Home Garden Success Made Easy

Home Garden Ideas

When it comes to having a successful garden where do we start?

Gardening know-how

Garden vegetables

When it comes to constructing a successful home garden the first thing to consider is what type of garden you want and at what location. There are many types of gardens to choose from.

You can have a vegetable garden, a fruit garden, or even a herb garden or you may just want a garden consisting of flowering plants. But whatever type of garden you desire, remember that location plays a major role in your gardening success.

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All plants require sunlight, therefore a sunny location is a must. Some plants require full sunlight, some require filtered and there are others that require partial sunlight.

So remember that all plants require a certain degree of sunlight in order to perform at their best.

Plants use water along with the sun’s energy and carbon dioxide converting them into molecules. These molecules include enzymes and sugars for proper plant development.  If the only location available is under shaded trees remove portions of the tree branches to allow sunlight to come through.

Another option is the use of containers. This consists of placing containers in a sunny location with some good garden soil for you to install your plants.

Here’s an article that shows you just how easy this is to accomplish. It is all about being creative and using your imagination. Article on Container Gardening.

Soil Matters

Soil plays an important part in your plant’s health, therefore it is important to know your soil type. If the soil is of poor quality,  your plants will become sickly, weak, and insect-infested and you will not get the results you desire. Soil does really matter and our garden’s success is determined by this factor. You can check out these articles for more details on garden soils. Garden Soil, Starting a compost pile.

Soil Ph

Plant’s PH requirements vary therefore it is important to know your plant’s ph requirements. There are some people that ignore this aspect and go ahead and install plants. In some cases, the soil may be the right ph for your plants, but it is still good to have a soil ph test done. The nutrient content and their availability to plants are dependent upon the soil’s ph, therefore we see the importance of getting a soil ph test done.

You can get your soil tested by sending samples to a lab or you can purchase a soil ph test kit from your garden center and do the soil test yourself.

To learn more on soil ph follow this link, soil ph test, and do the job the right way.

Home garden success made easy

Preparing the area for planting

Beautiful rain bow garden-home-garden-success-made-easy
A flower garden

Next prepare the area for planting by clearing away rocks and other debris including weeds. Then incorporate soil amendments or some other organic material into the soil. This will help condition the soil so that your soil will be able to hold moisture more easily while providing your plants with the nutrients they need.

Starting a compost pile as we discussed in the article above will give you good results. For more information on this, click the following link to start a compost pile. Remember for best results apply compost or other organic material before installing plants.

After you have incorporated the Organic Material, level the planting area with a garden rake.

Know your Plant needs

No matter what type of garden you are planting, it is important to know what your plant requirements are in order for your plants to perform at their best.

N.B. Never install plants together in the same bed that has different water requirements. Eg. If you install plants that require a lot of water with low maintenance plants, the plants that do not require much water will suffer and die because of being planted in the same bed. So install plants according to their water requirements.

When purchasing plants or seeds from your garden center, get as much information from your nurseryman, or read the package for a better understanding.

Planting seeds vs Planting seedlings

When installing seeds, install them in rows to make your garden look neat and also for proper watering. Plant seeds at a depth of 1-2 inches and cover seeds with the soil. Each planting hole should be spaced about 1 foot apart to allow room for plants to grow. When planting seedlings or plants that have already started growing you can plant them 1 foot apart or as directed by your nurseryman. Press the soil gently around the base of your plants.

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1. Weed Control

Weeds are unwanted guests that can become an eyesore competing for nutrients and water. Using a hoe to lightly turn the soil is a good way to keep weeds down. This method is known as cultivating the soil. Be careful when working next to your young seedlings because you do not want to damage their roots.

2. Mulch

Mulching helps in keeping weeds down. A  two (2) inch layer of mulch around your plants is ideal. Mulch serves many purposes.

1. Mulch keeps weeds down, 2. Retains or holds moisture, 3. Keeps the soil cool, 4. As mulches break down it adds nutrients to the soil which the plants take up by their roots.

The use of herbicides in a vegetable or herb garden is a NO NO! Herbicides are poisonous and are not good for use around plants that are to be consumed. If you are using it around a flower garden that’s fine but be careful of wind drift off that can damage plants. Read the label first and follow as directed because the label is LAW.

Watering methods

Vegetable group-home-garden-success-made-easy
Garden fruits and vegetables

Water plants 3 times a week to ensure that the soil is moist, not waterlogged. Allow soil to dry out between watering before watering again because overwatering contributes to plant diseases. During the cooler months, you may not have to water as much, once or twice a week is sufficient.

Pest Control

Garden insects pests are unwanted guests that will destroy our garden if they are not dealt with. In the process of purchasing plants, select plants or seeds that are disease-resistant or plants that have been treated.

