As a kid, you may have wandered through your friend’s yards or the garden section of hardware stores and found yourself fascinated by all the flourishing plants. There’s a captivating beauty to oversized ferns and bright flowers, especially when growing them remains a mystery.

Some people indulge their curiosity and raise gorgeous blooms from tiny seeds, but others need more time. If you’ve found that you don’t have a green thumb, don’t give up your gardening hopes just yet. With a little research, you’ll discover how to grow the plot of your dreams.

Read on to learn how to start a garden without a green thumb. Once you know a few easy tricks that even the best gardeners use, you can bring home some plants and help them thrive.

  • 1. Consider Your Planting Options

There’s one thing you must do before you start gardening — consider your planting options. Where do you live? Maybe you have a home with a big backyard or an apartment with a tiny balcony. You might be a student with a single windowsill.

Growing plants in the ground versus in a pot will give you different options. Some do better in containers, while others need more room. You should also think about the size of your plot. You might have a yard, but do you have the time or energy to care for sprawling vegetation? Consider starting easy with one or two plants until you get the hang of growing them.

  • 2. Get the Right Soil

You also have to think about what kind of soil you need. You may live in a sandy area where fertile earth is hard to find. It might not be possible to dig up a few handfuls of dirt outside your home and put it in a flowerpot. Check out your local gardening or hardware store to browse through their bags of soil and pick one that’s well-fertilized.

Want to stay away from chemicals? You can always learn how to compost to enrich any soil sustainably.

  • 3. Research Easy Plants

Once you know how many plants you want to grow, where you’ll put them and what kind of soil you’ll need, it’s time to consider what types you’ll start with. Although you may envision a full garden of vegetables and flowers, start with easy greenery like flowers and herbs to ease you into a gardening mindset. As you tend to your tiny shoots, you’ll learn how to care for them and add more challenging ones later on.

  • 4. Remember the Time of Year

Fall may feel warm where you live, but some plants won’t start growing that late in the year. Remember the current season before you begin planting unless you want indoor greenery. Even then, learn which temperatures your plant prefers, so you don’t leave them to freeze or overheat on a windowsill.

  • 5. Learn When to Water

Some types of vegetation require watering multiple times a day. Others only need it once a month. Research the plants you like to learn how often to water them and what kind of sunlight they prefer. Watering too often or not enough is a fine line, so it may take a few tries to get used to your garden’s needs.

If you’re concerned that large trees in your yard will steal the water before your plants can absorb it, it’s time to get creative. Protect your garden from overpowering roots and cold soil by building a composite raised garden and adjusting it to your liking. They’re easy to assemble and personalize, plus they make gardening an option for people who live in areas with strict Homeowners Association yard care rules.

  • 6. Invest in Gardening Tools

After you know what size garden you’ll work with, invest in gardening tools to make the experience smoother for you. Essential equipment like gloves, a trowel and a watering can serve both indoor and outdoor plants. Reserve other tools like hoes and shovels for large outdoor gardens. You don’t need to go all out with expensive equipment to have the perfect plant bed — inexpensive tools work fine.

  • 7. Plant What Brings You Joy

You might feel pressured to grow only certain kinds of plants to prove you’ve got a green thumb. The biggest secret to gardening is that everyone plants what brings them joy. If you want a living room full of big flowers or a yard covered in ripe tomatoes, go for it. Your garden should make you happy. Taking care of it is a hobby and passion that’s most fulfilling when you love what you grow.

  • Start a Garden Without Experience

There’s no rush to start your garden right away. Plan what seeds you’ll grow, where you’ll grow them, and how you’ll care for your plants. Take notes along the way to familiarize yourself with your new garden, and you’ll raise beautiful vegetation in no time.

Bio: Holly Welles is the editor of The Estate Update and writes home improvement pieces to help readers figure out what to do with their living spaces. You can find more of her advice by following her on Twitter @HollyAWelles.