Deciding to start your own vegetable garden is just the first step in harvesting your own fresh greens. There are many other things you need to consider as well if you want to begin growing your own vegetables. Thinking ahead about location, costs, preparations and garden design will go a long way in successfully planting vegetables.

Determining the size of your garden will depend on what vegetables you want to grow and how much time you have to devote to keeping it productive. Once you have decided what you want to plant, you will need to select a sunny or shady spot near your house for your garden to begin growing your own vegetables. Some vegetables, like tomatoes, squash, and peppers do very well in full sun; others, like cabbage and leafy green vegetable plants, fare better in the shade. You also need to make sure the soil is fresh and fertile. You can buy soil testing kits for just a few dollars at many hardware stores or gardening centers. You may need to supplement your soil or add organic matter if your soil is not of good quality.

Moving your garden every couple of years will help with this. When you have picked out the perfect spot for your garden, you need to ensure that there will be enough room for your vegetables to grow and flourish. Picking things that your entire family will eat is probably the best, and once you have gained some experience, you can start to plant more exotic options. You might also want to plant hybrid vegetables. These hybrids can be strong and healthy, thus making them easier to grow and good at surviving tougher conditions.

Some gardeners will actually sit down and draw a sketch of their garden before they start digging, including notes about the types of vegetables that will be planted. A recent recommendation from the University of Illinois suggests you should be planting vegetables that will grow tall in the north end of the garden with the more permanent vegetables along the side. If you find that you don't have the space for a large, outdoor garden, you might consider container gardening as a good, space-saving option. When you are planting, leave plenty of space between the rows of your vegetables. This will enable you to walk between them and harvest your vegetables without damaging the plants.

Now the only thing left is for you to get your seeds ready and begin digging!