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A garden is only as good as the ground that it's planted in. Discussion forum for the many ways to improve the soil where we plant our gardens.

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Old April 11, 2019   #1
Kazedwards's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 368
Default Starting a garden

So this year we are putting in an actual garden and I’m trying to figure out the best way to start. It will be in an area that has only been mowed for the last 10 years. Before that I think they just had cows on it. It has really decent top soil that is about a foot or more deep and is clay based. It is really a step up from the last home we had. As far as weeds my biggest challenge will be the crab grass or whatever has those think white roots. I’m not really wanting to till but not opposed to renting one to get started. My plan in the long run is to build up raised rows and mulch heavily. I plan on using wood chips in between the rows and leaves or straw on them along with compost. Right now I just I just have a few rows done that will be reworked at the end of the season. Those I double dug after removing the grass. So here are my thoughts.

I could rent a tiller and till it all up and go from there with the rows and mulch.

My other thought was that I have about 9” of very used bedding in our chicken coop(I know I should have cleaned it out already) and 10 bags of leaves. I was thinking might be able to spread those out over the grass about 4” and in about a month plant straight into it. The rows I would form over the next year. The tomato rows I would just build up as I can and halfway plant them deep throughout the year. The others would just have to wait until this fall. The bedding material is pine shavings so would worry about them leaching nitrogen. The remaining part if the garden I would just keep double digging until the area was done.

I also thought about just digging the rows and mulching the paths with the bedding directly over the grass. My problem with that would be that I wouldn’t be able to mow between the rows because my mower deck is too wide. This fall I would build up the rows with soil from the paths.

Hers a picture of the area. It’s the area mowed really short.

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