How to Prepare a Vegetable Garden Site

Site preparation can make the difference in garden productivity. image by treesftf/


Vegetable gardens can seem to do very well in some years, and not so great in subsequent years. Often, this has to do with how the garden site has been prepared. A site that has never been grown on may produce a great garden; whereas, an area where plants have grown before may need help. Planning and preparing your site, as well as feeding the soil extra nutrients, will go a long way in helping your garden to be productive.

Step 1

Pick a spot in your yard for your vegetable garden. Make sure it is an area that isn't crowded by trees and gets plenty of sunlight. The area should get about 8 to 10 hours of sunlight a day for best results, and no less that 6 hours of sunlight a day. Also, it is important to pick an area close to your water source.

Step 2

Check to make sure your garden will have plenty of wind protection by placing it near your home or a structure that can break the wind.

Step 3

Improve the soil so that it is rich, loose, and well-drained. Add compost soil from your home composting bin. Mix organic matter into the soil with a shovel so that it has neither too much clay or sand.

Step 4

Add a pound of general purpose 20-20-20 fertilizer to every 100 square foot of garden area in your yard.

Step 5

Till your soil with a rake to break up sods and mix in the fertilizer evenly. Mix and till to about an 8-inch depth. Continue to till the soil until it is as fine as possible.

Step 6

Plan out what vegetables you want to add to your garden. Check the back of your vegetable seed packets for how much spacing each of your vegetables will need. Prepare to add enough of each vegetable to fit your prepared garden site, and then you're ready to grow.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Compost
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer
  • Rake
  • Vegetable seed packets


  • Oregon State University
  • Born to Garden
Keywords: gardening, site, preparation

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.

Photo by: treesftf/