Fine Gardening Project Guides

Fruits and Vegetables

Guide Home
Chapter
  • Basics
  • Tomatoes – coming soon!
  • Cool Season Crops – coming soon!
  • Warm Season Crops – coming soon!
  • Herbs – coming soon!
  • Fruits – coming soon!
How-To

How to Start a Vegetable Garden: Selecting a Site

Fall is the best time of year to pick a spot for a vegetable garden

Steve Aitken, Danielle Sherry, Gary Junken, and Kate Geruntho Frank

So you’re wondering how to start a vegetable or kitchen garden? Not to worry. Our seven-video series How to Start a Vegetable Garden will help you get your first veggie venture off to a good start. We’ll cover the basics: choosing a location, preparing the soil, building raised beds, starting your seedlings, and planting your garden.

Episode 1: Selecting a Site

Fall is the best time of year to pick a spot for a vegetable garden, since any work done will help you be ready to plant come spring. However, you can follow these steps for siting a vegetable garden any time of year.

The sunnier the spot the better for a vegetable garden, because sun is the most important ingredient for growing hearty vegetables. Most vegetables need full sun (at least six hours of direct sunlight per day) to grow to their maximum potential, so avoid spots that are shaded by trees or buildings during the heat of the day.

To determine if your site has the right light conditions, stand facing the south with your left hand pointing east (in the direction the sun rises) and your right hand pointing west (in the direction the the sun sets). Now take your east-facing finger and follow it to the southern sky and then down behind the western horizon. This is the course the sun will take throughout the day. If there are no major obstructions then you have a sunny spot.

In addition to sun, your garden should be located as close as possible to a water source. Easy access to a garden hose means less lugging around of watering cans, and it also helps if you decide to install soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system.

See more videos in this series:

1. Selecting a Site

2. Testing Your Soil

3. Removing Sod and Vegetation

4. Building Raised Beds

5. Starting Seeds Indoors

6. Direct-Sowing Vegetable Seeds

7. Planting Out

Previous: Stylish Raised Bed Ideas Next: How to Start a Vegetable Garden: Testing Your Soil
View Comments

Comments

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and Vegetables

Growing your own food is easy with the help of this comprehensive, step-by-step guide

View Project Guide

View All Project Guides »

Become a member and get unlimited site access, including the Fruits and Vegetables Project Guide.

Start Free Trial

Basics
Tomatoes
  • This chapter coming soon!
Cool Season Crops
  • This chapter coming soon!
Warm Season Crops
  • This chapter coming soon!
Herbs
  • This chapter coming soon!
Fruits
  • This chapter coming soon!