Most vegetables are annual, which makes the gardener’s work to prepare their beds significantly easier. There are no roots to disturb, no bulbs to accidentally dig up.

Early in spring, preferably before the vegetation starts reemerging, turn the soil to a spade’s depth, which is about twelve inches, to aerate the soil and prevent weeds from taking root. This process offers the opportunity to improve the soil by adding well rotted manure, compost, lime, sand, etc. Straw and natural fertilizer continue to decompose in the ground and they generate heat in the process, allowing the gardener to start plants outdoors sooner.

Even out the dirt surface with a rake or a harrow to break down large clods. If you think it’s warranted, do a soil test and correct nutrient deficiencies.

Lay out the rows to a width of maximum three feet if they can only be accessed from one side, or five feet if they can be accessed from both sides and don’t step on them after that.

Place all the supports before planting anything, and make sure they are sturdy and deep into the ground, so they won’t topple over.

The vegetable bed is now ready for planting.

Author's Bio: 

Main Areas: Garden Writing; Sustainable Gardening; Homegrown Harvest
Published Books: “Terra Two”; “Generations”; "The Plant - A Steampunk Story"; "Letters to Lelia"; "Fair"; "Door Number Eight"; "A Year and A Day"; "Möbius' Code"; "Between Mirrors"
Career Focus: Author; Consummate Gardener;
Affiliation: All Year Garden; The Weekly Gardener; Francis Rosenfeld's Blog

I started blogging in 2010, to share the joy of growing all things green and the beauty of the garden through the seasons. Two garden blogs were born: allyeargarden.com and theweeklygardener.com, a periodical that followed it one year later. I wanted to assemble an informal compendium of the things I learned from my grandfather, wonderful books, educational websites, and my own experience, in the hope that other people might use it in their own gardening practice.