Answer: First of all start by building the soil. Add lots of organic matter in the form of compost, leaves, and grass clipping for example. If your soil is tough to work because of the clay, try growing your vegetables in raised beds. Raise the soil up about 10" high and create a bed 3' wide by as long as you wish. Start with planting transplants of tomatoes, peppers and lettuce. Crops to seed are peas, carrots, beans, squash. Follow the directions for spacing on the packages. You can buy the seed now, but wait until you're ready to plant to buy transplants. You should be able to put the cool season crops such as peas, carrots and lettuce in the ground by May 1st, but wait until the end of May for the beans, squash and tomatoes. It sounds like you're really getting into it. Great! You'll need to moisten the soil after planting even under row covers and keep it moist while the plants are germinating. If you add already composted manures... to the soil you can plant immediately afterward. For uncomposted materials such as grass clippings, hay... wait at least 2 weeks before planting. You add mulch after transplanting cool season crops like broccoli. Wait for seedlings to grow to at least 6 leaves before mulching. Warm season crops suchas tomatoes should be mulched after the soil has warmed up (usually mid June or so). I can taste your fresh vegetables already!
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