Vegetable Planting Instructions

Overview

Growing the food you eat is one of the most basic activities you can undertake. The magic it takes for a seed to germinate and grow into a healthy plant that provides sustenance is a miracle that is often taken for granted. The most important first step in creating a successful vegetable garden is choosing the proper location. Vegetable plants are sun-loving. They require a minimum of six full hours of sunshine each day.

Step 1

Dig down into the earth 1 foot or more. Turn the soil with your shovel. Break up any large clods and remove any unwanted debris (twigs, rocks, weeds, roots, litter).

Step 2

Pour a 2-inch layer of compost over the top of the soil and work it through. Compost adds nutrients and amends the soil to a proper drainage, if the soil has too much clay or too much sand. Use your rake to make an even garden bed.

Step 3

Make garden rows going from east to west. This gives your vegetable plants the least amount of shading and the most sunshine during the day. With one of the pointed ends of your hoe, make a 3-inch deep line in the soil. Let the soil fall towards the inside of the garden. Garden rows may be as long or as short as you like. Make a second 3-inch deep line parallel to the first one, allowing the soil to fall towards the first line. This creates two water moats and a long peak of soil in the center.

Step 4

Make seed holes in the top of the long soil peak. Always read the suggestions on the back of the seed packet. Each type of vegetable requires a different seed planting depth and spacing between seeds. Use your pencil or finger to make the proper depth holes, spacing them as advised. Drop a seed in each hole and cover it with soil.

Step 5

Sprinkle the newly planted seeds with water, gently. If your hose sprinkler attachment is too forceful, it can dislodge those seeds that are shallowly planted. If this is the case, use a spray water bottle until the seeds germinate.

Step 6

Check the garden soil for dryness. Sprinkle the seeded area when the soil is dry on top. After the seeds sprout (germinate), start using the moats to add water to the garden row. This will encourage roots to grow down towards the water beneath them, creating strong, stable plants.

Step 7

Water about once a day, unless the soil is moist from rain. If weather is extremely hot and dry, water twice a day (morning and evening). Be diligent about pulling all weeds, as they compete with the vegetable plants for nutrients and moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Rake
  • Hoe
  • Vegetable seeds or plants
  • Pencil
  • Hose sprinkler nozzle
  • Spray water bottle (optional)

References

  • Backyard Gardener: Vegetable Gardening
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Planting the Vegetable Garden
  • Vegetable Garden Guru: Planning a Vegetable Garden
Keywords: planting vegetables, plant vegetable seeds, sowing seeds

About this Author

Karen Ellis has been a full-time writer since 2006. She is an expert crafter, with more than 30 years of experience in knitting, chrocheting, quilting, sewing, scrapbooking and other arts. She is an expert gardener, with lifelong experience. Ellis has taken many classes in these subjects and taught classes, as well.