavers other than eye ball it!

  • After we spread the dirt out evenly, it was time to add the garden soil.

For those who don’t know (used to be me:)), garden soil is VITAL for anything to grow. You need to know what type of soil you have and prepare it accordingly.

  • We added two “layers” of garden soil to ensure that the plants and seeds would thrive.

Before you head to the store, have an idea of what you want to plant.

My little bit of research showed me that there are a few things that grow well together, and a few things that don’t. Make sure whatever you buy will grow well together.

Things to consider when companion planting:

  • Beans: Don’t plant near chives, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers, marigolds
  • Peas: Don’t plant near chives, garlic, leeks, onions, peppers
  • Broccoli and Cauliflower: Don’t plant near peppers, squash, strawberries, tomatoes
  • Tomatoes: Don’t plant near broccoli, cauliflower, cilantro, cucumbers
  • Dill: Don’t plant near carrots
  • Sunflowers need to be planted at least 12 inches away from any other plant.

Also, each plant has an ideal time of year to be planted. You can always find more information about this on the back of the seed packet or the writing on the plant container.


It’s customary to plant seeds in rows. The rows should run north and south to take full advantage of the sun.

  • Dig a small amount of the garden soil to the side and add a few (up to five or so) seeds per area.

Don’t add too many seeds to one area! This is where I would have made a mistake if it wasn’t for my husband telling me otherwise.

  • If you are using potted plants, gently tap the base as you turn the plant to the side to remove the plant from the container. ALWAYS use all the gardening soil that the plant comes with.

My husband likes to dig a small “moat” around each plant so the water will sit around it.

  • Always add an identifier next to the seeds or plants to ensure you know what is growing. Also, it’s a good source for care instructions.
  • I purchased chalkboard sticks similar to  THESE  to mark what seeds were planted where.

The last thing to consider; if your garden sits low to the ground, you need to add something to keep animals and rodents out.

Rather than adding a physical barrier, we chose to add a  Solar Ultrasonic Rodent Repeller. It emits a sound every minute or so that deters unwanted pests.

  • Once you are done planting, make sure to water your garden.
  • Sit back and watch everything grow (and continue to water daily!)

That's our simple garden!!



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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 5 questions
  • Cindy Rubin
    on May 12, 2019

    Do you know if the rodent repeller works on chipmunks? I think my yard is the gathering place, apartment building and retirement home for all the chipmunks in the neighborhood!!

  • Frances Morey
    on May 17, 2019

    Wouldn't it be prudent to line the topsoil in the yard with black planter fabric at the beginning to discourage weeds before adding the "raised" garden layers of top soil and potting soil?

  • Donna Ohanian
    on May 12, 2020

    So there’s about 3” of topsoil?

Join the conversation

2 of 18 comments
  • Wolf CrescentWalker
    on May 12, 2020

    If your area tends to be dry, make sure fully are doing a deep, root level watering, a really good soak instead of a daily misting. To know how deep your watering efforts are going, just dig down in one spot. If only the top inch is dark and damp, you need to give it a longer, slow soak.

  • Robyn Garner
    on May 21, 2020

    You left out a couple of really important things!

    1. Learn what your growing zone is (google your city + growing zone).
    2. Only plant things that are native to your growing zone! There is no use spending time and money on plants that aren't meant to be grown in your climate.
    3. Always consider the amount of sun/shade your garden bed gets before choosing plants. Again, no use spending time, energy, and money on things that won't like where you've planted them.
    4. If you want to grow flowers, I encourage you to try to stick with perennials. These return every year which will save you a ton of money and, over time, they grow and fill in to make beautiful mature flower beds.

    Happy Planting! 😎 🌼 🌺 🌻

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