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If you are just getting started in gardening, just figuring out where to start can be defeating. The process seems enormous to the beginner. To get you started, we have narrowed down some critical things to consider as you begin to explore your green thumb.

Know Your Region: Before you ever buy a plant or flower, before you take a spade to the ground, find out what grows best in your area. Find out the length of the growing season, average temperatures, and rainfall. You do not need to be a meteorologist about this, but you will need some idea of the type of region you live in.

How long is the growing season? In New England, for example, we need to be careful of plants and flowers which require a lengthy growing season. New England Summers are not quite as extended as Summers in Georgia.

Start With Easy Plants: The good news here is that most commonly grown vegetables count as “easy plants.” They generally do not require a long growing season, and vegetables tend to just do their thing. Sunflowers and ferns are also good sturdy plants for the beginner.

Create a Plan: Though this is not as much fun as actually digging in the garden, it is important especially for the beginner. Do some research on how to space out your plants and how they will ripen and bloom over the course of the growing season. This way you can plant in ways which are conducive to healthy growth. (And the pros do this constantly!)

Water Carefully: With the help of the research from your plan, you can determine how much and how often to water your new garden. It is essential to remain consistent with this step. The added benefit of careful and consistent watering is that this will have you out in your garden nearly every day finding inspiration to keep it up.