Make sure that the planting area is free of weeds. Use organic pesticides or rotate crops every year for effective control.


Harvesting vegetables, fruits, or herbs are the reward for all of your hard work and a job well done. How rewarding it is to be able to eat from the garden that you installed and took care of with your own hands.

Following these simple steps will go a long way toward having a successful garden.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

24 thoughts on “Home Garden Success Made Easy”

  1. I tried to plant a garden in my back yard a few years ago and some of the plants grew very well, but others didn’t do so well. Based on the information you have shared, I believe I can fix that and try again next year when it gets warmer weather for me. I always had issues with pests, what brand pesticides do you suggest that are safe for the edible plants?

    • Hello Guy it is so good to meet you, I just want to say you can do it, it is a piece of cake. When it comes to edible plants you can try Neem oil, eucalyptus oil, or a soap solution which is a mixture of 1 tea spoon of dishliquid in a gallon of water sake well and add to a spray bottle. Before you spary adjust the noozle so that the solution comes out find and misty, when spraying make sure and get total coverage of plant leaves both top and bottom allow solution to sit for and 1 hour and then rinse plants of with fresh clean water do this every 7 days and till their is no sign of insects. There are also other organic sprays that you can buy from your gardencenter. Hope this helps, all the best to you , have a good day and if you ever need more help I will be more than happy, all the best to you.

  2. Great article.

    I absolutely love being outside and I can see myself enjoying growing my own flowers and vegetables because it will lead to a sense of accomplishment.

    I have never had time to get into Gardening, but I have now decided that I am going to make time because I know that I will enjoy it.

    Your tips were really helpful and gave good insight into the basics. I will have to do more research to get good at it though. I will check out some of the other info on your site.

    Thanks again!

    • Hello Mark it so good to meet you. Gardening is a good hobby to get into beside the good workout you will get and the benefits of growing your own plants, so you see having a garden serves many benefits and is a win win situation. I am glad that I could help and if ever you need my advice about anything please let me know. All the best to you and have a good day.

  3. I do not have a green thumb so this article is very interesting to me.

    The idea of using containers is interesting, especially if you live in an apartment with a balcony. I like the idea of moving the containers around from place to place to absorb sunlight and water.

    Soil, soil PH, preparation, plant needs and the way to water plants, are things I wasn’t aware of. I also now know the difference between seeds and seedlings and how to plant them.

    What is mulch? I see you use it to keep weeds down; is it something you would buy at a gardening store?

    I like this article; it gives me some great ideas.

    • Hello Mike it is so good to meet you and I am glad that I could help. Mulch is natural organic that is derived from plants and goes through a process, when it comes out it is just beautiful I am sure you may have seen it before, this material is very popular. You can also google it to see how it looks. Hope this helps all the best to you and have a good day.

  4. Home gardening success. There is so much satisfaction in raising your own produce. I love the great tips you shared with your readers. I have my own garden and didn’t know about certain plants needing more water than othYour blog post looks great. I’ll be looking for more, like your nutritional value posts.
    Thanks Keith

    • Hello it is so good to meet you and I am glad that I could help all the best to you and if you need my help with any other thing please let me know all the best to you and have a good day.

  5. Norman,
    Having a home garden will allow you to grow the items that you like to eat. I have an area in my yard that I have prepared the soil, gets plenty of sunshine and is close to the water supply. My son helps with planting and caring for the garden during the growing season. Your article covers much of what we do to plan and grow our garden.
    I tried the containers for Tomatoes this year and I am still picking ripe tomatoes today.
    I do use some plants such as Marigolds to keep pest away. If you look at some plants, they will keep certain bugs out of your garden. Do you have any plants that you use to keep pest away.

    • Hello John it is so good to meet you, it is amazing to see that we are not the only ones that love our garden plants Insect also takes a delight in them. Here are some plants that repels insects, Rosemary, Mint, Petunias, Catnip and Basil. These are just a few, all the best to you with your garden and if there is anything else that I can help you with please let me know. Have a good evening.

  6. My biggest problem is squirrels and deer. The squirrels will pick a tomato then try to carry it up the tree. Many times they don’t succeed so you end up several half eaten tomatoes at the bottom of the trees. The deer tend to get into the flower plans so I have been trying to find plants deer don’t like.

  7. I am an avid gardener! I grew up on a farm and I think it is just in my blood or DNA. I am happy digging in the dirt and tending my plants. I will watch them every single day during planting and growing season. I rejoice when I see them first peeking out of the ground.
    You have done a nice job of breaking down all the essentials for getting started with gardening.
    I feel many people in urban areas are interested in growing fresh fruits and vegetables. Do you have specific information that will help them with do’s and don’ts for container gardening?
    I am always looking for ways to fight the insects and the rodents. Any ideas for me in those areas?
    Thank you for your insight.

