13 Tips to Starting a New Vegetable Garden for MAXIMUM Harvest

13 Tips to Starting a New Vegetable Garden for MAXIMUM Harvest

Growing a vegetable garden is one of the most rewarding things we do BUT if you’re brand new (or putting in a new garden) it can feel overwhelming to make sure you do it right. The most important thing is creating a garden that works for you and your growing space (meaning no two gardens will look exactly the same) and you need to know how to evaluate your growing space and climate.

I walk you through each step of putting in a new garden in this video!

For more information, visit the blog here: https://melissaknorris.com/starting-a-vegetable-garden

How Much Food to Plant Per Person (Plus FREE Worksheets): https://melissaknorris.com/podcast/how-much-to-plant-for-a-years-worth-of-food/
Family Garden Plan: https://melissaknorris.com/book/family-garden-plan/
Family Garden Planner: https://melissaknorris.com/book/planner/
Get the vertical GreenStalk Container Tower from my affiliate (I make a small commission and you get a coupon code!) use this coupon code for $10 off : PIONEERING at http://lddy.no/h10b​
How to Turn Your Lawn into a Garden: https://youtu.be/gzvzPHb2T-k
How to Test Soil pH & Amend Acidic or Alkaline Soil: https://melissaknorris.com/podcast/how-to-test-soil-ph/
Sheet Mulching: The Easy Way to Build Soil & Compost in Layers: https://melissaknorris.com/podcast/sheet-mulching-easy-way-to-compost-in-layers/
Direct Sow Your Garden Seeds: https://melissaknorris.com/podcast/episode-28-direct-sow-garden-seed/
How to Start Tomato Seeds – Avoid These Seed Starting Mistakes: https://youtu.be/Hvcc1jKKmBY
We Covered Half Our Garden in Woodchips – 1 Year Later, Did it IMPROVE the Soil?: https://youtu.be/xbHXS5Qq88U
How We Control Our Weeds Naturally with Weed Burner: https://youtu.be/AIDiclxcHb4

Shop this Video (by using the following affiliate links I may receive compensation for your purchases, however, prices remain the same for you, THANKS!):

BCS Tractor: https://www.bcsamerica.com/products/tractors
Seed storage container: https://amzn.to/35ImK0x
Soaker hoses: https://amzn.to/3oligTD

Listen in to the top #10 rated Pioneering Today Podcast for Home & Garden for Simple Modern Homesteading Tips https://melissaknorris.com/podcast-2/

My Books:

The Family Garden Planner: http://melissaknorris.com/planner
The Family Garden Plan: http://familygardenplan.com/
Hand Made 100+ From Scratch Recipes: http://handmadethebook.com/
The Made-from-Scratch Life: http://madefromscratchlife.com/

Howdy! I’m so glad you’re here. I’m Melissa from Pioneering Today and a 5th generation homesteader where I’m doing my best to hold onto the old traditions in a modern world and share them with others.

Click any of the below links for FREE resources and training to help you on your homestead!

Homemade Sourdough Starter Series https://melissaknorris.com/learnsourdough

How to Pressure Can Series https://melissaknorris.com/pressurecanning

Beginners Home Canning Safety https://melissaknorris.com/canningclass

For raising, cooking, and preserving your own food, come hang out with me on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/melissaknorris/
and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/melissaknorris/

#garden #gardenplan #gardenplanning #firstgarden


  1. Drew’s Food Forest & Edible Landscaping on June 26, 2021 at 1:23 am

    Agroforestry method with bananas and cassava through the summer (hibiscus, stevia).

  2. Missouri Girl on June 26, 2021 at 1:27 am

    Excellent information ! Will help us all be successful! Thank you Melissa!

  3. Mark Martinez on June 26, 2021 at 1:27 am

    How do you deal with the moles?
    I’m loving your videos. If you ever come down to Wild Waves I’m Auburn, you and your family have a place to rest. I’m only a mile away.
    I just hope my garden turns out like yours!

  4. Mark Dilley on June 26, 2021 at 1:29 am


  5. Krystal's Homestead Adventures on June 26, 2021 at 1:33 am

    It’s so important to get to know your climate very, very well. In places like where I live, the seasons can be pretty wild. Cold weather crops always do better in fall, catching a lovely freeze which sweetens them, and they’re hit or miss in the spring. Sometimes they come out fine, other times, bolting or bitter early on! Ocassionally, my fall crops get hit by an insanely early cold snap, where the temps dip into the teens weeks before they should even come close to that type of low. It keeps you on your toes, that’s for sure!

