What You Need to Start a Vegetable Garden

Little is needed to start a vegetable garden and taking the time to grow one offers many rewards. Before you can savor the success of growing your own vegetables, some minor planning and preparation are required. Starting a vegetable garden will not happen overnight, but in time it can be a great source of pride---and your favorite veggies.

Seeds or Transplants

Vegetable gardens can be started from either seeds or plant transplants. Growing vegetables from seed will require more time, as the seeds will need to first sprout before they can be planted. Gardeners must consider if this extra time is acceptable and add at least 6 to 8 weeks for most seeds to sprout. Like seeds, transplants can be purchased from a local nursery or garden center but unlike seeds are ready immediately to be planted in a prepared bed or container.

Tools and Timing

Basic garden tools such as a hoe and hand or full-size shovel are the primary tools needed for digging and preparing plant beds or containers. Along with the right tools, good soil--one that has the proper organic matter--is a must-have for starting a vegetable garden. Once seeds have sprouted or transplants have been selected, they must be planted at the right time. Some vegetables, like turnips and spinach, are cool season crops, while vegetables like squash and peppers are grown during warmer months.

Containers or Vertical space

Starting a vegetable garden can be done in a large or small tilled space in your yard, or some vegetables can even be grown successfully in containers. Carefully evaluate how much space you have available, either to plant in the ground or to house containers, before purchasing plants or seeds. Most any plant that is grown in the ground can also be successfully be grown in a container; tomatoes, eggplant and peppers are just a few examples. The key difference is to carefully choose the correct variety to grow in a container. Good tomato varieties for a container include the Tiny Tim and Small Fry and good pepper varieties for a container are Keystone Resistant Giant and Jalapeno. These types tend to produce smaller vegetables. Any variety of a vegetable plant will grow well in the ground.

Keywords: veggie garden, vegetable garden, starting a vegetable garden

About this Author

Stephanie D. Green is a freelance writer with over 10 years of experience. Green holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and enjoys writing parenting, gardening and human interest articles. Her work has been published in lifestyle and trade publications including Draft Magazine and Savannah Magazine.