Before You Begin

Every aspiring gardener should follow seven steps to have a successful gardening season:

  1. Plan your garden on paper before you begin.
  2. Select a good gardening site that is:
    a. in full sun for at least eight hours each day,
    b. relatively level,
    c. well‑drained,
    d. close to a water source,
    e. not shaded.
  3. Prepare the soil properly and add fertilizer and lime according to soil test recommendations.
  4. Plan only as large a garden as you can easily maintain. Beginning gardeners often overplant, and then they fail because they cannot keep up with the tasks required. Weeds and pests must be controlled, water applied when needed and harvesting done on time. Vegetables harvested at their peak are tasty, but when left on the plants too long, the flavor is simply not there.
  5. Grow vegetables that will produce the maximum amount of food in the space available.
  6. Plant during the correct season for the crop. Choose varieties recommended for your area.
  7. Harvest vegetables at their proper stage of maturity. Store them promptly and properly if you do not use them immediately.

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Click here to access the latest version of this publication (ID-128) from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment.