Check out this vegetable gardening tip sheet (attached here and outlined below) created by Michigan State University Extension. Here you’ll find multiple tips to help guide you in beginning to grow your own fresh, nourishing foods!

View planning calendar.

  • January – February: Order seed catalogs.
  • February – March: Order seeds.
  • March – April: Prepare the soil when it is dry enough.
  • April: Plant cool season vegetables. (Check local planting dates.)
  • May: Plant warm season vegetables after danger of frost.

View planning your garden tip sheet

  • Convenient to your home and close to a water source.
  • Where the soil is good and free from toxins.
  • Sunny, level spot (six to eight hours of sunlight)
    • Stay away from trees and shrubs.
    • Avoid north-facing slopes and low areas.

Learn how to build your soils.

  • Add organic matter every year.
  • Use appropriate amount and type of fertilizer.
  • Prepare your garden soil for planting and avoid compacting it.

Create a garden layout.

  • Start small (20’ x 10’) and expand with more experience.
    • Plant tall vegetables on the north side.
    • Give each plant the space it needs.
  • Draw garden map and include:
    • Specific location of each vegetable crop.
    • Spacing between plants and rows.
    • Vegetables your family likes to eat.
    • Planting dates.
  • Buy and plant seeds and transplants according to your plan.
  • Harden off your transplants.
  • Plant when the soil is warm enough for your vegetable crops.
  • Use mulch, and maybe row covers.
  • Thin plants to increase harvest.
  • Keep the garden weeded and manage pest problems.
  • Add nutrients in the summer when needed.
  • Water when the soil is dry.
  • Check your garden often; you’ll enjoy it more!
  • Harvest vegetables at their peak flavor and nutrition level.
  • Use as soon as possible.

For more information & resources on gardening, check out MSU Extension’s website!