Whether you’ve just caught the gardening bug or have taught generations of fellow gardeners how to plow and harvest, you probably have scoped out the dozens of gardening magazines on the rack more than once. Established gardeners have their favorites delivered to their street or virtual mailbox.

If you’re new to this satisfying hobby, you may have no idea of the breadth and wealth of information just waiting for your perusal. From weekend planting projects to detailed instructions on grafting cactuses, gardening magazines offer information that covers everything you want to know to make your garden grow. Some offer general knowledge, others emphasize how-to topics while yet another focuses on organic gardening. So how do you go about choosing a few magazines that will best help you achieve your goals?

What first sparked your interest in gardening? Maybe your neighbor’s bountiful vegetable garden, neatly laid out in terraced redwood boxes got you thinking. Perhaps you just purchased a new home that definitely needs some landscaping to replace the plain dirt and cement vista seen from the living room and street. If you have a single goal you’d be happy to complete this spring or summer, what would it be?

Let’s say you’d be delighted to grow a few of your favorite vegetables and herbs, but your space is confined to a small patio or balcony. There are gardening magazines that specialize in small gardens. To do a through investigation before actual planting, you should check out the organically oriented gardening magazines. Hydroponic growing may also suit your situation.

What you need to do is browse the selection of topics available both on the newsstand and online. Many gardening magazines appear in print and on the web. Gardening websites have archives of past issues and feature articles, free for your reading pleasure and education. You’ll find gardening tips, photo galleries and step-by-step DIY projects. Once you get started, it’s easy to see that you can fulfill your gardening goals, no matter how simple or specialized they might be.

Now your problem is to focus — unless you have time to burn, try to focus on the information you need this year. Experienced gardeners advise the beginner to start small and build on that accomplishment. This approach makes it far more likely you’ll complete your first project with enjoyment and satisfaction. Next year you’ll be prepared to tackle more.

Once you’ve checked out a sizable sample of available gardening magazines, you’ll find several that appeal to your sense of style and that contain relevant content. However, once you’ve got one project successfully under your gardener’s belt, your list of favorites may grow exponentially. There’s no telling what may happen to your magazine budget!