With vegetable gardening you will need to do a little advanced planning to prepare the gardening area before planting time. The ground has been sitting there all winter and will need tilling. This serves to aerate the soil which allows for easier planting and more productive root growth. This is a good time to apply any compost you have collected over the winter months. You can till the compost in to mix with the soil, creating a more nutritional environment for the plants.
If you use commercial fertilizer on your vegetables you might want to also till in some fertilizer at the same time you are preparing your ground. Vegetable gardening requires certain nutrients in the soil to produce strong and healthy plants.
Vegetable gardening will require a place that gets several hours of sunlight each day. Shady vegetable gardens will not do very well since most vegetables thrive on direct sunlight. Try to choose an area that is close to a water source since you might need to help supplement Mother Nature. Many areas do not get sufficient rainfall in the summer months to support vegetable growth. It is always a good idea to have containers which collect rainwater throughout the rainy season. This will provide you with a free water source on those days when it is too hot and dry.
Choosing Which Vegetables To Grow
Often this is the hardest decision to make in vegetable gardening. Choose vegetables that your family likes to eat. Most people love vine ripened tomatoes and these are fairly easy to grow. If you have several plants you might want to can some for use in soup and chili during the winter months. Corn is another popular vegetable which is easy to grow. Once the corn plants reach a certain size they will pretty well be self sufficient. After the initial planting and weeding, there is not much left to do until it is ready to be picked.
Summer squash is probably the easiest vegetable there is to grow. Once they start bearing, you will have to pick them about every other day. You need to keep this in mind when planting since you can easily become overwhelmed with squash.
Many people enjoy growing summer salad vegetables such as leafy lettuce, green onions, and radishes. All of these are fairly easy to grow but keep in mind they do not have a long growing season. Unlike squash, these vegetables will not continue to bear.
For many people vegetable gardening is fun and relaxing. There is a definite advantage to growing your own vegetables. You know how they have been raised and what has been used to raise them. There is also a distinct difference in flavor as opposed to those bought in the store. Having your own fresh vegetables can be a healthy and tasty treat and might even save you a few bucks at the store.
Peter Vermeeren has an encyclopedia of gardening tips: http://www.gardening.kamikaze-portal.com/