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How to start a home vegetable garden

Updated on May 29, 2013

getting started-

You have been thinking about it, longing for it and waiting for the right moment to get started; well now is that moment.

If you appreciate fresh vegetables and healthy food then starting your own vegetable garden is what you must do.

The freshest and healthiest food is the food you pick yourself that is grown just outside yoru door. Even if you have only a small yard, or live in an apartment with a balcony as long as you get 4-6 hours of sun per day you can grow vegetables.

Some vegetables, peppers and tomatoes, for example will need 6-8 hours of sunlight each day to produce fruit but you can grow a wide range of greens and other tasty foods with less.


You first step is to determine which spot on your site, for example, yard or balcony, gets the most sunlight. Next you need to measure that spot to determine your maximum garden space.

Now and this is a very important step, how much time do you have to garden? Can you spare an hour a day, or an hour a week? The answer to this question plus the information about the space you have available will determine how big your garden will be.

Okay, let’s plan that vegetable garden. What do you like to eat, tomatoes, lettuces, spinach, carrots, beets, potatoes and so on? There is no sense growing food that you will not use.

How long is your growing season? Find out when the first and last frost dates usually occur. Some vegetables like it cooler and some like it hot, but you need to know what you got before setting out a plan.


This list of first and last frost dates is provided by Victory seeds, while it does not list every city in the United States, it is useful.

You can check at your local library or ask a neighbour, friend or family member who is an avid gardener.

If your gardening season is short, like mine is, you will want to start some of your seeds indoors, four to six weeks before planting out.

The best way to grow healthy food is to grow organically. Now for the home vegetable garden you do not need or want to be a certified grower, that only comes into play if you are growing for the market; for personal consumption, you can grow organically simply by not using any artificial chemicals, such as fertilizers or pesticides in your garden. There are organic fertilizers you can use.

your garden

You will also want to buy organic or heritage seeds.

You are now ready to build your home vegetable garden. The no-till garden method lets you build soil and reduces digging, if you are growing in containers, then this information will help.

The no dig method

1- Measure garden use twine to layout bed, you can make vegetable garden bed 3 feet wide and as long as you wish.

2- Water ground. Lay down sufficient cardboard to cover space, be sure edges overlap, water

3- Cover with soil and compost to minimum four inches, water

4- Cover with mulch

5- Water

6- To plant seeds , follow instructions on pack

7- To plant seedlings, dig hole in mulch and plant to top of the roots, fill hole

8- Water

Now you will need to maintain the garden, develop the habit of spending a bit of time each day, say after supper in the evening just walking around the bed, take note of any changes that are happening. This way you can avoid problems before they manifest. Pay attention to the weather, you will need to water, unless it rains frequently.

You now have a home vegetable garden, and are on your way to producing your own fresh and healthy vegetables.

starting seed indoors


Submit a Comment
  • profile image

    container vegetable gardening 

    10 years ago

    Great practical, down to earth advice.

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    Thanks for the quick guide. Cool pic too!

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    They are in containers so the heat is likely drying them out.

    for lighting

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    Hi all. Question: I'm making first attempt at growing my own veggies. I'm trying the plants outside and have small ones (1" plants inside). I'm having very hard time with plants outside. Seems almost daily, when I get home, they are all wilted. Some have died. It is on patio with maybe 6 hours of sun. Temps have been near 100. Think they just can't handle the heat? Im thinking of trying inside for the hot months but no real good window exposure. What about one of the plant walls with artifitial lights? Flourescent? The tiny plants are thriving on my natural light flourescent bulb. Growing lettuce, onions, tomatoes, peppers, etc.

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    If you can add some organic mtter to the soil under the leaves, if nothing else is available, dig the leaves into the soil, at least some of them. not no-dig but you use the method that works.

  • Cailin Gallagher profile image

    Cailin Gallagher 

    11 years ago from New England

    nice idea with the cardboard...that may actually work for me. But, the soil costs so much! I have some dirt behind the house that is under some piles of leaves that I may try to use. Everything else is either sandy or clay.

  • diamondrose1 profile image


    11 years ago from Australia

  • Bob Ewing profile imageAUTHOR

    Bob Ewing 

    11 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thank you both for dropping by, happy gardening

  • prasetio30 profile image


    11 years ago from malang-indonesia

    nice tips, I like gardening too. Organic vegetables more safety to eat. I agree with you to make a vegetables garden.

  • pressingon profile image


    11 years ago

    Thanks for the hub! This is the first year that I'm going to have a container garden. I have my seeds started and are ready to go outside but wasn't sure if it was safe to do so...Thanks so much!


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