The Q&A Archives: start a simple vegetable garden

Question: My front yard gets better sun but is covered with ivy. How difficult will it be to convert to a garden where my children and I can grow some simple vegetables: snap peas, tomatoes, etc. Since it's in the front, I'd also need to fence it- as simply and inexpensively as possible while still allowing easy entry for us (not neighborhood dogs!) I'm a working mom with 2 young kids.

Answer: You may want to consider eradicating the ivy and then building a raised bed garden. You can place a chicken wire fence around your new garden to keep curious dogs out. Failing that, you can remove the ivy by cutting it close to the ground, then rototill the area and pull out the remaining ivy roots. Once the ivy is gone, work some compost or other organic matter into the soil and plant your veggies, again putting a fence around the vegetable bed. Or - and this is my favorite approach - you can plant veggies in containers and put them on your porch, patio, or even out in your landscape. Choose sunny spots, fill the pots with potting soil and plant seedlings or sow your veggies seeds in the soil. Best wishes with your new garden!

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