Vegetables will not survive just anywhere. They need certain conditions which allow them to gather enough energy and nutrients to produce fruit. These conditions are common to almost all vegetables, except for lettuce and some other leafy vegetables that are more adaptable to a range of conditions. Proper care of the vegetables will produce healthy, robust fruit.
All vegetables need sunlight to grow and produce healthy fruit. Most need at least six hours of direct sun but do best with eight to 10 hours. When vegetables receive less sunlight, they become leggy and produce less hearty fruit. Leafy vegetables such as broccoli, spinach and lettuce, however, can survive with less sunlight.
Vegetables need deep, well-drained loamy soil in order to survive. They will not do well in clays or marshy, sodden soil. You can amend sandy soil with organic matter in order to increase fertility and drainage ability. To find rich soil, look for areas of lush, green growth, even if the growth is weedy. Avoid soils with lots of rocks, as they can be difficult to work.
Vegetables need a protected location in order thrive. Avoid windy areas or areas right next to trees as the vegetables will then have to fight for nutrients. High ground is better than low ground, as low grounds take longer to thaw in the spring and are more susceptible to frost. Planting on the southern side of buildings and trees promotes good growth because of extra sunlight and also extends the growing season in the spring and fall. Having a water spigot nearby also helps you grow vegetables more easily.