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Old 03-12-2011, 11:02 AM
pghud3 pghud3 is offline
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I plan on starting a garden next year, i wanted to do one this year but i just got settled in to a new place. This will be my first garden. I plan on doing a raised bed garden using landscape timbers. I want to grow Corn, Potatoes, and banana peppers. Does it matter when is start prepping the land? Can i go ahead place the timbers and add the top soil? I would assume it would be ok. But should i wait to add nutrients to the soil until i get ready to plant. What do you guys think?

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Old 03-12-2011, 11:17 AM
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Hi, You might try lasagna gardening. Or go ahead and dig it up and plant this year.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:27 AM
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You should start now, even if it's just working on the dirt you will be using. Plant alfalfa to build nitrogen or buckwheat to build up organic matter. You can get 3 or more crops of buckwheat if you plant it early, just till it under when the seeds form and it will recrop immediately. Without a tiller, I would plant alfalfa or clover to build nitrogen and organic matter. You could also build the beds now and add grass clippings and leaves etc to it all year, then you'd have a really rich base in the beds. Any way you look at it, starting a year ahead is a big advantage.
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Old 03-12-2011, 11:35 AM
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Can't talk about raised gardens but most people will try to plow regular gardens early spring before last freezes to kill any bugs/larvae in the ground.
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Old 03-12-2011, 07:34 PM
Ramona M. Faunce Ramona M. Faunce is offline
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Tilling manure, compost and adding nutrients to your soil will help. Then take some straw and lay it over the area where you will build your beds. This will keep the ground moist and the worms working to enrichen your garden soil.
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Old 03-12-2011, 09:35 PM
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Forget regular methods.....try www.squarefootgardening.com -- yields WAY more, takes up LESS room, and it's an organic method -- no soil. Less weeds, if any. I hated gardening becuase that was always our punishment as kids, LOL....but this method is awesome. My 4 year old maintains his own box and loves it - and it helped me enjoy it now too. Its easy and makes sense, without the hassels of the regular methods.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:28 PM
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For potatoes, in many areas of the country, you should have already planted them.
This is what I did this year for prep.

I ran a chisel plow over it about 10 times. (This cuts about 8" deep, it brings up minerals to the surface, and helps the ground absorbs and store a lot of rainwater)
Then I covered it about 1 foot deep in leaves and disked them in (If I had a big tiller, I would have used it, but i was NOT going to use a hand powered tiller on an acre)
I then limed and fertilized according to my soils requirements. Because the soil is so soft after the plowing, I didn't have to turn the lime and fertilizer into the soil, I get very little to no runoff, all the water simply soaks in.

I am a big believer in a deep plowing for a garden right before you plant. It drastically reduces runoff from anything other than a complete downpour, and it keeps the soil moist, which really helps with our very erratic rainfall in the summer. Much less irrigation. The thing is that you Have to cover the soil with some sort of mulch, such as straw to keep the soil in place before your crops can establish there own root systems.
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Old 03-12-2011, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pghud3 View Post
I plan on starting a garden next year, i wanted to do one this year but i just got settled in to a new place. This will be my first garden. I plan on doing a raised bed garden using landscape timbers. I want to grow Corn, Potatoes, and banana peppers. Does it matter when is start prepping the land? Can i go ahead place the timbers and add the top soil? I would assume it would be ok. But should i wait to add nutrients to the soil until i get ready to plant. What do you guys think?

Thanks
It's not too late to start this year.

You can have the land plowed at any time, but there are times that are better than others. It is preferential to plow in late Sept/early October so that the roots of the weeds are turned up in close proximity to the first freeze. This theoretically helps to reduce the number of weeds next year.

I plowed mine this weekend. Do I prefer it this late? No, but it's just dirt.

If you are looking at raised beds, look into mushroom compost. If you do decide on this awesome bedding material, remember that it should be aged one year because it can very likely burn up your plants.

Remember, you can also plant potatoes in tires: http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...+in+tires&aq=f

This is especially helpful because at the end of the growing season, you can just knock the stack of tires over and easily reveal the fruits of your labor.
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Old 03-13-2011, 08:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacomaJPP View Post
It's not too late to start this year.
... I plowed mine this weekend. Do I prefer it this late? No, but it's just dirt.
I agree ... start small if you have to but start now.

I envy you TacomaJPP, the snow has finally melted enough to see the sidehills, it will be 5 weeks before I turn a wheel.

* * * * * * *

Good posts here, I haven't seen any BS yet.
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Old 03-13-2011, 07:04 PM
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building your beds and waiting a year to plant would make me nuts, my hats off to you. but man all the good stuff you could do to the soil in that amount of time. grass clippings alone (dont let the grass go to seed before you mow) would do wonders.If I may recommend a ph meter you can find at lowes for cheap you could really fine tune your soil to be very plant specific again hats off if you can wait and just work your soil I have the patients of a three year old when it comes to the garden I have been known to start toms in january
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