A home vegetable garden can provide you and your family an abundance of produce during the growing season. Begin preparing your garden site after the last frost by amending the soil and starting your composting system. Before the soil warms up enough to plant, make a plan for your garden. Know which vegetables you want to plant and where they should be planted; it will increase your chances of a successful garden.
Write a list of the vegetables you and your family eat on a regular basis. Divide these into groups by season: vegetables planted in the spring, vegetables planted in summer and those planted in early fall.
Draw a sketch of the garden site. Indicate on the sketch which areas receive full sunlight and which receive partial sunlight.
Match the lighting requirements of the vegetables on your list with the areas on your sketch. For example, in partially shaded areas, plan to plant lettuces and greens. Plant vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplant and cucumbers in areas with full sunlight.
Map out vegetable locations on the sketch of your garden site. Determine if you want to plant your vegetables in rows, in groupings or raised beds.
Plant seedlings for the first planting in early spring. Seedlings may be obtained from your local garden center or you may start them indoors from seed. Place each seedling in its intended location.
Dig a hole for each seedling. Dig a hole approximately 3 inches deeper than the height of the seedling's root ball and one inch wider in diameter than that of the root ball. Place the seedling in the hole.
Fill in around the seedling with soil, allowing the bottom third of the stem to be buried. This encourages the development of a stronger root system. Proceed until each seedling is planted.
Water and fertilize the plants. Inspect the plants each day for signs of pest invasion or disease. Annihilate pests with organic pesticides and either treat or remove diseased plants.
Harvest vegetables as they ripen. Remove plants that have stopped producing and dig in compost to revitalize the soil. Replace spent plants with summer plantings. Harvest the summer vegetables and replace those plants with fall vegetables.
Cover your garden site with organic mulch over the winter months. In early spring, amend the soil and plan your next garden.