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You want to jump in with both feet. You want to do your best. You want your friends to be impressed. Yet, no matter how much enthusiasm you bring, every new gardener suffers from the same thing: a lack of experience. But what you lack, you can make up for with the right advice—on sun, water, fertilizer, soil prep and insects (both the good and bad).
Striving for excellence is a great personal quality—you are here, after all, at the online home of "living your best life." Just be aware that this might not be the season you reach it in your garden. Learning to garden is like learning a martial art—there are a series of skills and intuitions that can be cultivated over a lifetime. Even Jackie Chan started as a white belt.
Start small. Think about how much time you are ready to commit to this new hobby. What do you want to plant, and how much effort will it take to prepare your soil for each plant in your zone?
Consider the sun