The Q&A Archives: Begginners Guide to Success

Question: I would like to plant some canolope, watermelon, tomatoes, cabage, peppers, strawberries, and other vegetables in my backyard. I need assistance on what I should focus on first, what are the steps, I should take, PLease I need your help I dont what to do, someone told me to test soil first for planting fruits and vegetables. I also would like flowers on the opposite side of the garden.HELP!

Answer: Although you can have your soil tested, I think it will be fine for flowers and vegetables. The first thing to do is amend the soil with lots of organic matter so it drains quickly yet holds just the right amount of moisture and so it will be nutrient rich. You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Start this spring by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the vegetable bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your veggies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular vegetable garden.

In addition to the above, visit the following webpage for information on which varieties will grow best in your gardening region:

Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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