How to Make a Vegetable Garden


There's something about that bite of a green-market tomato that makes you determined to grow your own! Growing your own vegetables seems almost like performing magic--they come up looking like the vegetables in the catalog, but no catalog can describe the taste of homegrown lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and squash. Even if you're a new gardener, growing vegetables is great fun. This article will give you some ideas for a manageable start, on which you can build as you grow more confident.

Things You'll Need

  • Spade
  • Trowel
  • Watering Can
  • Vegetable Plants (your choice)

How to make a vegetable garden

  • Begin in the autumn. Yes, work on your garden begins early. Find a sunny patch of yard. Full sun, which vegetables need, is defined as six or more hours of sun per day.

  • Cover your new plot with plastic mulch-cloth, sheet-plastic, or a thick layer of newspapers, all anchored down with bricks, rocks or short pieces of lumber. Fall mulching inhibits further grass-growth and will make it easier for you to remove turf and dig your vegetable garden.

  • Make a rough plan on paper. Measure your new bed, and set the vegetables apart with plenty of room for each vegetable. Remember also that your plants will grow. As much as you may want your tomato plants front-row-center to be admired, they will become big enough to shade bean-plants.

  • Once soil is completely thawed and no longer soaked with water, you can begin planting early crops: spinach, lettuce, peas, and cabbage. You can sow seeds for root crops like carrots or beets.

  • Weed, water, and pick your vegetables as they grow for optimal plant health.

  • Once weather and soil are warmer, you're ready to put in summer vegetables. Seedlings and small plants make better sense than sowing seeds unless your summers are consistently long and hot. Be sure to always keep on top of weeding and watering, both of which are now serious concerns.

  • As your garden comes into full growth, take one more look at your plan and make the changes you think necessary for next year's garden. This is the best time to revise your plan because you can see your plants at full size.

  • Harvest, eat and enjoy!

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you have made a plan on paper, you don't have to follow it exactly. The point of making a plan is to make sure you have done the space/height/width calculations you need to make so your plants grow well. Planting any garden means learning to think in 3 dimensions--a simple drawn plan will help you do that.
  • Don't worry if things aren't perfect during your first year. The best part of vegetable gardening may seem to be the eating--but it's the learning that keeps you going. Be patient with your garden and with yourself.

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