There is nothing more satisfying, or tasty, than growing your own vegetables. Growing your own vegetables is inexpensive, nutritious and rewarding. You should not settle for just raising vegetables, but aim to grow great vegetables. Preparing the soil, planting and watering correctly will increase your chances of growing great vegetables.
Select an area of your garden that will receive at least six hours of sunlight a day during the growing season. Most vegetables require six hours or more of sun to grow and produce vegetables.
Using the shovel, dig and loosen the soil where you plan to plant your vegetables. You need to dig down to 1 foot in depth. This will help in creating good drainage for the roots of your vegetables.
Mix into the dug up, loosened soil compost and manure to make better drainage and increase the nutrients in the soil for your vegetables. Growing great vegetables means the plants must receive enough nutrition. Vegetable plants get the nutrition from the soil.
Plant your vegetable seedlings or starter plants as soon as the threat of frost has passed. If you have started your vegetables from seeds indoors, slowly acclimate the seedlings to the outdoor climate by placing the seedlings outdoors for a few hours each day for a week or two before planting them in the ground. Seeds sown directly into the garden should be planted according to the direction on the seed package.
Space your vegetable plants appropriately. Either the seed package or the tag on the plant when you purchased it should give you the correct distance between plants. Spacing your vegetables too close together will inhibit the plant from producing great vegetables.
Mulch around your planted vegetable seedlings to help in keeping the soil moist and inhibit weeds from germinating.
Water your vegetables regularly to keep the soil moist, not soggy. Too much water in the soil, or too dry soil will stress your vegetable plants, decreasing vegetable productivity and may kill your plants. Monitoring the soil moisture so it is moist to damp and has good drainage will give you better vegetables. Try to water in the morning and use a system like soaker hoses that water at the soil surface instead of from above will benefit your plants by getting more water into the soil and decrease the possibility of fungus attacking the wet, moist leaves of your vegetables.
Plant flowers like marigolds and zinnias in among your vegetable plants to attract bees and beneficial insects. The bees will also pollinate your vegetables. Also consider planting your vegetables with, what is called, companion plants. Companion plants benefit each other, making each grow better than if they grew alone because one will produce the food or chemicals the other benefits from, helping them grow better and defend themselves more effectively from pests and diseases. An example is to plant beans, which produce nitrogen, next to corn, which needs extra nitrogen.