Starting a garden can be a great experience, but you need to make sure that you are prepared beforehand. You need to choose the perfect site for your garden, you need to examine the soil that you'll be planting in, and you need to make sure that you have the right gardening tools. You can buy all of the gardening tools, seeds and bulbs that you will need to start a garden at Gurney's Seed & Nursery and Jackson & Perkins.
1. Choose a Garden Site
You don't want to start off too big with a garden. Take a look around your property for an area that is around 8 foot by 10 foot. The area that you decide to place your garden should receive, at the minimum, 6 hours of unobstructed sunlight per day. Spend a day or two monitoring which areas of your property get the most sunlight so that you can narrow down your choices for your new garden bed. The site for your new garden should be away from any large trees, as well. Large trees will most likely pull nutrients away from your new garden.
2. Examine the Soil
Once you have chosen a location for your new garden, you need to take a look at the soil. It's possible that the soil will be sandy loam, clay or sand. To get the best results, your soil should be sandy loam. With sandy loam soil, you'll be able to take a handful of soil, roll it into a ball, and the soil should crumble up when you release the ball. If you are not sure what type of soil you have, contact your local environmental center to see if they do soil testing. If you have clay or sand soil, you should pick up a few bags of top soil to mix in with the clay or sand soil. If you have access to compost, it wouldn't hurt to mix that in with the top soil, as well.
3. Gardening Tools
There are a few basic gardening tools that you will need to start a garden. Basic gardening tools include a spade, hand trowel, digging fork, hoe, and of course, a watering can. A spade is a small, square shovel that is great for digging plant holes. You will use a hand trowel for getting into small spaces and for planting smaller plants, such as perennials. A digging fork is not absolutely required, but it will come in handy when you need to loosen up compacted soil. A hoe is an absolute must for any gardener. You are bound to get weeds, and hoes are designed to remove weeds in a timely fashion. Now that you have taken the steps to start a garden, you are ready to start purchasing seeds, bulbs, and plants!