First time vegetable garden - Knowledgebase Question

River Falls, Wi
Question by dawnhuberty
April 17, 2010
We have the space tilled & ready for compost. We have made our gardening area rabbit proof, now what? What sort of compost should we use? Do we blend with the dirt a certain way? Is there a particular way to arrange what we are planning to grow? Thanks!

Answer from NGA
April 17, 2010


Sounds like you're off to a good start! Begin by 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. As for arrangement, plant the tallest plants in the back - corn, trellised beans, etc. - the medium sized plants in the middle (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and the lowest growing in the front of the bed. This way the tall plants won't shade the rest of the veggies. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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