Many home gardeners enjoy growing and producing their own fresh vegetables in their yards and landscapes. Like all living plants, vegetables require certain amounts of nutrients, sunlight and water to survive and flourish. Growing quality vegetables requires adequate soil preparation and correct timing for seeding and transplanting. Provide your young plants and seeds with all the necessary elements to encourage vital growth and vegetable production.
Remove all weeds from your planting site. Many vegetables succumb to invasive weeds in the garden. Dig, rake and pull all existing weed vegetation from your garden before planting your vegetables. Get rid of nearby weeds to avoid weeds in your garden later on.
Test the soil in your garden before planting your vegetables. Incorporate any soil amendments recommended by the results of your soil test. Add some compost to gardens with heavy soil to increase the porosity. Most vegetable plants require well-drained garden soil. Evenly mix these amendments into your soil with a shovel and a rake.
Avoid Frost Damage
Plant the majority of your vegetable plants outdoors only after the final frost in the springtime. Tender varieties of vegetables such as tomato plants and pepper plants suffer during times of light frost. Hardy crops such as peas and some root crops withstand a few light freezes.
Select Quality Seeds
When planting a vegetable garden, select fresh seeds packaged for the current year. Avoid saving partial seed packets for use in subsequent years. Old seeds seldom produce quality specimens in the garden.
In cold climates with short growing seasons, start some of your seeds in indoor flats and transplant them into the garden after the last frost. Check the maturity date on your seed packets to determine the amount of time each plant requires from the time of planting until harvesting. Grow indoor plants in small seed flats for the first four to six weeks. Keep these seedlings in a sunny window or under a grow light to encourage healthy development.
Plant in Rows
Make rows in the garden soil for direct seeding. Row planting allows space for airflow and plant maintenance. After raking to provide a smooth surface, use the corner of your hoe blade to cut an even trench in the soil. Make sure your trench is the recommended depth for your type of vegetable seeds. Evenly distribute seeds along the trenches by placing individual seeds by hand or by mixing tiny seeds with dry sand and trickling the mixture along the bottom of the trenches.