Preparing a Plot of land for produce garden - Knowledgebase Question

Romeo, Mi
Question by ramonameiro
September 21, 2009
I would like to have a vegetable/fruit garden in the spring. What can I do this fall to start preparing the area which is thick with grass and weeds? Can I use Round Up to kill everything in that area?
I live in southeast Michigan.

Answer from NGA
September 21, 2009


You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Start now by removing all vegetation from the area (Round Up is fine to use) 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. To keep winter weeds from popping up you can leave the mulch on the top of the soil to suppress weeds. In the spring, 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. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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