Planning Your First Vegetable Garden

Planning your first vegetable garden

Planting tomatoes, carrots, or herbs for the first time? If you're a novice, you’re in luck. We have all the vegetable gardening tips for beginners you’ll need to plan, prepare, plant, and maintain a successful garden.

What size Garden should you plant?

  •  A good size for a beginner’s vegetable garden is 10x10 feet, about the size of a small bedroom. Keep it simple. Select up to five types of vegetables to grow, and plant a few of each type.
  •  Row Cropping: Place plants single file in rows at least 18 inches apart so you can walk easily between them. This approach makes the most sense for large vegetable gardens.
  •  Intensive Cropping: Boost your garden’s productivity with intensive cropping, which means that you space two or three plants close together in a bed about 4 feet wide (aka a wide row). 

Which veggies should you plant?

  •  Productivity: Think about how much you and your family will eat and how likely you are to freeze, can, or give away excess produce. Then be realistic about how many seeds or plants you need to put into the ground.
  •  Successive crops: Planting both cool- and warm-weather vegetables will give you a harvest of vegetables and herbs continuously through the spring, summer, and fall.

Pick the best spot for your Garden.

  •  If you plant your garden at the back of the yard, you may overlook droopy plants that need water, destructive pests, and produce that’s ready to pick. That’s why lots of gardeners locate their vegetable gardens close to the house. The short distance makes it easier to harvest fresh produce or pick a handful of herbs while cooking in the kitchen or outside on the grill. You also need to consider the movement of the sun during the course of a day. Position your garden from north to south to get maximum sun exposure; when plants are positioned from east to west they tend to shade each other.


Provide Plenty of Water

  •  Watering wisely is key to garden success, especially in warm, dry regions. During the first few weeks after seeds germinate or seedlings are transplanted, watering keeps plants strong. Deep watering encourages roots to grow deeper in the soil, where they’re better protected.

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