How to Grow Vegetables From Seed


Growing vegetables from seed is fairly simple, but you will need to learn a few things before you begin. Start by finding out when the growing season begins in your area. Visit the local garden center and ask for suggestions on what to plant and when. It will have the seeds and supplies you need to get started. Onions, carrots, lettuce and beets are just a few types of vegetable that are suitable for a small garden. The best time for planning your garden is in the winter.

Step 1

Select a level site in your yard that gets between six and eight hours of direct sunlight per day. Avoid low-lying areas with poor soil drainage. Mark out a small plot by placing stakes at the corners and tying a string to the stakes.

Step 2

Remove grass, weeds and other debris from the plot. Lawn turf can be easily removed by cutting it into small sections with the spade and then lifting them out using the garden fork. Once down to bare soil, remove the stakes and string. Loosen the top few inches of soil and add six inches of compost or manure. Let the plot sit for a few days before planting.

Step 3

Turn the soil to mix in the compost and rake the plot level. Mark out several rows by placing stakes at opposite ends of the plot and connect them with string. The rows should be 18 to 24 inches apart. Use the hoe to mound up the soil beneath the string lines to about six inches in height.

Step 4

Read the planting instructions on the seed packets you have purchased. Plant each type of vegetable at the correct spacing and depth. Cover the seeds lightly with soil and tamp down gently. Water the garden after planting to make sure both seeds and soil are moist.

Step 5

Water your garden first thing in the morning. Be careful not to expose the seeds by washing away the soil along the top of the mound. Your vegetables will need at least an inch of water each week, and rainfall in many areas is much less than this.

Step 6

Remove weeds from your garden as soon as possible. Weeding should be a daily task, especially when the young plants are getting started. Weeds will compete with your vegetables for nutrients and may also attract unwanted insects. After the vegetables have sprouted, keep an eye out for signs of insect damage or disease. Your garden center will be able to provide advice and solutions if any problems of this type arise.

Things You'll Need

  • Wooden stakes
  • String
  • Spade
  • Garden fork
  • Garden rake
  • Compost or manure
  • Hoe
  • Vegetable seeds
  • Garden hose


  • Washington State University: Vegetable Gardening

Who Can Help

  • The University of Illinois Extension: Illinois Vegetable Garden Guide
  • The University of Georgia: Vegetable Gardening in Georgia
Keywords: grow vegetable seed, growing vegetable seeds, plant vegetable seeds

About this Author

Based in Surrey, British Columbia, Stephen Oakley is a freelance writer focusing on environmental issues, travel and all things outdoors. His background includes many years spent working in the Canadian wilderness and traveling worldwide.