Soil Preparation for Vegetable Gardens

Science for Youth, Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape May 19, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF
          three people preparing a garden bed

Preparing a vegetable garden plot
Photo credit: meganopru Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0


Properly prepared and maintained soil will provide an abundance of healthy vegetables for many years
Photo credit: Andrea Parrish Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0


Properly prepared soil provides a healthy substrate for producing an abundant supply of nutritious vegetables from the home garden.

Characteristics of Properly Prepared Soil for Vegetable Gardens

  • Improved seed germination
  • Increased aeration and drainage
  • Improved soil texture and structure
  • Higher biological activity
  • Improved fertility

Soil Preparation Basics

  • A soil test provides an understanding of soil pH and nutrient availabilty
  • Proper tillage aerates the soil allowing for better drainage and deeper root penetration
  • Adding organic matter improves soil structure, increases water-holding capacity, provides aeration, and adds nutrients


Additional Resources:

Soil Preparation of the Vegetable Garden


Utah - Preparing Garden Soil


Minnesota - Planting the Vegetable Garden


Florida - Soil Preparation and Liming
Vegetable Gardening in Mississippi


Texas - Soil Preparation


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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.