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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are buying a house that has a double lot and I'm super excited to start a garden this spring!
I don't think we can afford raised beds, though that's what I'd like to do, and I think we'll dig right into our lawn.
Should I be thinking about sewage pipes or other utility lines as well as the quality of the soil much. Has anyone tested their soil? Should I test for anything besides lead?
I'm going to get herbs going and there's already a garlic patch.
Any other tips for city gardening much appreciated! I come from a gardening in the country back ground
 

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For the beds, keep in mind that you can still do intensive gardening without a raised bed. In general, I think intensive gardening is a much better fit in an urban environment than a traditional veggie patch. The lead test is a good idea, and I'd recommend having a test by your local extension office. They'll be able to tell you about the Ph of the soil and any nutrient deficiencies along with the lead. And yes, before you dig, you should call to have underground utilities marked. In our area, there is a diggers hotline you can call, and within 48 hours everything is marked for you.

The only other thing I'd add is that shade can be a challenge in an urban environment. Not only do you have trees to contend with, but houses or buildings on each side. Be prepared to move your garden the second year if you find the spot you thought was best is shaded in the summer. If you can't bear the thought of re-digging, you might want to consider containers for the first year.
 

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The only thing I can think to add is that you should make sure that your garden area is not a low spot where water from your neighbors yard will run. In the city a lot of people use crazy chemicals on their grass and that could run into your garden and kill your plants or at the minimum contaminate them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!
Is intensive gardening square foot gardening?
We've been doing containers at our rental and I always miscalculate where the sunniest spots are, so that's a good point to position things well or wait and see before we dig in. I believe it's a really sunny yard though.

And good point about second hand chemicals, yuck!!!
 
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