1) Test your soil. Different plants perform better at various pH levels & some won’t grow well in soil that is not suited to them. You can get home testing kits from Lowes, Home Depot or most gardening stores that will allow you to test the pH level & nutrient levels of your soil. Then find plants that are suited to the pH of your soil.
2) Start with “Easy plants”. One thing I have to laugh at is that our kids will never go hungry because they TELL US they are hungry. Unfortunately, your plants just die on you without a peep! To help with this start with plants like Sunflowers, Daisy’s, or vegetables like eggplant or sweet potatoes that don’t need a lot of care.
3) Create a plan. To avoid crowding, research your plants first so you know exactly how big they will get & how to space them out accordingly. Perennials (plants that typically live more than 2 years & spring up each year), require 18 inches of space to grow properly. Shorter & creeping plants should be planted towards the fronts & edges, while larger plants should be in the back.