Growing Vegetables in Sunlight

Overview

If you're blessed with a yard that receives full sun exposure, you'll be rewarded with a rich vegetable garden. Most garden plants, including corn, eggplant, tomatoes and melons, prefer full sun. Since planting dates vary by location and type of vegetable, you won't be able to get everything in the ground in one day. Plant the right vegetables at the right time to have optimal success with gardening. Use vegetable transplants from a local nursery or farm in your garden.

Step 1

Prepare your sunny garden bed for planting by turning over the soil with a shovel. Dig down as deep as you can reach, removing weeds, rocks, roots and sticks you encounter. Break apart soil clods with your hands.

Step 2

Spread a 2-inch layer of compost or manure across your garden bed to enrich the soil for planting vegetables.

Step 3

Turn the compost or manure into the soil with your shovel as if you're tossing a salad, working the materials together to disperse the contents. When you've finished, even out the soil grade by dragging a rake or trowel across the bed to smooth it out.

Step 4

Plan where and when you'll plant vegetables in your garden. If the last frost date hasn't passed for your area, you need to wait to plant warm-weather crops like tomatoes, squash and peppers; in the meantime, you can grow lettuce, beans, radish, spinach and other cool-weather crops. If you're not sure when you can plant, review the vegetable planting schedule for your hardiness zone.

Step 5

Dig holes that are twice the size of your vegetable transplant's root ball, using the recommended spacing requirements for that type of vegetable.

Step 6

Pull your vegetable transplants from the container and squeeze the root ball between your fingers to break it apart. Place one transplant in each hole and cover over the roots with soil to plant it. Plant all transplants in this manner.

Step 7

Water the newly planted garden until the ground becomes saturated.

Step 8

Mix 2 tbsp. of 12-12-12 fertilizer in 1 gallon of water to create a starter fertilizer. Apply 1 to 2 cups of starter fertilizer to the base of each plant just after planting and watering.

Step 9

Water your vegetables again when the soil becomes dry and crumbly to the touch, adding water until it becomes saturated. Water the plant roots, not the leaves, since wet leaves are more prone to disease.

Step 10

Weed the garden bed, pulling out sprouts that appear near your plants. Scatter mulch over the soil to cut down on the amount of future weeding.

Step 11

Harvest your vegetables when they are ready. The plant identification tag should tell you the number of days to maturity to expect.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • Manure
  • Rake
  • Trowel
  • 12-12-12 fertilizer
  • Mulch

References

  • Iowa State University: Planting a Home Vegetable Garden

Who Can Help

  • The Vegetable Garden: Planting Schedules
  • Colorado State University: Vegetables for the Shady Garden
Keywords: planting vegetable garden, growing vegetables, sunlight vegetable garden

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.