You don't have to be a rocket scientist to garden. You don't need to know all the fancy terms and special techniques to get plants to grow. I use the K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid) method.
Shari is a PRIME EXAMPLE on why the KISS method is great. If I can keep Gardening in her realm of understanding, I don't have to do crap. She does it, She can do it and she doesn't need help!
To get a plant to grow you need, soil, water and the Sun. Look at your front yard. Do you really do anything to it besides mow or deal with an occasional problem now and then?
So why overthink in the garden? But here are some tips anyways.
Make sure your land isn't to wet or swampy. You want your garden area to soak up water but not sit in it. You also want it so you can get water to it during the dry summer months.
There are a thousand ways to get rid of weeds. If you have a small garden, the simplest way is to just pull them up. You may use chemicals but be very cautious are you will be killing plants you did not mean to. Also in the fall you can lay down plastic on your garden and the sun will help kill the weeds in the seeds if they're not too deep. When we Garden we like to use ground cover. This can be specialized sheeting for gardens, straw, or viney plants that grow fast and stops the Sun from hitting the weeds.
Plants and seeds.
If you are new to gardening go to a plant store and ask around about which are the best plants to grow in your area. Don't go order a ton of stuff out of the Seed Catalog because you want to try to grow it. If you're not careful your garden will be a dismal failure and you will lose interest. For a starter Gardner get plants are good for your area! I am in the Midwest and I have friends in the Northeast, we can't always grow the same things. Now before a certain friends jump me and say "but you grow weird stuff all the time. Stuff we've never seen". Yes we do, but we have a special area where we try new fruits and vegetables to see how well they grow in Oklahoma. Most of our garden is the basic fruits and vegetables that we can grow here so we can eat, have fun, and I can bitch about my coffee cup running out and her not going to get it.
Yes, if you fertilize your garden your plants will do much better. But read the instructions and do not overdo it. Cherry and I have a garbage can outside our back door. We put a little water in it and throw in our food scraps. When they have decomposted after a few months, we just dump everything out in the garden. Why? Because those dead plants have the nutrients your plants need to survive.
Too much fertilizer can harm your soil. It's also been proven that if you Mass produce fruits and vegetables you lose some of their nutrients. Think about that fat kid at Walmart but can't jog anymore. Go lightly on the fertilizer and read the instructions. This will ensure that you can garden every year without trashing your property.
Don't be afraid to ask questions. As soon as you start to prepare ask your questions then so you don't mess up during planting season. The elders that hang out at Lowe's, Home Depot, and your local greenhouses, are more than thrilled to answer your gardening questions because their damn lies are spending their money.
Ask around with the local gardeners and what bugs they have to worry about. This way you can plan ahead and find the best method before they decimate your garden. I like to use diatomaceous earth and homemade pepper spray to deal with the little bastards. Nontoxic to the environment but you have to be careful with diatomaceous earth cuz it can't be harmful to bees.
Have fun! Shari and I spend just as much time screwing around in the garden as we do working at. Even our neighbors come out onto their back porch as they have fun watching us Garden. Just remember the kids may be playing outside so wear some pants!
Okay this is just a basic rambling. I will get more specific as the gardening season rolls on and hopefully I will be able to give you tips and tricks before you start your planting.