How to start my garden? - Knowledgebase Question

Rockville, Ma
Question by margot31
March 21, 2010
Hello, my husband and I are eager to start a small garden (I can send a picture of the place we have in mind). Place gets some from 10am-2pm and we already grow some parsley there. It is not a big place but for beginners we think is great. There are some flowers there that I will transplat this weekend but what shall we do after?
Many thanks,

Answer from NGA
March 21, 2010


Welcome to the wonderful world of gardening! Your average last frost date is between the last week of April and the first week of May. While you can dig and transplant established perennials that are growing in other beds now, you'll want to wait until the first week of May to plant anything new. This is simply because the plants in the nurseries are greenhouse grown and are not familiar with cold temperatures. Before transplanting your existing or new plants, why not take a little time to work some organic matter into the soil? If you enrich your soil over a period of years, you'll end up with rich garden loam and very happy plants. Start this spring by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the 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 and then 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 garden. Enjoy!

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