Planting a backyard vegetable garden is a great way to enjoy fresh produce all year. By combining early veggies like peas with long season plants such as onions and leeks, you can provide yourself and your family with a continuous supply of fresh veggies all season long.
Find a space for your garden. The area you choose should get at least five hours of sunlight a day and be located at least beyond the dripline of any nearby trees (the area directly under the outer branches.)
Dig up and turn over the top 12-18 inches with a garden fork. Remove any rocks from the soil.
Feel the soil. If it is dense and clumpy after you turn it over, it probably has too much clay in it. If that's the case, mix 4-6 inches of compost into the top six inches of soil. Mix in about two inches of peat, vermiculite or coir if the soil is dense and clumpy.
Select plants that will grow well in your climate and that you enjoy eating. Swiss chard, lettuce and other leafy greens, onions, leaks, garlic and other spicy veggies and, of course, flavorful favorites like tomatoes and squashes are traditional garden favorites.
Plan spaces for your plants according to the needs of each vegetable. Lettuce plants can be planted in dense rows and do well with some shade. Tomatoes need full sun and more space.
Plant your crops according to the instructions on the seed packages. Different plants will have different times and procedures for planting. If you plan on planting peppers, for example, start them indoors early and transplant them outside once the weather gets warm. For peas, on the other hand, grow your plants directly in the soil early in spring.
Add trellises or cages to any plants that need them once your plants start to grow. Peas, tomatoes and other vine plants need structures to support them and keep their fruits off the ground.
Water your vegetables according to the instructions on the package. Most veggies like moist but not wet soil. Harvest your vegetables when they are ripe.