The past couple of years I have had the fastest growing garden of everyone I know. Here are a couple of pointers I've learned:
1) Add Steer Manure to your dirt.
2) Add slow release plant food into the mix before you start planting seeds.
3) Plant the seeds, and water them... a lot
I've found that if you can set your plants on a watering schedule, they'll thrive. What I've done is setup a soaker hose, and a timer (via Home Depot). I water them just before sunrise and just after sunset.
Plants are just about all the same, so this year I'm having fun and trying everything.
GOOD LUCK! Message me if you want to trade tips.