Green Thumb Basics: A Beginner’s Guide to Successful Gardening

What advice would you give to a new gardener who has never done it before and knows NOTHING about gardening?

As a new gardener with no prior experience, it’s essential to start with the basics and gradually build your skills. Here are ten pieces of advice to help you begin your gardening journey:

Start by learning about gardening techniques, tools, and plant types. Books, blogs, online forums, and gardening YouTube channels can be excellent sources of information.

Choose the right location
Pick a spot in your yard that gets the appropriate amount of sunlight for the plants you want to grow. Consider the quality of the soil, drainage, and accessibility to water sources.

Start small
Begin with a small, manageable garden plot or containers. This will help you gain experience without becoming overwhelmed by a larger space.

Some resources (other than this site of course)

Gardening Shortcut Links

Square Foot Gardening Section


Choose suitable plants
Opt for plants that are well-suited to your climate, soil type, and sunlight exposure. It’s a good idea to begin with low-maintenance and hardy plants like tomatoes, lettuce, or herbs.

Prepare the soil
Test your soil to understand its pH and nutrient levels, and amend it with compost, organic matter, or other additives. This will create a healthy foundation for your plants.

Invest in essential tools
Purchase basic gardening tools such as a trowel, pruner, gloves, a watering can, and a garden fork or shovel.

Plant at the right time
Timing is crucial for gardening success. Research the best planting times for your chosen plants, and follow the recommended guidelines to ensure healthy growth.

Water wisely
Water your plants consistently but avoid overwatering. Most plants require about 1 inch of water per week, but the frequency may vary depending on the plant type and climate.

Monitor and manage pests
Keep an eye out for common garden pests like aphids, slugs, and beetles. Employ organic pest control methods like introducing beneficial insects, using insecticidal soaps, or manual removal.

Be patient and persistent
Gardening is a learning process, and it’s normal to encounter challenges along the way. Stay patient, keep learning, and don’t be discouraged by setbacks. With time, your skills will improve, and so will your garden.

Remember, gardening is meant to be an enjoyable and therapeutic hobby. Embrace the process, and celebrate your progress as you learn and grow.


Seeds and planting
Links and Resources

Recommended Products
(These are some of what I use)

These nursery bags
These Grow bags

Pages Seeds Page
Get a Head Start on Spring: The Benefits of Starting Your Seeds Indoors
Saving Vegetable Seeds: A Comprehensive Guide to Gardening Success Planting Guide
Pollock Tomatoes (North hardy Tomato variety)
Tomatoes (Useful information on starting tomatoes from seed)

DIY Garden Irrigation System: A Detailed Guide for Northwest Ontario

Blog Posts

When to start planting seeds
Germination testing your seeds
Looking for sources for seeds?
Heirloom seeds
Chitting your way to more potatoes
So it's before the first frost; what can I plant?


Individual seed and plant information is available in the  "Gardening Shortcut Links" above under "North Hardy Plants to grow". I have successfully grown all of these, and most I grow year to year.







myBackyard is for recreational purposes only. Plants, mushrooms and berries cannot be 100% identified through this website alone. It is up to the reader to properly identify plants, fungi and trees. Some wild plants, berries and mushrooms are poisonous or can have serious adverse health effects. Even those listed as edible may cause adverse reactions in individuals. participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases through our links.

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