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Tips for Growing Your Own Vegetable Garden

According to the Dept of Agriculture food prices are predicted to increase 7.9% in 2023. With grocery prices skyrocketing many are planning to start a vegetable garden for the very first time this year. Growing your own veggie garden is a great way to save money, eat healthier, and enjoy fresh produce straight from your backyard. Here are some tips on how to start and maintain your own vegetable garden.

Get your supplies

The first thing you'll need is a garden bed or container to plant your vegetables in. You can create a garden bed by tilling and fertilizing a section of your yard, or you can use a raised garden bed. If you don't have much outdoor space, you can use containers, such as pots or planter boxes, to grow your vegetables. Building raised garden beds is also a great opportunity to upcycle old pallets, tires, cinder blocks, barrels, buckets and more. Check out our Pinterest board full of creative ways people have upcycled things to make raised beds.

Good soil is essential for a healthy vegetable garden. You'll want to choose a high-quality, nutrient-rich soil that's suitable for growing vegetables. You can purchase soil from a garden center, or you can make your own by combining compost, peat moss, and vermiculite. If the soil in your area is rich you may be able to just dig it up and mix in some compost for added nutrients.

Next, you'll need seeds or seedlings to plant. You can purchase seeds from a garden center or online, or you can save seeds from your favorite vegetables to plant the following year. Alternatively, you can buy seedlings, which are young plants that have already been started. If you're new to gardening a great place to start would be with tomato seedlings, since they're relatively easy to care for as long as they get lots of sunlight and water.

Choose The Perfect Location

The first step in starting a vegetable garden is to choose a location. Make sure the area receives at least six hours of sunlight per day and has well-draining soil and avoid areas that are prone to flooding or standing water, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. If you have a small backyard or limited space, consider using raised beds or containers to maximize your growing area.

Finally, consider the accessibility of your chosen location. You'll want to choose a location that is easy to access, whether that means placing it near a water source or creating a pathway to the garden. This will make it easier to water and maintain your plants, as well as harvest your produce.

Prepare the soil

Once you have chosen a location, you will need to prepare the soil. The best soil for vegetable gardening is a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. You can amend your soil with compost, manure, or other organic matter to improve its fertility. You can test your soil to determine its pH and nutrient levels, or you can simply look for signs of healthy soil, such as earthworms and good drainage.

Prepare the Soil

Once you have chosen a location, you will need to prepare the soil. The best soil for vegetable gardening is a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil. You can amend your soil with compost, manure, or other organic matter to improve its fertility. You can test your soil to determine its pH and nutrient levels, or you can simply look for signs of healthy soil, such as earthworms and good drainage.

Choose your plants

Decide which vegetables and herbs you want to grow. Some popular vegetables to grow in a home garden include tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, and beans. You can choose to grow vegetables that you and your family like to eat. If you are new to gardening, choose vegetables that are easy to grow, such as lettuce, radishes, and zucchini. These vegetables are also quick to mature, so you will see growth soon after planting.

Different vegetables thrive in different climates and conditions. Before choosing what to plant, it is important to know the conditions of your garden. Understanding the length of your growing season, the amount of sunlight, and the type of soil in your garden will help you choose the right vegetables that will grow well in your area.

The size of your garden will determine how many vegetables you can plant. If you have limited space, prioritize the vegetables that grow vertically, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, and beans, as these take up less space.

Some veggies grow best when they're planted next to other specific vegetables. For example, planting beans and peas near tomatoes can improve their growth because they fix nitrogen in the soil. Planting herbs, such as basil and parsley, near your tomato plants can also help to repel pests.


When planting, make sure to follow the instructions on the seed packet or plant tag. The tag will tell you exactly how to deep to plant the seeds and how far to spread them out to ensure they have enough room to grow. Water your plants well just after planting to help them get established.

The best time of year to plant your vegetable garden outdoors will depend on your location and climate. In general, you should plant in the spring when the soil has warmed up and the danger of frost has passed. However, some vegetables, such as peas, lettuce, and spinach, can be planted earlier in the year as they can tolerate cooler temperatures.


Water your vegetable garden regularly to ensure that the soil stays moist but not waterlogged. Most vegetables require about an inch of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Before watering your garden, check the soil moisture level by sticking your finger into the soil. If the soil feels dry to the touch, it's time to water. However, if the soil feels moist, wait a day or two before checking again.

The best time to water your vegetable garden is in the morning. Watering early in the day allows the plants to absorb the moisture they need before the heat of the day evaporates it. Additionally, watering in the morning reduces the risk of fungal diseases that thrive in damp conditions.


It is important to apply fertilizer at the right time to ensure maximum nutrient uptake by your plants. In general, fertilize in the early spring before planting, and again during the growing season when the plants are actively growing. Avoid fertilizing late in the season, as it can stimulate new growth that won't have time to mature before the first frost.

Different fertilizers have different application rates, so be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label carefully. Applying too much fertilizer can burn your plants and harm the environment. Measure the fertilizer carefully and apply it evenly to the soil.

After applying fertilizer, water your plants deeply to help the nutrients penetrate the soil and reach the roots. This will also prevent the fertilizer from burning the plants. It is important to maintain adequate moisture levels in the soil, as drought-stressed plants may not be able to absorb nutrients properly.

Pest control

Keeping pests under control is an important part of vegetable gardening. You can use natural pest control methods such as companion planting, or you can use chemical pesticides.

Companion planting is a method of planting two or more plants together that will benefit each other. Certain plants have the ability to repel pests or attract beneficial insects. For example, marigolds are a natural pest deterrent, while planting herbs like basil, dill, or parsley can attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs, lacewings, and parasitic wasps that prey on harmful insects.

Organic sprays can be made from natural ingredients like garlic, neem oil, and hot pepper. These sprays can be sprayed directly on plants to deter pests. They work by either repelling pests or interfering with their ability to feed or reproduce. Organic sprays are effective against a wide range of pests, including aphids, whiteflies, and spider mites.

Happy Gardening!

Growing your own vegetable garden is a rewarding and satisfying experience. Whether you have a small backyard or a large plot of land, with a little planning and care, you can enjoy fresh, healthy produce right from your own garden. Remember to choose the right location, prepare your soil, choose your plants, and take care of your garden to ensure a bountiful harvest.