When is the best time to begin preparing for a medium-sized family vegetable garden?

As soon as the snow melts and soil dries out, it’s a good time to turn over the soil and start your vegetable garden. You can tell if the soil is dry by taking a small handful of the soil and squeezing it. If water trickles out or if the ball you formed it still solid and doesn’t break apart easily, then it’s too early.

Once you till, it would be a good idea to add a 3-4 inch layer of old, composted manure and till that in. That will add fertility and tilth to the soil. Don’t use fresh manures. Buying the tomatoes and peppers from a local greenhouse as transplants is the way to go for a beginning gardener. When planting, work in a small handful of fertilizer such as 5-10-10 (organic or chemical) with the seeds or plants.