  6. Grettel Luna on June 26, 2021 at 1:34 am

    I see you always wear your Muck boots when outside. Will you do an honest review on them? Thanks for your videos. I enjoy your story and channel.

  7. Joey isamazing on June 26, 2021 at 1:35 am

    You do not need a rototiller if you are just starting a garden. A shovel and a couple hours can completely turn over a small garden

  8. Quite Quiet ASMR on June 26, 2021 at 1:35 am

    I love your videos, Melissa! You have the best information and you always present it in such an entertaining way 🙂

  9. Størmÿ Dråms on June 26, 2021 at 1:35 am

    Very Informative!

  10. D Roar on June 26, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Hi Melissa- good tips, but you forgot the most important. Stay off your garden till soil DRYS…. Compaction is your worse enemy….regardless of wood chips or not… Compaction affects all your positive pore spaces for growing a good healthy garden.

  11. Dennis Schweitzer on June 26, 2021 at 1:37 am

    As a veteran gardener I commend you for a great presentation of information for new gardeners. Excellent job explaining in easy to understand terms. Hopefully many people will watch and get hooked on a great hobby

  12. Scot McDougal on June 26, 2021 at 1:38 am

    In Arizona we had to keep in mind that the sun was north of us in the summer, so some south-facing areas would NOT get much sun!

  13. Hall Paint And Body on June 26, 2021 at 1:38 am

    Lots of rain, had to dig a trench to reroute the pond spillway. Nice little stream flowing close by for now.

  14. Google is Evil on June 26, 2021 at 1:40 am

    Hi Melissa! Great vid, as always. The coupon code for the vertical planter didn’t work. Is it for a specific item?

  15. The Homemade Haven on June 26, 2021 at 1:41 am

    Waiting for the rain and mud to let up here in Eastern NC.. spring can’t come soon enough! Ready to get my hands dirty!

  16. Glen Reaume on June 26, 2021 at 1:43 am

    Hi Melissa . I have been growing in raised beds for quite a while and have had no problems with raised beds drying out in fact just the oppisite . I think the key to maintaining moisture is organic material , i use leaf mold and my own compost and a mulch . I know the no dig approach works for holding mositure , if you build your soil your beds will hold the mositure and you will not have to water . Good luck in 2021 i really enjoy your content .

  17. Patty McCann on June 26, 2021 at 1:45 am

    Love your channel!

  18. GARDEN STATE GARDENER on June 26, 2021 at 1:46 am


  19. Andrea Cremeans on June 26, 2021 at 1:46 am

    Hey Mrs. Melissa, I know this isn’t quite related to this particular video. But I have been looking for some good lard (non hydrogenated etc.) and the ones I’ve found are nice but expensive. I’ve been calling around to the butchers near me and I called one by a dairy farm I go to. Well, they said they don’t Sell lard, bummer BUT they TRADE!!!! And not only that, they trade the cuts of fat I want to render and they are grass fed and the works and LOCAL. I am so excited. I’m an eagerly awaiting their call when they get in some fat. I just had to comment that because I don’t have anyone accessible and I’m too excited!!

  20. Almost Home on June 26, 2021 at 1:47 am

    Yes! Stated our first vegetable garden this year, and it’s been such an awesome learning curve 😅 love these tips. The planning stage is so important for a successful harvest! 👍

  21. Asia Shah on June 26, 2021 at 1:48 am

    Nice From uk very cold I grow some asia vegetable

  22. Michael J Saez on June 26, 2021 at 1:48 am

    👍👍 excellent video

  23. Vickie Krouse on June 26, 2021 at 1:49 am

    where is the code for the stacked planted with strawberries please

  24. GG S on June 26, 2021 at 1:49 am

    Love your gardening tips. OCD?? Just a bit. But I’m married to one. LOL

  25. Richard Frank on June 26, 2021 at 1:53 am

    Deer, raccoons, woodchucks, bunnies, chipmunks are my biggest headaches. Skunks, coyotes and opossums only eat melon rinds off the compost pile so they are ok. Do your moles ever venture into the garden or do they stay under the lawn? I’m just asking because I have a theory that moles get into the softer worked up dirt and their tunnels keep collapsing so they give up and go back to the lawn where the grass roots hold the ground in place.

