Gardening tips for beginners

Gardening tips for beginners

April 16, 2021

Gardening can be relaxing and rewarding as you watch flowers and produce grow, but it is also a labor of love. If you have been considering planting your own this Spring, Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow put together a few gardening tips for beginners that should help you get started. 

Start with seedlings
If you are looking for instant gratification, you will want to start with seedlings or transplants. This will give you a low-commitment introduction with plants that are garden ready and will mature more quickly. Seedlings are a popular option for tomatoes, peppers, melons, and even petunias which are difficult to grow from seed. Small herb planters with frequently-used ingredients like basil and cilantro are also easy to grow this way.

If you do want to start with seeds, start early and invest in creating a favorable environment with lots of light and high-quality soil.

Learn about your yard
When you walk around a garden center or nursery, you will notice helpful information on plant tags like sunlight needs and hardiness zones that help determine how plants will fare in a particular climate. According to the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map, San Antonio and the Texas Hill Country span Zones 8a, 8b and 9a. This means that the average annual minimum temperature ranges from 10 to 25 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter. Figuring out the last average spring frost date will also help to prevent early planting and accidental loss. 

More specifically in your yard, it may also be helpful to grab a kid and test the soil quality. This will determine the pH levels and tell you which nutrients to add to make it more hospitable to your new garden. 

Pick an ideal location
Three important factors in determining where to plant are sunlight, water and attention. To meet all three, it may be best to keep your garden close to the house where it is convenient to water and prune as part of your daily routine. Picking a spot near the water spigot or at least within reach of a hose will save time and effort.

Consider containers or raised beds
Another option is to plant within a container or raised bed which takes some of the guesswork out of the process. There, you can create a unique environment that is designed around the plants you choose with potting mix and efficient drainage. Containers and raised beds are also a good choice if space is at a premium.

For more information about Ben & Annie’s Trees for Tomorrow and its work around the San Antonio area, call 210-670-5297 or email