There is nothing better than eating fresh, flavorful food grown from your own garden. When you take a bite of your first summer-sweet strawberry grown in your own backyard, you'll know exactly what I mean. This is what strawberries are supposed to taste like. Their flavorful, juicy bursts of goodness will bring a smile to your face. Grocery store produce that's been stored in a cooler for months, with its bland taste and waxy exterior, just doesn't compare to what you can grow at home.

Unfortunately, many of us have absolutely no idea how to go about planting a garden. As many would-be gardeners have discovered, it takes more than just a bit of dirt and some water to grow award winning produce. Here are a few tips to help get your garden blooming in no time.

Decide what kind of foods you like

The idea of planting foods that grow easily is tempting. But if you don't like what you plant, then you won't eat it. Ask your family what kinds of fruit and vegetables they like, and plan from there. Also, check if those plants will grow in your area. A great resource is the USDA's plant hardiness zone map.

Find a good location for your garden

Once you know what kind of plants you can grow, you will need to find a place to establish your garden. Make sure that it gets plenty of sun and adequate water.

Prepare your garden's soil

Your plants will have their best chance of being successful if they are planted in rich soil. There are many ways to amend your soil. Compost, fertilizer, and potting soil amendments are just a few of your options. Find the option that works best for the produce that you are planting. Various websites, such as this one, offer suggestions to help you get started.

Follow Instructions for Planting Times and Depths

All plants have different planting and growing seasons as well as specific depths that the seeds need to be planted. Make sure you follow the directions on the package.

Consider Fruit Trees

One last tip is to consider planting a fruit tree or two. Trees are a great option because they only need to be planted once, but they continue to produce fruit year after year with minimal maintenance.

Gardening can be an entertaining hobby that pays for the time you spend by providing you with cheap, high quality produce. If you're willing to make the commitment and do your research, then you too can enjoy the bounty of a homemade harvest from you very own backyard!

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