Vegetable gardening tip sheet

Garden planning calendar

View planning calendar.

  • January – February: Order seed catalogs.
  • February – March: Order seeds.
  • March - April: Prepare the soil when it is dry enough.
  • April: Plant cool season vegetables. (Check local planting dates.)
  • May: Plant warm season vegetables after danger of frost.

Where to put your garden

View planning your garden tip sheet

  • Convenient to your home and close to a water source.
  • Where the soil is good and free from toxins.
  • Sunny, level spot (six to eight hours of sunlight)
    • Stay away from trees and shrubs.
    • Avoid north-facing slopes and low areas.

Build your garden soil

Learn how to build your soils.

  • Add organic matter every year.
  • Use appropriate amount and type of fertilizer.
  • Prepare your garden soil for planting and avoid compacting it.

Plan your garden on paper

Create a garden layout.

  • Start small (20’ x 10’) and expand with more experience.
    • Plant tall vegetables on the north side.
    • Give each plant the space it needs.
  • Draw garden map and include:

    • Specific location of each vegetable crop.
    • Spacing between plants and rows.
    • Vegetables your family likes to eat.
    • Planting dates.

Plant your vegetable garden

  • Buy and plant seeds and transplants according to your plan.
  • Harden off your transplants.
  • Plant when the soil is warm enough for your vegetable crops.
  • Use mulch, and maybe row covers.

Keep your plants growing

  • Thin plants to increase harvest.
  • Keep the garden weeded and manage pest problems.
  • Add nutrients in the summer when needed.
  • Water when the soil is dry.

Harvest vegetables

  • Check your garden often; you’ll enjoy it more!
  • Harvest vegetables at their peak flavor and nutrition level.
  • Use as soon as possible.

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