Tips for Planning Your Vegetable Garden

Vegetable garden with scarecrow.

Growing vegetables can be a great way to save money, improve your diet, get exercise, and enjoy the outdoors. And the best part about vegetable gardening is that you can do as much or as little as you want – from one happy tomato plant to a row of squash that will have you sneaking baskets onto neighbors’ porches in the dead of night.

Location, Location, Location

The first and most important step to planting a vegetable garden is choosing a location that will allow the plants to flourish. Fruiting plants must have adequate light, water, and nutrients in order to produce fruits and vegetables. Here are a few tips to help you plan and prepare the perfect site for your vegetable garden.

Choose a sunny, well-drained area for your vegetable garden.


Most vegetables need about 8 hours of sunlight a day. That usually requires an open, relatively flat area that is not shaded by buildings or trees. Since summer vegetables require heat as well as sunlight, south-facing slopes work well. Sunny patios and balconies can make great locations for raised beds or containers.

A young broccoli plant soaking up the sunshine.


As a general rule, your vegetable garden requires about 1″ of water a week (containers may need a drink every day or two), so unless your area has plenty of rainfall, you’ll need a convenient water supply nearby. Consider installing drip irrigation or soaker hoses to target water to the roots and reduce waste. The time spent on installation will pay off when all you have to do is turn on a faucet!

Drip irrigation is an efficient way to water a vegetable garden.


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4 Comments on “Tips for Planning Your Vegetable Garden”

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  • Rebecca Hanchey Says:
    May 24th, 2017 at 11:18 am

    For the fall crop vegetable garden how would the seeds or plants in the garden what orders best to have a happy health garden

  • Bonnie Says:
    April 18th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I have clay soil and am wanting to start a garden – what kind of product is the best to get to add to the clay so that I have good soil that will also drain well? Thx

  • Lance Says:
    April 22nd, 2010 at 7:51 am

    I have a 30×30 garden need to know what veg. to plant in rows next to each other. How long rows should be for each veggie? I’m planting tom,green beans,zuc. banana ,green bell peppers,

  • Joe from Gardener's Says:
    April 10th, 2009 at 7:17 am

    Hey, I noticed you linked to an article we have about planning a potager. We’ve just launched a new interacted tool called the Kitchen Garden Planner and it’s basically a drag and drop interface for laying out a raised bed veggie garden. It’s an updated and more complete resource.,default,pg.html

    Thanks, Joe

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Tips for Planning Your Vegetable Garden