starting a brand new garden - Knowledgebase Question

baltimore, Ma
Question by katianderso
March 22, 2009
i am starting with fresh ground. what should my plan be? i am doing a vegetable garden for the first time and could use some input. is renting a roto tiller from home depot an option? i live in 21206. or should i turn the dirt over by hand or should i remove the sod?

Answer from NGA
March 22, 2009


Your new garden will be most productive if you site it in the sunniest spot available and amend the soil with organic matter before planting or seeding. Dig out the sod, roots and all. A shovel is better than a rototiller because the tiller will bury the roots and they will grow up through the garden after you've planted it. So, dig the turf out with a shovel. Then you can prepare the bed. Start by spreading a 4-5" layer of organic matter (compost, shredded leaves, etc.) over the top of the soil and digging it in to a depth of 8-10". Plant the tallest growing veggies at the back of the garden and the shortest growing veggies in the front so the taller ones won't cast too much shade on the smaller plants. Veggie gardens will need a deep soaking once or twice a week, depending upon weather. Fertilize soil, ample water and lots of sunshine will help your plants produce well. Best wishes with your garden!

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