Start with planning; think about what you want to grow and how much you want to grow. By keeping a notebook, it will keep you and your potential or existing garden organized. Keep a list of the varieties of vegetables grown. Record in the notebook, seeding and planting dates, past insect and disease problems, weather and harvest dates and yields. This information will be valuable as you plan future gardens.

When selecting a site, consider accessibility (being able to get to your plants), size of your garden (how much do you want to produce and how much maintenance can you take on), amount of sun exposure and a site that is level and not exposed to too much wind. When thinking about where to locate a vegetable garden, be aware that the closer your garden is to a source of water, the easier it will be for you. Consider using rain barrels or bucket catchers to collect rainwater. Be sure water gets to the roots of the plants; drip irrigation hoses are a good investment to insure adequate water coverage.

If your site is sloped, you should try to level it off. Don’t forget about plant placement; put taller crops, those that might need trellising, on the north side of your space, medium height vegetables in the middle, and shorter on the south side. This will insure you don’t inadvertently create shady spots in your space.

You will want to label the vegetables in your garden so you will remember what they are as they begin to grow. It is always a good idea to draw a plan of your garden. It does not have to be a fancy drawing. Try to put the tallest plants in your garden such as corn at the north end of the garden and permanent vegetables like asparagus should be at the side of the garden.