Nothing beats a summer salad made from fresh vegetables. Growing your own vegetables isn't difficult, but it's not something to attempt without research and planning. Before starting your vegetable garden, be sure to read about the best vegetables for your climate and soil type. Expect to learn by trial and error with your first garden, but learning as much as you can ahead of time will save frustration.
Using Seeds or Plants
Decide whether you want to grow from seed or from young plants. If using seeds, you'll need to start them indoors a couple of months in advance. Young plants go directly into the ground immediately after the last frost.
Start a compost pile. Recycling organic matter such as eggshells, coffee grounds and orange rinds will nourish your garden. Whether you start a simple compost mound or buy a compost bin, get your compost pile going at least six months to a year in advance so the organic matter breaks down. When it's time to till your garden to loosen the dirt for planting, mix compost with the soil.
Find a Sunny Spot
Find a spot for your vegetable garden that takes advantage of as much of the day's sun as possible. Avoid shady or partially shady spots, because vegetables won't grow well in these areas.
Consider Raised Beds
Raised garden beds help to drain water away from roots. You can create your own raised beds with boards or purchase kits. If you have clay or other soil with poor drainage, a raised bed 8 to 9 inches deep will help to prevent root rot and mold.
Choose Easy Vegetables
Start off with prolific, easy-to-grow plants such as zucchini and tomatoes. To learn about the best vegetables to grow in your area, consult a gardening guide for your hardiness zone and talk to friends and neighbors with vegetable gardens. Carrots, lettuce and peppers are also easy to grow, while celery can be difficult.
Consider a Fence
Consider erecting a fence. Fencing doesn't have to be a major investment. An inexpensive wire fence will keep away animals, kids and pets and will also keep your garden from spreading outside the desired area.