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How to Plant Vegetables & Herbs

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How to Plant Vegetables & Herbs

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Overview

A kitchen garden is designed to grow items that you will use in the kitchen, such as vegetables and herbs. Vegetables and herbs that are homegrown and harvested at their peak are fresher, taste better and are higher in nutrients than store-bought varieties. Over time, a garden grown with fresh vegetables and herbs will save you money over store-bought groceries as well.

Step 1

Select a location for your garden. Vegetables and herbs grow well in locations that have well-drained soil and receive full sun for at least 6 hours daily.

Step 2

Have your soil tested to determine the soil structure and pH. Most agricultural colleges maintain soil analysis laboratories that are available through the nearest county extension service. Contact your county extension agent to find out fees for testing soil as well as how to collect samples and submit them to the laboratory.

Step 3

Break up the soil of your garden to a depth of 12 inches with a rototiller. Spread any soil amendments recommended by your soil test over the surface of the soil in a 4-inch layer. Most soil amendments recommended for gardens include organic material such as compost and peat moss. You can break up heavy clay soil using gypsum and raise the pH by adding lime to the soil. If your soil pH is too high, you can lower it using sulfur. Most soils should have a neutral pH of 7.0. Mix your amendments into the soil using a rototiller.

Step 4

Plan your garden with the eventual vegetable height in mind. Tall vegetables such as corn should be placed where they do not shade low-growing vegetables. Most vegetables will not produce abundantly if they do not receive full sunlight for 6 hours or more.

Step 5

Plan to plant vegetables in succession with one another. Vegetables such as beans will only produce one crop. If you plant beans in succession plantings, they will produce a second or third crop as the plants mature.

Step 6

Pair herbs and plants together for mutual benefit. Herbs such as basil, garlic and marigolds will drive away pests from plants such as tomatoes. By planting these plants together, you will receive the maximum benefit from the plants.

Step 7

Plant seeds for herbs and vegetables by opening a furrow in the ground and placing the seeds at a depth twice as wide as the seed at its widest point. Cover the seeds and water them.

Step 8

Plant transplants by opening a planting pocket that is twice as wide as the root ball, but no deeper. Place the root ball into the ground and cover with soil. Mulch around plants to prevent weeds from growing near the plant and competing with it.

Step 9

Check your garden daily and water so that the soil is as wet as a wrung-out sponge.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Rototiller
  • Vegetable seed
  • Vegetable transplants
  • Mulch
  • Garden hose

References

  • Iowa state University: Vegetables and Herbs Information
  • Univeristy of Idaho Extension: Vegetable Gardening in Idaho
  • North Carolina Cooperative Extension: Growing Small Farms

Who Can Help

  • Univeristy of Idaho Extension: Prepairing Your Site and Planting
Keywords: kitchen garden, vegetables and herbs, growing vegetables

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."