A vegetable garden ensures a bountiful supply of a fresh crop that you can eat raw, cook or bake. You do not need a large piece of land to grow vegetables; a space as small as 6-by-10 feet provides sufficient crop provided it is utilized properly. Use your creativity and mix functionality with decorative aspects to create a step-by-step vegetable garden that stands out. Proper planning combined with a well-prepared bed ensure a successful vegetable garden.
Plan the vegetable garden. Design the location of different plants based on the available space. Add rows and beds in the garden, separated by narrow paths through which you can walk. Make sure the beds are no wider than 3 feet. Incorporate taller plants in the back and shorter ones in front.
Clear the selected area of stones, rocks and plant debris. Make sure it has well-draining soil and receives at least six hours of direct sunlight everyday.
Test the soil to determine the pH value that provides an indication of the amounts of nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium present. Do this yourself or send a sample to your local extension office. The result will tell you if you need to add any soil amendments. Most vegetables need a pH level between 5.5 to 7.0.
Insert a shovel in the ground to loosen the soil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches. This helps aerate the soil and break large mounds of dirt into manageable pieces.
Spread a 2- to 3-inch layer of organic compost or well-rotted manure over the site. Also, add any other soil amendment needed according to the results of the soil test. Rake the area to ensure the amendments mix with the existing soil properly and the top of the bed is level.
Plant vegetable seeds or seedlings in the allocated space according to the garden plan. If planting seeds, sow each 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep in the soil. For seedlings, make holes for each in the soil deep enough to bury the root ball completely. Spread the roots in the hole and add soil in the hole. Press the soil down lightly to remove trapped air, and water lightly. Space planting holes 12 to 24 inches apart.