The Q&A Archives: How do we start a new vegetable garden from old soil/dirt?

Question: We moved into a house that already had a garden box built in the back yard. It is approximately 20x8 ft. We would like to plant some vegetables and fruit in it, but not quite sure where to start. Neither of us have gardened before. There is already some old dirt/soil in it already. Where do we start?

Answer: The first step is to work the soil and add some organic matter. Begin by spreading 4-5 inches of compost, aged-manure, shredded leaves, etc. over the top of the bed and digging it in to a depth of 8-10". This will loosen the soil and make it rich with nutrients so the roots of your plants can become well established. After adding organic matter, rake the area smooth and plant your veggies. After you've finished planting, spread 2-3" of organic matter over the top to help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. Enriched soil will grow the best veggies! Enjoy!

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