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How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Published by monica on Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo credit by The Forum News

This past gardening season was popular for those just learning to start a vegetable garden. The present economy has people returning to the frugal ways of the past. Starting a vegetable garden can be very economical. If you'd like to start a vegetable garden next year, begin planning now for optimum results. These easy steps will help to start a vegetable garden.


To start a vegetable garden choose a sunny location. A successful vegetable garden should receive six to eight hours of sunlight per day. Start a vegetable garden on high ground for proper drainage. It's also wise to consider the availability of easily accessible water when starting your vegetable garden. Soil condition is important too.


The next concern in starting a vegetable garden is preparing the soil. A vegetable garden does best with loosely packed, nutrient dense soil. Have your soil tested prior to starting a garden. Test kits are available at garden supply stores. Testing the soil will tell you what improvements are needed. Amend the soil with nutrients and a good compost.

Choosing Vegetables

What vegetables would you like to grow in your garden? Grow only the vegetables your family enjoys. There is no point in growing vegetables that will go to waste. Do not plant what you can't maintain. Those with a full time job may want to start small. Gardening requires a lot of time and effort. Consider planting an extra row for the homeless and hungry.


Study seed packets and planting instructions carefully before you start to plant a vegetable garden. Learn about the needs of each vegetable you plan to start in your garden. Place plants with the same requirements together for easy care. Learn which plants make good neighbors and which combat each other. Learn everything you can about the vegetables you plan to grow.


Map out a plan for your vegetable garden. Measure the garden off. Take note of which areas receive the most sun and which are partially shaded. Draw the outline of the garden on graph paper. Start a vegetable garden with a good plan on paper before putting anything in the ground. Use what you learned about vegetables to map out a location for each one.

When to Buy Seeds

Seeds to start a vegetable garden can be purchased anytime after the last growing season. Seeds are the least expensive way to start a vegetable garden. Novice gardeners may find seed starting difficult. Follow all package directions. Some seeds may need to be started indoors a month or two before transplanting outdoors. Give yourself time to start seeds properly according to directions.

When to Buy Plants

Plants for starting a vegetable garden should be purchased as close to planting time as possible. The best plants are purchased from a quality greenhouse. Big box stores sell less expensive plants. Use caution with these. They are sometimes damaged in transport or carry diseases that can infect your garden. Consult a gardening guide or expert gardener for advice on choosing plants.


Individual plants are planted differently. Some plants are buried deeply. Others require planting at the soil line. Some plants are best planted from seed. Others do better when transplanted as seedlings. Timing is important. Each vegetable has an ideal planting method and time. When you start a vegetable garden consider the individual needs of each plant.

Starting a vegetable garden requires a lot of planning. Become as knowledgeable as possible about growing vegetables. Choose a sunny location. Test and amend the soil. Plant only what you will use and can care for. Map everything out on paper before you start a vegetable garden. Consider the individual needs of each plant. Happy Gardening!

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