Planting A Vegetable Garden

You are ready to start planting a vegetable garden? The weather has warmed and the ground temperature is around 55 degrees F. Spring is here and it is time to begin planting

Planting a vegetable garden in the spring depends on the frost dates in your area. You need to know when the last frost date is for starting in the spring and the first fall frost for the length of your growing season

These dates are approximate and change from year to year. They give you a good idea when you can start your seeds indoors and when you can plant outdoors. Check the dates in your area here. Start your vegetables indoors 6 to 8 weeks before they are to be planted out doors, like tomatoes and peppers.

When you see weeds growing in your garden; it is time to start planting your hardy vegetables. Onions, carrots, spinach, peas and kale are some of the vegetables that you can start in the early spring.

Planting guides help you determine the row distances and space between each type of vegetable. Check here for a planting guide Just put in your zip code.

or pick one up at your local nursery in your area.

Preparing Your Soil for Planting

Planting your seeds when the soil is too wet can cause your seeds to rot in the ground and slow down vegetable plant growth.

Test if your soil is ready by taking a handful and squeezing. If it holds together the soil is still too wet. If it falls apart and crumbles the soil is ready to plant.

If the soil is too wet, wait a couple of days and test again. It only takes a few sunny days for the soil to dry out.

When the soil is ready to work you can begin tilling or turning the area to be planted.

Add a layer of compost to the rows and work into the soil. You can also add some vegetable garden fertilizer at this time.

You don’t need to till the whole garden. Preparing the soil row by row as you plant makes the work manageable.

Planting a Vegetable Garden

I make a vegetable garden layout in the winter so I have my garden planned. It makes preparing my rows and planting a vegetable garden easier in the spring.

It helps to know where I am going to start planting each vegetable.

I like to use wide rows so I have less path space and more growing space.

These rows measure 30 inches. We planted Carrots, Spinach, lettuce and Swiss chard in one row.

If you want to make smaller plantings of vegetables, you can sow the seeds across the row. This gives you more varieties per row.

Small seeds like carrots should be laid down in small furrows. You can make a furrow with the edge of a hoe or the edge of a yardstick.

Sprinkle the seeds down the furrow. I like to sprinkle them through my fingers so I can control the amount of seed I am laying down. Cover seeds lightly with soil or peat moss and water lightly. Seeds must be kept moist for seeds to germinate.

When the plants are an inch or two tall, thin to the proper spacing. Make sure the ground is moist to lessen stress on the remaining plants as you thin. Follow the planting guide for distances between the different vegetables.

You may plant your seeds in a block rather that in a single line. This method works well in raised beds. Mark out a 1 or 2 feet square and than sprinkle seeds in the block. Cover lightly with soil or peat moss and lightly tap surface, water to moisten.

Larger seeds like corn and beans are planted by poking a hole about 2 inches deep and dropping in two or three seeds, cover and water. Space the seeds according the planting guide. Thin these vegetables after they are germinated and have at least 4 leaves. Choose the healthiest looking plants.

Planting a vegetable garden dose not have to be done in one day. You can start in the early spring with hearty vegetables that grow best in cool weather.

Spring or fall is a good time to plant these.

Plant tender vegetables after all danger of frost is past. Spread out planting vegetables every two weeks for a continuous harvest through out the growing season.

Learn about Vegetable Garden Seeds

› Planting Vegetables