How to Prepare Dirt to Grow Vegetables


Starting and maintaining a vegetable garden requires preparation and a healthy environment in which the plants can grow. Depending on your growing zone, soil preparation includes aeration, enriching and providing moisture to boost its ability to maintain healthy vegetables. Preparing dirt for your vegetable garden proves to be a simple process with the use of the proper materials.

Step 1

Choose an area in your yard for your garden plot. A small garden plot measuring about 8 feet by 5 feet is adequate to grow enough vegetables for a family of four with plenty to spare.

Step 2

Spray the ground liberally with a garden hose to loosen the dirt. Administer as much water as needed to make the ground workable.

Step 3

Use the hoe or shovel to dig down about 4 inches into the moistened ground.

Step 4

Turn over the dug-up earth with the shovel or hoe, and break apart large chunks of ground with the tip of the gardening tool. This loosens the dirt and allows for air flow.

Step 5

Pile potting soil and peat moss on top of the turned-up ground. For an 8 foot by 5 foot garden plot, approximately 20 lbs of each additive is adequate for enriching the dirt. Potting soils contain a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to plants, making it a useful addition to your gardening area.

Step 6

Use kitchen compost comprising of plant matter, egg shells, coffee grounds and other non-meat items. Mix it into the ground with the hoe, turning the garden soil and peat moss into the dirt with it.

Step 7

Drag a rake through the area repeatedly to thoroughly mix the soil, compost and peat moss into the dirt. Plant vegetables according to your growing zone's needs.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden Hoe or shovel
  • Organic potting soil (for nutrient content)
  • Peat moss
  • Kitchen compost


  • Ohio State University: Preparing Soil for Vegetable Gardens
Keywords: soil preparation, preparing garden dirt, peat moss

About this Author

Chelsea Hoffman is a professional freelance writer with works published both on the Web and in print. She currently resides in Las Vegas. The author of the new series of horror novellas, titled "Fear Chronicles," Hoffman's work can also be found on environmental websites like, where she helps spread environmental awareness with her mighty pen.