    • Hello again Jan, when it comes to container gardens always make sure that you plant is getting sufficient water because their are confine to containers, Holes should always be at the bottom of pot for proper drainag, make sure that plants that are in containers are getting sufficient sunlight, check soil often with a soil probe or moisture meter so it does not dry out completely, provide fertilizer for your plants. And if plants is in and area where they are getting to much water (rain) move to another area providing that the area will allow your plant to get sufficient sunlight. If you are talking about insects and rodents that invades are homes, make sure that all food paticles are clean of stove, kitchen counters, floor and where you think food particles may be in the house. Keep kitchen cabinets and pantry free of food particles, make sure the areas where you store your gabbage does not have any food particles expose this will attract insects and rodents, look for any openings in your house structure and have them seal, In your gabbage storage area make sure and provide containers for you gabbage to keep rodents and insects out. Hope this helps all the best to you and have a good day.

  8. Hi Norman

    Great article, I was absorbed by the reading!
    I love plants and flowers. I’ve always dreamed of having a lovely garden in my back yard:) You have given all the information needed to make a dream home garden!
    I love Sheba, and I would like to know if I can grow this plant with menthol plant? I know that Sheba is a strong plant.
    Thank you in advance!

    • Hello Daniella Hope all is well, I am sorry for the long delay. When you say Menthol plant I am assuming that you are talking about the mint plant, As you know mint plants as it grows can take over the garden area therefore persons tend to plant mint separately. Sheba can also be somewhat of a challenge, but if you are will to put sometime in to keeping them well pruned, by all means go for it, hope this helps all the best to you and have a good day.

  9. Thank you so much for the tips. Do you have any advice for trying to plant in a dry climate? I live in the Rocky Mountains and am not able to keep any of my plants alive. I wonder if I’d have more success if I purchase soil rather than trying to use the dry soil/dirt in my yard.

    • Hello Amanda it is so good to meet you, I see that you are having some challange with you plants. Their are two things that you can do either install plants that requires very little water, this information you can get from your gardencenter or plant nursery about plants that are low maintenance or you can add some organic material to your soil which can also be purchase from your gardecenter or plant nursery. Organic material can be dry leaves, grass clippings, mulch, peatmoss, pro-mix etc… What organic does is retains moisture and fertilizer and the material itself as it breaks down adds nutrients to the soil. Hope this helps, If you ever need my help just give me a shout. All the best to you my dare lady and have a good day.

  10. Great informative article. I have never had a garden because I’ve never had the space. I have recently moved into a house with a yard and I know exactly what I’m going to do with the extra space. Your tips are easy to follow. I’d like to start a vegetable garden by planting seeds. How long would it take to grow to a point where I can start eating the vegetables?

    • Hello Celeste it is so good to meet you and I am glad that I could help. It is also good to hear that you are about to start a vegetable garden. Now when it comes to lenght of time to harvest it depends on the what you are planting and the time of year. A good idea is to visit your nursery and find out what kind of vegetables seed they have and all that other good infomation that you need. Some packages comes with the information with care and lenght of time to harvesting. I have included this link to one of my webpage to give you and idea hope this helps. All the best to you and if I can help with anything else please let me know. Have a good day.https://staging-gardenofedengardencenter.siterubix.com/vegetable-garden

  11. Hey Norman
    I’m glad that your post included the need to use organic pesticides. Non-organic pesticides contribute to major health issues.
    I live in an apartment with a large balcony. I get sunshine for about 4 hours a day. Are there any veggies you can suggest that I plant?
    How do seasons affect what i plant?

    • Hello keith it is good to hear from you, so sorry fo the delay in responding. You can try potatoes, onions, carrots, beets or even bell pepper. You can plant herbs such as garlic, chives, basil, rosemary and thyme. Trying to grow winter crops will not do as well unless you start them from seeds on the inside making sure they get sufficient light like installing grow lights instead of the regular house bulb,along with right amount of water, until spring starts where you can tranferr them to your balcony. Hope this helps, all the best to you and if you need further help I am here to give you a hand. wishing you good gardening success.

  12. I love to garden and I grew up in a place with rich soil. Now I’m living by the coast in a tropical country where there is a ton of clay and sand. I’ve planted multiple things in my garden in dry spots and wet spots, shady and sunny but I still have issues. The basil leaves turn pointy and curled instead of flat and dark green. The beans grow and flower and then die about that time. I’ve composted and tried a variety of things. The point is I’ve tried to consider all the things you’ve written in the article.

    Do you have any idea as to what might be wrong?

    I’m starting to suspect that the soil is so poor that there isn’t enough nutrients in the soil to grow most things well.
    Can you recommend a good way to test the soil quality?


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