Newly Registered
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2006 12:54 pm
Location: AL

Help. Wanna start a garden. :)

New member. :)

I have an area near my barn that I'd like to make into a veg garden. How do I start? Kill it with RoundUp or some other non-select herbicide? I assume that I will have trouble with grass roots coming back...?? Should I mat? If so, with what? Lotsa question, I know.....I am career Army Officer who is GLAD to be at home and am told that gardening is healthy in many ways. :)

The Helpful Gardener
Posts: 7491
Joined: Mon Feb 09, 2004 9:17 pm
Location: Colchester, CT

Yo Army

It's healthy if you don't start with chemicals that are gonna stick in your soil for a while like glyposphate. We like the vinegar, citrus and clove oil herbicides MUCH better. Organic fertilizers are another way to keep it healthy (compost, manures, seaweed and fish emulsions etc.)...

SO to start, a quick hit with organic herbicide (rolloer application reduces drift and collateral damage (suspect I don't need to explain that phrase to you :lol: ). THEN pull the black plastic over that and let it cook in the sun for two weeks. Remove, spade, and till (ONCE! Do not buy a tiller; this is why God invented rental stores). Remove foliage clumps as you go. Add in compost and manures with that first tilling. After that buy a box of red wrigglers at the bait store and make sure they have plenty of fresh humus to eat and they will do ALL the tilling your garden needs AND add organic fertilizers as they do it. You are a busy guy so make your garden work for you. Hit it with the cultivator once and a while to knock down the weeds and add more compost as a mulch when you do; you will get a great crop this year and the neighbors will be begging for your secrets in a year or two (DON'T GET TRANSFERRED! You will want to move this with you!)


Super Green Thumb
Posts: 4659
Joined: Thu Oct 21, 2004 5:58 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Not much to add to that.

With grass and other weeds, you don't really even need herbicides. I personally just use a shovel and turn them right into the soil or if you are feeling lazy you an do the till thing ONCE.

And any weeds that pop up during the growing season I simply turn back into the soil or add to the compost pile.

This August, spread out some Fall Rye seeds with some vetch or other nitrogen fixers. In mow it regularly throughout September and leave the clippings on the ground. In October, turn the Rye/legume mix in with a shovel and lay down a layer of either mulched or unmulched leaves atop the Rye. Then, just spread some manure over the leaves and the following year, you will be amazed to see how well,your vegetables grow.

User avatar
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1596
Joined: Sat Apr 16, 2005 8:42 pm
Location: Summerville, GA, Zone 7a

Not much to add - but welcome to the forum!

What part of Alabama are you in? I'm close to the border - thats why I ask - trying to figure your zone too. :)

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