  26. Gina Jeffries on June 26, 2021 at 1:54 am

    It looks like you’re in my backyard! We’re close to the river so our soil has a lot of gravel in random places. I love the idea of the raised beds with cattle panels in between. It’s better than having the panel straddle the bed. We are also planting guilds around the orchard trees this year to try to expand our limited growing areas and have more perennials that aren’t eating up space in the main garden. We’re far enough up the valley that we lose daylight behind the mountains and super tall fir trees, even in summer, so starting many plants indoors is necessary to have enough days to allow them to reach harvest stage and I’m using your garden planner for that!

  27. Anna Lawler on June 26, 2021 at 1:58 am

    Such a great video. I’ve been gardening and you’ve answered a lot of why my crops aren’t successful.

  28. Patti Kallal on June 26, 2021 at 1:58 am

    I have been gardening g all my life, 67 years. I liked your vertical fence.

  29. Chris on June 26, 2021 at 1:59 am

    raised beds are not at all ergonomic, unless you’re in a wheelchair and they are raised to that level. for a person without a wheelchair, raised beds require a lot of unnecessary stretching to reach and generally cant use standard tools like hoes, unless the bed is fully cleared. plant space planning is easier on standard rows.

    i use 20-20-20 + TE, ammonium sulfate, and gypsum. more economical and grows better veggies than heaping loads of composts/manures that will not supply ongoing nutrients for hungry crops.

    doing transplants is best ever. gives more reliable and quicker time to harvests.

  30. ever eady on June 26, 2021 at 2:01 am

    skip to 8:50

  31. Mary Pat Mitton on June 26, 2021 at 2:09 am

    I noticed the high tunnel over your shoulder at about 4 min into the video. Did you use sheet plastic or is there a kit you purchased to fit the tent frame?

  32. Juanita Webb on June 26, 2021 at 2:10 am

    Thank you so much!

  33. Fire Falcon on June 26, 2021 at 2:10 am

    Melissa, just a question. Going to get back into gardening and planning out my garden. Traditionally, i did the long rows of plants. Would you recommend a more grouped style of planting to help shade out weeds, much like you get from raised bed? I’m on the fence.

  34. JoAnna The Singer on June 26, 2021 at 2:12 am

    I just wanted to tell you…I so liked the photo cases you store your garden seeds in that when they were on sale last week, I got one to transfer and organize my garden seeds in! Great organizational idea for my garden!!!

  35. Ruth Packard on June 26, 2021 at 2:13 am

    Great channel, Melissa! We live just north of Seattle and I can’t find anyplace around here to buy hog or cattle panels for vertical planting. Can you tell us where you shopped for them?

  36. The Village House on June 26, 2021 at 2:13 am

    Yes! We have renovated enough in our village house, to start planting this spring. I can’t wait. These tips are very useful, thank you!

  37. Julian on June 26, 2021 at 2:15 am

    Hey where’s the snow?

  38. Lisa Cabello on June 26, 2021 at 2:16 am

    I just finished taking all the gravel out of my backyard and am in the process of turning my soil. I will be planting in a day or two.

  39. bbruce995 on June 26, 2021 at 2:18 am

    there is one problem with trying to know your frost dates, we are in a magnetic reversal on earth right now, meaning its moving our jet stream and changing the weather here on earth, best way to stay on top would be to learn about it.. youtube suspicious observers . the magnetic reversal is a precursor the GRAND SOLAR MINIMUM, which we are just entering, the GSM is a little ice age, all of this is due to the sun , our sun has a cycle and unfortunately, we are at the deep end of the cycle, we are getting colder on earth, and no, CO2 will not stop this action from happening, in fact, CO2 is plant food, and we are at the lowest percentage of CO2 in over 4000 years.

  40. Anna Lawler on June 26, 2021 at 2:19 am

    For weed control and non muddy walkways, I’ve cut old carpet into 18” strips and laid it in the garden with 3-4 " spacing. Planted between the rows of carpet. Has worked great.

  41. Pople BackyardFarm on June 26, 2021 at 2:21 am

    I am excited about starting our garden as soon as the weather breaks although we will be doing a few things inside first

  42. Vickie Krouse on June 26, 2021 at 2:22 am

    where did you get the plastic tote for seeds ????

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