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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am so excited to have prepped my first garden!!:D: I live in PA, 60 miles west of Philly. How much can 125 square feet produce? I know it depends on what I plant, but is this a good size garden for one person? Should I till more? I'm up for doing as much as possible. I think by keeping it long and narrow it will be easier to weed. I can stay on the grass and reach in. Thoughts and opinions on this please!:thumb:

So WOW, that was MUCH more work that I thought it would be. I wasn't sure what to do about the grass on top of the soil, but I just tilled it in :eek::. The soil was also wet, after 2 days of rain. I know I have 2 strikes against me right there, but I needed to get it done now. I'm confident that it will be fine. I cut the grass down to 1" prior to tilling.

After it was tilled 10" deep, and passed over 2-3 times, I spread a cart load of cow manure mixed with straw/hay, mulched leaves, fine saw dust, etc. This manure has been sitting for at least 6 months already. There were a couple of pitch fork loads that had some white fungus,but I didn't think that would matter, it will probably aid in decomposition.

Tomorrow I will till the manure in. I have enough manure for 25 more loads if I needed, so I have plenty for the future. How much should I put on? a thin layer 1-2" over the entire tilled area?

Once the manure is tilled in, is there any preparation I need to do for the winter? A cover of some sort? Maybe a thin layer of manure to be tilled in in the spring?

Thanks a lot for reading and any advice you give!
 

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So WOW, that was MUCH more work that I thought it would be. I wasn't sure what to do about the grass on top of the soil, but I just tilled it in . The soil was also wet, after 2 days of rain. I know I have 2 strikes against me right there, but I needed to get it done now. I'm confident that it will be fine. I cut the grass down to 1" prior to tilling.
Breaking new ground is the hardest part, but from now on it will till much easier, especially with the added manure for compost.
Don't worry about the grass, it will decompose along with the manure.
I would keep the total amount of added composted manure to no more than 3" total/year. If you will be adding some more, go ahead and till it in,.....but wait till the soil is not too wet.:thumb:
 

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Most of the gardens I had when I was younger were much larger than I ended up being able to use, but it was always good to go out and pick a dozen good ripe Tomatoes when I felt like it.

Its good to till it over twice again in the spring before you actually plant as this will greatly reduce the amount of weeds.

Depending on what you want to grow and how much you want to grow, I would say plant twice what you think youll need. Maybe that's too much for the first time, but you get the idea.
 

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I am so excited to have prepped my first garden!!:D: I live in PA, 60 miles west of Philly. How much can 125 square feet produce? I know it depends on what I plant, but is this a good size garden for one person? Should I till more? I'm up for doing as much as possible. I think by keeping it long and narrow it will be easier to weed. I can stay on the grass and reach in. Thoughts and opinions on this please!:thumb:
...

Once the manure is tilled in, is there any preparation I need to do for the winter? A cover of some sort? Maybe a thin layer of manure to be tilled in in the spring?

Thanks a lot for reading and any advice you give!
Feels good, doesn't it? :thumb:

I was in the same position last year with breaking sod to make a new garden. I started in the spring though. You'll have a head start next year, which is great.

I tried a few different methods for killing sod. The most effective method was the double dig method, which is a lot of work but I had fewer problems with weeds. You should be able to find the method described online somewhere if you're interested. The second method which also worked a treat was just to dig up a spade's depth and turn it over so that the grass was upside down in the bottom of the hole. Easier than double digging but not quite as effective.

In my humble opinion, you have the right idea to make it long and narrow, especially if one of the long sides is to the south. Less chance of plants shading each other that way. Your bed does seem a little small, but you have a longer and warmer growing season than I have, and it's better to have a modest start and build on it, than take on too much at once and get burnt out.

I think you've started out really well. What sort of soil do you have? Clay? Sand? Loam? Is there any change of the surface soil being washed away in spring floods?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Feels good, doesn't it? :thumb:

I think you've started out really well. What sort of soil do you have? Clay? Sand? Loam? Is there any change of the surface soil being washed away in spring floods?
It feels great! I have always had a mild disgust for grass/sod :cool: and was more than happy to till it under. I am happy that this lot of land will go towards something productive.

The top 8-10 inches is a fairly decent top soil which was deposited when the last owner did work to the property. If it is anything, it has a bit of clay in it. I found almost NO rocks or stones.

I decided to add two more carts of manure, making 2-3" of manure total. I am also bringing in 3 carts of sand. Once this is deposited, I'll till until it is evenly mixed and let it rest until spring.

I really look forward to growing some nice veggies!
 
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