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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am not a "gardener" per se, however I have grown some things over the years, mostly as a gardeners partner. You know: plant, weed, water, harvest? You know, the easy stuff.
Preparing the ground? Not so much.

This year, I have a huge garden space. It is a pasture that has not had anything in it for maybe 20 years. The soil doesn't seem particularly poor, it seems healthy. That is, if LOOKING at it gives any indication
There are lots of worms, seems good texture. I don't know what is growing in it, obviously some kind of grasses, but they aren't annoyingly evasive. There is also alfalfa & native sunflowers in it. One spot has a lot of thistle, but I will probably leave that spot alone. I think thistle is beautiful. I really don't know $%!# about soil. I need hand holding.

I didn't get on the ball with a lasagna garden in the fall, so I'm starting from here.
I understand the basics... lots of organic material... but... this is where I start getting confused and overwhelmed. In a wonderful world I'd have the perfect mix dumped in beautiful raised beds... but in MY world I have THIS dirt and not a ton of money to bury.

compost
manure
topsoil
I don't know what I should buy and what I even NEED.

Dh is on his way right now to get a truck load of cow manure with my "idea" that it doesn't have to be aged like some poo. Did I just send him off to get something I can't use for months? Should I have spent my $ elsewhere? Should I till this directly into the ground when I break ground? Add it & re-till later? I have newspaper mulch (shredded) to work with as well. I don't have any aged compost of any kind otherwise & don't want to buy a lot of things.

I tilled a bed a couple months ago on some lovely warm days we had, and have even planted some things in it without adding anything. The weeds aren't taking over, (yet) but my seedlings aren't taking off yet either. Honestly they haven't been in the ground that long, and it's been pretty cold the last week or so... so I can't say anything about that. Just hoping lack of weeds in my bed doesn't mean that it's bad soil.


Suggestions?

TIA
 

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Hey there,

Compost is your best bet. I can get it here for $20 for a yard. The cow manure you can put somewhere to compost. They say 6 months before you can plant where you till in manure. 4-6" is best of compost, but put as thick of a layer as you can afford. There are pics under my name of our garden and how our rows look. Maybe that will give you ideas.

By the way I put some cosmos in the mail today.
Sorry it took me so long.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
yay! cosmos!
:

Thanks for the info. I really wanted a huge yard so I could do this, now I'm afraid and almost want to put all my stuff in containers.
:

I've already learned a LOT about gardening and I don't even have a lot of it tilled up!
 

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You can search for your nearest extension office and ask them about soil testing services, see how much your soil is in need of amendment really by bringing them a sample. If it's as good as it looks maybe you can do a little gardening in what you have already while your manure ages.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by salt_phoenix View Post
yay! cosmos!
:

Thanks for the info. I really wanted a huge yard so I could do this, now I'm afraid and almost want to put all my stuff in containers.
:

I've already learned a LOT about gardening and I don't even have a lot of it tilled up!
I would just start small if its feeling overwhelming. You can't go wrong with containers either.
 
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