To succeed at gardening, you must understand your natural surroundings. Learn the usual dates of the first hard frost and the springtime thaw in your area. What you can plant and harvest depends on when your specific planting and growing season begins and ends and how long it lasts. Also, you must know where the sun rises and sets in relation to your planting beds. For example, you need to know how many hours of direct sunlight your plants can receive and where the shadows, if any, fall in the afternoon.
Next, you must attune yourself to the annual and seasonal weather patterns in your area. Gardeners love a comprehensive weather report (rain, wind, high and low pressure and temperature extremes) because it helps them plan their activities. Note when seeds germinate and when insects (and which ones) begin to appear. Invest in good quality soil and air thermometers to give yourself an edge in living with the elements.