Ask a Question forum: Brand new to all this

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Name: Joe Byrne

Feb 10, 2017 9:29 PM CST
Greetings! I have never grown a single thing in my life. However, looking for a new hobby and in hopes of learning to be more self-sufficient, I want to try vegetable gardening. I purchased a special garden "housing" that has no bottom but sides and a top with a nice mesh covering to keep out insects and animals (we have lots of bunnies and squirrels that would love to eat whatever I plant!) My question is, what should I do for soil? I don't really want to dig up an area in my yard, so I figure I can probably buy some good soil instead. Should I look for basic "dirt" or are there some better options? I don't mind shelling out some cash, I just want to give myself the best chance of success. I live in central Minnesota.

Any other tips for a newbee are appreciated!

Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
Feb 11, 2017 2:32 AM CST
My local nursery sells topsoil, compost and a 50/50 mix. I would start my beds 1/2 with 50/50 and add peat, sand, and more topsoil to fill. There are fancier mixes involving stuff like greensand, but that should be a decent beginning. You can get fancier as your experience grows.

Good soil makes good crops.
Name: Sally
central Maryland
Seriously addicted to kettle chips.
Charter ATP Member Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Mid-Atlantic Composter Region: Maryland Birds
Cat Lover Dog Lover Region: United States of America
Feb 11, 2017 9:09 AM CST
how big is this housing? what are you going to plant? If it keeps out insects, it might also keep out bees you need to pollinate some crops.
..come into the peace of wild things..-Wendell Berry
Life is a buffet (anon)
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Feb 11, 2017 9:14 AM CST
Joe, could you up load a pic of the "housing"
Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.
Name: Joe Byrne

Feb 11, 2017 7:38 PM CST
Thanks all!

SallyG: I'd like to grow vegetables only. I'm not really into flowers. My main goal is to be a little more self-sustaining.

Crawgarden: There's still a lot of snow and ice out back where I set it up. It's marketed at a tool to make gardening easier for beginners. Basically an 4x8 frame, 2 feet deep with poles holding both screening and plastic sheets over the top and sides. The plastic is mainly intended for indoor use I believe, for starting plants. It acts like a greenhouse.

Yardenman: Excellent. That gives me a great starting point. I figured there was some kind of mix I could get. As soon as the nursery's open up this year, I'll drop by and ask them to set me up!
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Hostas Ferns Garden Photography Plant and/or Seed Trader Forum moderator Region: United States of America
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Feb 11, 2017 8:21 PM CST
Welcome! @JoeByrne !

As you can see, we're all ready and willing to help any and all.

If you would, please update your profile so that your location appears in the upper right corner of your posts. It will help get more accurate answers to your questions as the season progresses.

You don't mention what kind of vegetables, but be aware that some do require pollination to produce.

Also, make sure that your garden is getting plenty of sun during the day. There are very few vegetables that will produce if they don't get enough sun.
[Last edited by RickM - Feb 11, 2017 8:22 PM (+)]
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