The Q&A Archives: basic setup or my first veggie garden

Question: I live by the lake in northeast ohio area. I have a big backyard with plenty of sun. Should I put my garden in the wetter area of my lawn or the more raised area of my lawn. This is my first garden so i need advice where to start? How big do i make it I just remove grass from area a till it up I need to fence this in..I am as lost as i am excited about growin some veggies ...onions, tomatos , cucumbers, squash. and herbs was my plan..I thank you in advance for any advice you can lend me:)

Answer: Your vegetable garden should be in full sun all day. It is best to avoid a very wet area or a very dry area. A level spot is easiest to work on.

You will need to remove the grass, either with a sharp flat spade, or a sod cutter or by killing it with an herbicide containing glyphosate. (Read and follow ALL of the label directions.)

Also run some basic soil tests to check fertility and pH. The test results will tell you how much fertilizer is needed and how much lime you need to use (if any.) It is usually a good idea to add organic matter such as compost to the soil as well.

You can spade the ground or till it, working in the recommended amendments and breaking up the soil. Remove roots and larger stones. Break up large clods of soil, level the area, and rake the surface smooth. Then you are ready to plant.

You probably will need a fence to keep animals such as woodchucks and deer out.

Your local county extension should be able to help you wiht the soil testing and interpreting the results, they should also be able to suggest specific vegetable varieties (such as the best kind of tomato or cucumber) that do especially well in your local area.

Enjoy your new garden!

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