But first, here are a few things to think about and do before you stake out and plow your garden.
Big gardens are capable of producing big harvests. So have a plan for how you’ll harvest your crops and what you intend to do with all those vegetables, season after season.
Check your soil.
Not all soil has been created equal. Soils that are too sandy, have too much clay, or don’t drain well will not produce as much as soil that has the right texture and makeup. Call your county extension office and ask about using a soil test kit. It can help you determine what type of soil you have so you know how to improve it if necessary.
Mother Nature may, or may not provide all the water and nourishment your garden needs. So think about how you could supplement her best efforts, just in case.
Specifically, know when the projected dates for the first and last frosts of the growing season are. There are a variety of online resources for finding this information for your area.
Time to get started.
First, stake out where you want your large vegetable garden to be. If you’re planning to use a plow attached to your tractor’s 3-point hitch to break that never-been-broken-before soil, then you’re probably planning to create a garden that is at least 30 feet wide by 50 feet long (9.14 X 15.24 m). That area is called the “land.” The ground just beyond the end of the furrows you’ll plow is called the “headland.” Make sure you have enough headland space at both ends for your tractor to turn around comfortably to make the return passes. About 10 feet should do it.
Next, to use a plow correctly, make sure it is level with the ground, side-to-side and front-to-back. Adjust the top link and lift arm as necessary.
Plow your first furrow down the center of your garden area. Raise the plow, turn around, and put the right rear tractor tire in that furrow. Then adjust the lift arm to bring the plow to level again. Proceed to dig this next furrow with the tractor tire in the first furrow. Your plow should now be throwing soil into the first furrow you cut. When you get to the end, raise the plow again, turn around to the right again, place the right tractor tire in the center furrow, and cut your next furrow. Continue in this fashion, always turning right, always putting your right rear tire in a previously plowed furrow until you’ve plowed your entire garden.
You can use a plow to create a large vegetable garden anytime. For ideal soil for planting, consider plowing your new garden in the fall and let the overturned vegetation begin to decompose while the ground temperatures are still warm. In the spring, it will be ready for you to use a rotary tiller to break up all the large dirt clods and create a beautifully smooth seedbed for you to start planting.
And remember, always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.