How to Plant Food Crops


Planting food crops may seem like an overwhelming project for the first-timer. The best advice is to start on a small scale and not try to fill your whole backyard with every type of vegetable you can think of. Your first vegetable garden is best made up of just a few planting rows and a few different ood crops. Expand with an extra garden row each year until the overall size of your planting area is what you can handle.

Step 1

Decide on a location. Vegetables love sunshine, so choose an area that gets at least six hours of sun per day. Mark off the area by making an indentation in the ground with your shovel or hoe.

Step 2

Dig up the entire garden area, down at least 1 foot. Turn the soil as you go, removing any unwanted debris, such as rocks and weeds. Break up any clumps of compact dirt.

Step 3

Pour compost onto the top of the worked dirt, about a 2-inch layer. Work the compost into the ground soil. Rake the composted soil even.

Step 4

Create rows to plant your vegetable seeds in. Work the garden rows from east to west if you can. This will allow your food crops to get the maximum amount of sun with minimal shading from other plants. Place the corner of your hoe in the soil and pull it in a line that’s about 3 inches deep. Repeat this process about a foot away, parallel, to the first row. Let all the soil fall to the inside of the row, creating a high peaked line in the center.

Step 5

Plant your vegetables seeds. Read the back of the seed packet of the vegetable you are planting for plant depth and spacing. Each type of food crop will have a different recommendation.

Step 6

Use your finger or a pencil to draw a line down the center of the peaked soil at the recommended depth. Place a seed in the row at the interval spacing recommended.

Step 7

Push dirt over the top of the seeded row. Repeat this process for as many garden rows as you are making. Leave walking space of at least 2 feet between the rows.

Step 8

Sprinkle the newly seeded garden with a sprinkler nozzle attached to your hose, gently. If the water is too harsh, it could unearth the seeds. Sprinkle water on your seed bed until the seeds germinate. At that time, start watering your crops in the 3-inch lines, or moats, that you made for your garden rows. This will encourage your seedlings to grow strong roots by enticing them downward toward the moisture.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel Compost Rake Hoe Pencil Vegetable seeds Hose nozzle


  • Royal Horticultural Society: Seed Sowing Outdoors
  • Park Seed: Sowing Seeds Outdoors
  • The Garden Helper: Vegetable Garden Basics
Keywords: plant food crops, vegetable gardening, planting vegetable 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.