Answer: The first thing you should do is get a soil test. Check your yellow pages for Soil Labs. The test will tell you exactly what you need to do to get started (how to amend, with what, what fertilizers, etc.). The easiest veggies -- I'm assuming that's what you mean by hardiest-- for a spring garden are beets, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, spinach, and Swiss Chard. For a summer garden, pick bush beans, eggplant, squash, and tomatoes. Of course, choose only what you like to eat. If the ground beneath the pines is in heavy shade and constantly buried in pine needles, I would strongly suggest against grass. Try an evergreen ground cover such as vinca or English ivy instead. Or better yet, go with non-plants such as pea gravel or bark mulch.
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