Backyard gardening is a hobby the entire family can enjoy from the planning stages to the harvest. The home garden produces fruits and vegetables without added chemicals or preservatives. When you plant a home garden you will know what your family is eating. Process the vegetables and fruits by freezing, canning or drying to make the harvest last. The bountiful yield helps reduce the cost of buying fresh produce so you save on the food budget.
Walk the yard to determine the best place for a home garden. The site must receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight each day. The soil should drain well and be a good quality with a pH level between 5.5 and 7.0, depending upon the crop.
Browse seed catalogs to determine what types of vegetables are hardy for your planting zone. Select fruits and vegetables proven to do well in your area. Talk with other gardeners in the area to get an idea of which varieties produce well.
Lay out the garden on graph paper using a scale of 1 block equal to 1 square foot of garden space. Include walkways and any garden features, such as fountains, in the drawing. Mark where each group of vegetables or fruits will grow.
Transfer the plan to the garden site using a tape measure and spray paint or string. Use the spade to slice through and remove the sod as well as any debris from the garden site. Test the soil according to directions on the test kit to determine any additives necessary for growing.
Shovel on compost, manure and other additives directly to the top of the soil before tilling. Till the soil to a depth of 12 inches or more so crops have a good base for the root systems to grow.
Plant seeds as directed on the package. Plant store-bought plants at the same depth which they are planted in the container. Tomatoes are the exception as they do better when planted a little deeper. Water the plants and seeds thoroughly when planted by using bottom watering techniques to avoid washing away seeds or toppling plants.
Mulch between plants and rows to provide a weed barrier and keep moisture in the soil. Fertilize with well composted manure to feed the plants while they grow.