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#1 of 8 Old 01-17-2002, 01:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am planning to start a garden in my backyard this year (with a good friend's help) completely from scratch. the back yard is fairly large, we have a dog and the whole yard is grass. I have no idea where or when to begin. When do most things get planted? I'm thinking April or May? But when is the best time to get the earth ready. And should I build up (which I'm thinking because of the dog)? Do I have to dig up the grass or can I just use one of those rototillers?
I appreciate any advice!
Thanks, Shannon:cool:
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#2 of 8 Old 01-17-2002, 01:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, I forgot to say, its going to be a vegetable garden. I might try some other plants, too, but I'm pretty bad at killing things and I figure with my friend helping me so that she can have ½ the veggies, I'll do better.
Shannon
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#3 of 8 Old 01-17-2002, 08:08 PM
 
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Hello Shannon!
I live in the mid-atlantic, so I don't know how much our soil has in common, but one thing I do know is that tillers ROCK!!! Especially here in Maryland where we basically live on top of stonehenge!! Plus tilling brings up all those great worms. Although you will accidentall slaughter some during tilling. You should probably start preparing now. Start building your compost. Looking through seed catalogs (check out peace valley farms catalog-- organic stuff--they are in cali) Get a simple guide for your growing region. Organic Gardening mag is great, but most of the info is way over my head. I am whatever level is below beginner !!! OG mag is also good source for seeds!!! If you give me some time I can look thru some back issues and give you more info. I just came across your thread so I am really unprepared for an educated response!! But I was excited to see another beginning gardener!
As for your dog-- poop can be good. Digging can be not so good. Except in the beginning when you are planting!! I don't know much about dogs, but I imagine if there is a will, there's a way. I have seen some pics of gorgeous raised bed gardens. Just get out there and experiment. Unless, of course, you have to have your garden for self-sufficiency.
Personall, I haven't had huge succcess with my veg-garden because we work at a summercamp and are only home on weekends all through summer!! But my peppers-jalepeno, habanero, thai, etc. do wonderful with little care. I might go into salsa making. Hope I helped. Please lets keep this thread. It gets me outta my winter blues to think about gardening!!! ~jenny
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#4 of 8 Old 01-17-2002, 11:20 PM
 
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You can do a tiller or do what organic gardeners call a double dig. Where you dig the soil down to a foot, add organic matter and dig it again so that it is turned in.


All year is a good time for gardening. just some of it is planning and dreaming till the weather is nice enough to put the former into practice.

My advice is to figure out what you wanna grow. Start small and then find a good spot in your yard. Watch the sun rise and set and see what areas get what.

There is a thread here that I may bump for you of favorite gardening sites. you can peruse them for info.

Ohh and go to the local nursery and chat with the folks there. they will answer any specific zone questions you may have.
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#5 of 8 Old 01-23-2002, 06:42 PM
 
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Shan,

I am also going for the garden this year. Last year we had some success with tomatoes and herbs, but digging up grass was a lot of work. This year I am renting a tiller. They are way to expensive otherwise. Here, you can rent them for about $25/3 hours. I like the double dig idea, although I think I will do it after the ground in tilled...

Karen
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#6 of 8 Old 01-23-2002, 07:12 PM
 
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If you are gonna rent a tiller my suggestion be that you go in with a few neighbors on it.

Everyone chip in. Say you have 3 people. ONe picks it up, one cleans it after use, and the last drops it back off.

This way you defray the cost and the work of renting a machine and you are all helping eachother.
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#7 of 8 Old 01-31-2002, 01:04 AM
 
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Wish I could start planting right now! The weather's been so spring-like, but we just got a few more inches of snow tonight. Patience.

I haven't tried this myself -- anyone have experience with lasagna gardening? I read the book (by Patricia Lanza, see www.lasagnagardening.com), but I'm not working a new garden space. If you are, it's one way to avoid digging up sod grass.

A method I like and actually have tried is square-foot gardening, where you plant in little block instead of long rows. I'm working in a very small area, so it suits me and is very efficient. It makes the garden less overwhelming, I think. There are also directions in the book for laying out a very nice gardening schedule based on what you want to grow and the frost dates for your area.
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#8 of 8 Old 01-31-2002, 01:00 PM
 
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Square foot gardening is AWESOME and utilizes your space much better. not to mention, I think if done right, it looks MUCH better than the rows of green amidst the bare dirt.
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