General Discussion:

Help! I'm starting a garden.

Messages posted to thread:

Mary Ann19-May-01 05:53 PM EST 2a   
Susan19-May-01 06:05 PM EST 6a   
20-May-01 10:41 AM EST 5a   
Judy20-May-01 09:09 PM EST   
bill21-May-01 01:41 AM EST 3b   
Tom Dawson21-May-01 11:46 AM EST 3a   
Evelyn22-May-01 10:08 AM EST 6   
Phil22-May-01 11:06 PM EST 7   

Subject: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: Mary Ann
Zone: 2a
Date: 19-May-01 05:53 PM EST

I'm starting a garden from scratch and have no idea how. Actually, the plot was dug out two years ago and now is grown in with grass and weeds. Do I dig it out again? Or do I use a herbicide to kill all this and then add soil? Or do I cultivate and then add soil and then herbicide? I warned you, I'm lost!

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: Susan
Zone: 6a
Date: 19-May-01 06:05 PM EST

You didn't mention how big this plot is or whether it is for flowers or vegetables.

If it's not unmanegeably large, I'd be inclined to dig out the weeds and grass by hand or with a hoe or whatever tool seems suitable - they might not be too well established yet if it was thoroughly dug over two years ago...(I'm generally adverse to chemicals other than as a last resort...) Then I'd add compost or organic matter if it needs it and then run a cultivator through it.

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
Zone: 5a
Date: 20-May-01 10:41 AM EST

16'x6' i like to know about rased beds

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: Judy
Date: 20-May-01 09:09 PM EST

Susan, I was in the same situation a year ago. I spent last summer de-weeding the plot by covering it with plastic. It was ugly but worth it. I then spent my time on the internet, at this site and many others learning about plants and about improving the soil. I also composted madly! Today I put the finishing touches on my perennial slope garden and have begun the same process for 2 more gardens. GIVE YOURSELF TIME TO PLAN WHAT YOU WANT!!!

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: bill
Zone: 3b
Date: 21-May-01 01:41 AM EST

My bet is that you're going to have to dig it all out slowly and methodically. Be kind to your self and your back and take it one section at a time. In the meantime, plant something wonderful like a hosta or some lettuce or whatever to prove to yourself that it can be done! Put a few annual flowers in (snapdragons, pansies, marigold plants (all)) to remind you that your garden does have a future. Happy gardening and don't wreck your back.....Ouch! Been there today!

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: Tom Dawson
Zone: 3a
Date: 21-May-01 11:46 AM EST

Hi Mary Ann - you might want to think about using all those old newspapers and lay them down on top of the old grass and weeds - use lots and make the barrier very thick - then go about making your raised beds - I've seen some excellent raised beds lately using pieces of concrete from old driveways or poured concrete side walks - usually this is discarded but when stacked it looks great - like a really old stone wall.. it inexpensive (hard work mind you) but it will be permanent and not subject to the common problems of railway ties bleeding tar and preservatives - like Judy says... take your time, plan what you want, give your self lots of room to work the beds and compost compost compost... your garden will love you for it..

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: Evelyn
Zone: 6
Date: 22-May-01 10:08 AM EST

I agree - planning is the most important. It can be very expensive to plant and not be satisfied and also this is not an instant gratification type of thing. You might have to wait until next year to change. I have one raised garden 8'x8'. I used railway ties and works very well. You might want to divide your 16' space for ease of getting to things in the middle. I enjoy working in this raised space.

Subject: RE: Help! I'm starting a garden.
From: Phil
Zone: 7
Date: 22-May-01 11:06 PM EST

Help I started a garden. It is a mixture of vegetables and bedding plants. I used generic soil and built my own plot in our yard. However I justed planted some bedding plants today and am wondering if the weather will turn cold and freeze them.

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