Having some idea of the amount of time you’re going to spend working in your garden is really the first step no matter how much you know about horticulture. If this is your first time going to plant a garden of herbs and vegetables, don’t get overly-ambitious and take it slow, there will always be next year to add to your garden. Make sure that you take into account that it’s easy to plant and pick, but it can be very hard to maintain a garden effectively.
Probably the biggest mistake that is made to those that are newer to the world of horticulture is that most people will go into a local store and buy seeds for every vegetable or herb that they like to eat. While variety can be great for a garden, as each plant requires different nutrients and minerals and it’s easy for them to share, you might want to avoid just grabbing whatever looks good. Think about the amount of money each plant will cost you, how much time they will take you, what they will look like with the other plants and most importantly, if you will be able to care for them. This can be hard, picking and choosing, but it’s better to start off slow than to be overwhelmed by plants you can’t care for.
Think about the area you live in. Try to determine when the first frost occurred for the past several years, plan your garden to be ready for harvest a week or two before that date. One of the biggest risks that people will run into in horticulture is how much will be destroyed if it’s still in the ground come the first frost. With the knowledge of your locality in place, you will be able to decide when the best time to plant is, don’t get discouraged if that date has already passed as there is always more time next spring.