Starting a vegetable garden, whether for the first time or just for this year, can be a great experience of planning, purchasing, and planting. However, if you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing, you may not end up with much of a garden at all. While it doesn’t take much time to plant a vegetable garden from seeds, knowing how to do it will ensure your potentially healthy and productive garden is off to a good start.
Work the soil with a tiller or your shovel to loosen the entire garden bed area eight to 10 inches deep. Add a 4-inch layer of compost or garden soil over the surface of the bed and work the soil once more to mix the compost in.
Plant and lightly cover your specific seeds based on the timing of your region’s growing season listed on the back of your seed packet. The seed packet will also instruct you as to how deep and how far apart to plant your seeds.
Label and place a plant marker at the beginning and end of each row to help you recall where your different vegetables seeds are planted. With different germination timelines, it’s important to keep up with what seedlings have come up and which ones you’re still waiting on.
Set up supports, such as stakes or trellises, in your garden for plants which need them to grow vertically. Typically, tomatoes, peppers, pole beans, and cucumbers all benefit from added support and free up more surface space in the garden when supported.
Water the garden with an overall sprinkling or shower to saturate the soil. Keep the soil well dampened for the first month until all of your seedlings have sprouted, then cut back to less frequent watering (once or twice a week) depending on rainfall.
Attach any of the plants to supports that need it by gently encouraging tendrils and limbs to grip their supports. If needed, loosely tie string or plant ties to the plant to keep it pulled in toward the trellis or stake.