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How to Plant Your First Garden

1. Buy seeds. Seeds are very inexpensive at your local dollar market. Alternately, you can start with bedding plants (or seedlings).

2. Find a spot in your yard or in a local community garden that gets both sun and shade. Ideally, some parts of it should get full sun (6 hours of continuous sunshine per day), and some parts should get partial sun (either dappled sun, or full sun for less than 6 hours per day). Even if parts of your garden are in total shade, there are a variety of plants (including foliage plants and even flowers) that can flourish.

3. Prepare the soil. There are at least two ways to do this.

- Dig and churn up all of the packed dirt about 2 feet down. Add compost and mix it into your dirt. This can be very exhausting work and often requires the use of power equipment. It is often ineffective, especially if you live in a new suburban area where they likely took all the good top soil away before they started constructing the homes.

-Build a box and fill it with good soil.

4. Plant seeds. Read the instructions on the back of the seed package, or on the plastic tag in your plant pot. You may have to ask experts when to plant them if it does not say on the back. Plant bedding plants when you are sure you can. Some seeds (such as tomatoes) should be started indoors, in small pots or seed trays, before the last frost, and only transplanted outdoors when the weather warms up.

5. Water your plants every other day. Don't drown them in water.

6. Watch your beautiful garden grow!

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