How to Start a Vegetable Garden

Where to Plant a Vegetable Garden
Planting several varieties of the same vegetable is a good way to pace your harvest.
Planting several varieties of the same vegetable is a good way to pace your harvest.

There are several strategies that can help you get your vegetable garden off to a good start.

Pace Your Planting

One way to pace your harvest is to plant several varieties of the same vegetable that will mature at different rates. For instance, two or three weeks before the average date of last frost plant three different varieties of carrot. This can extend your production period over two to three months.

With succession planting, you can plant early-harvest crops and then replant the same plot with a new crop.

Succession Planting

You can save garden space and get two or more harvests from the same spot through succession planting. After early maturing crops are harvested, replant the space with a new crop. Early cool-season crops can be replaced with warm-season crops. Start off with a fast-growing, cool-season crop that can be planted early: lettuce, spinach, and cabbage are good examples. Warm-weather crops, such as New Zealand spinach, chard, corn, and squash, can then replace the earlier plants. Finally, in the fall make a planting of cole crops (for example, cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower) or put in root crops such as turnips or beets.

Companion planting increases your usable garden space by placing short-term crops between plants with a longer harvest time.

Companion Planting

Another way to increase the use of your planting space is through companion planting. This is done by planting short-term crops between plants that will take a longer time to mature. The short-term crops are harvested by the time the long-term crops need the extra room. A good example of this is radishes or lettuce planted between rows of tomatoes or peppers. By the time the tomatoes and peppers need the space, the radishes and lettuce will have been harvested.

Want more information about vegetable gardens? Visit these links:

  • Starting a Vegetable Garden: Learn how to get your vegetable garden started, from planning your plot to planting seeds and sprouts.
  • Vegetable Gardens: Find out everything you wanted to know about vegetable gardening.
  • Vegetables: Pick out your favorite vegetables to plant in next year's garden.
  • Gardening: We answer all of your general gardening questions in this section.