l Gather your gardening tools: a hoe, gardening gloves, a spade or spading fork, a steel bow rake, a trowel, a wheelbarrow, a garden hose long enough to water all parts of the garden and a wide-brimmed hat.
l Most vegetable plants need good drainage and at least six hours of direct sunlight daily. Choose your plot accordingly.
l Test the soil to figure out what it needs before you plant – rototilling, organic matter, fertilizer. Visit your local nursery for recommendations.
l The best method for success with seeds can be found on the seed package. Select transplants that are about as tall as they are wide, dark green in color, vigorously growing, and free of spots or lesions on the leaves.
l Water your garden if you get less than one inch of rain a week.
l Add mulch around your plants to control weeds, prevent moisture loss and discourage pests.
l Thinning your plants will increase fruit growth.
l Weed early and often. When you see a weed, immediately pull it up by the roots.
l Use weed and pest control chemicals wisely, remembering that pesticides kill the good bugs along with the bad bugs. Always follow package directions carefully.