The first step in growing your own vegetables is to identify your local climate. Go online and find out your USDA Hardiness Zone, which indicates the average minimum winter temperature in your area. This will help you choose plants that will thrive in your area.
Early spring often marks the start of the planting season, but the timing can vary based on your hardiness zone and microclimate specifics.
Microclimates — small areas in your garden with slightly different environmental conditions — can also influence your planting decisions. For instance, a sunny spot might be perfect for tomato plants, while a shaded area near a wall or tree could be better for root vegetables.
Understanding your garden's sunlight and shade patterns is crucial, especially when you're trying to grow vegetables in a small garden where space is at a premium. Improving your soil with organic matter can benefit plants in all kinds of microclimates.