How to Start a Vegetable Garden

How to Start a Vegetable Garden

“A garden feeds more than the table, it feeds the soul.”
Chinese proverb

Fresh picked vegetables from your own garden are tastier and more nutritious than store-bought vegetables. Get the most out of your vegetable garden with these tips:

Choose a Location

  • Vegetables require more than 6 hours of sunlight to produce fruit. Increased sun exposure will increase fruit production.
  • The garden can be planted in the ground or in a raised bed.
Cultivating the Garden
Raised Bed Gardening

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Prepare the Garden Bed

  • Good soil prep will guarantee healthy vegetables and higher yield at harvest time.
  • Remove all existing plants and weeds down to the roots.
  • Remove all roots, rocks and any other debris that could impede growth.
  • With a garden fork or shovel turn over remaining soil 8-10” deep.
  • Add a 50/50 mixture of topsoil and compost to the bed with your garden fork.
  • Smooth and even out the soil with a level-head rake.

A Note About Raised Garden Beds

The average 4’x 4’ raised garden bed will need 8 bags each of topsoil and compost. Mix together with a pitchfork or shovel and smooth out evenly with level-head rake.

Plant Vegetable Seedlings

  1. When planting, space plants out to account for growth. Look at the plant label that came with your plant. Typically, large plants like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant should be placed 2’ apart. Smaller plants like herbs and onions can be placed 1’ apart.
  2. Leave well-spaced rows for easy weeding and watering.
  3. Tomatoes must be caged for support from the day of planting.
  4. Cucumbers need space to crawl on the ground OR need a cage or trellis from the time of planting.
  5. Dig holes twice as wide and the same height as the pot the plants are purchased in, dig all holes before starting to plant
  6. Add a small amount of organic fertilizer to each hole and be sure to follow the directions on label.
  7. Gently remove plants from the pot or cell pack.
  8. Gently set plant into the hole, add soil around the sides, gently tamp down the soil.
  9. Water carefully at the base of each plant. Do not water the leaves, only the soil surrounding the plant.
  10. Draw a map of the garden to remember what you planted and when.

Garden Tools you will need:

  • Garden Fork
  • Level-headed Rake
  • Trowel
  • Shovel
  • Gloves
  • Twine
  • Pruners
  • Cages & Stakes
  • Topsoil
  • Compost
  • Vegetable Plant Food


Download or print a PDF of How to Start a Vegetable Garden


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