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Joined: Sat May 08, 2010 9:32 pm
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Starting new veggie garden -Hello to all from Woodbridge, VA

Hello All,

I am definitely one of the "newbies" to gardening. I'm hoping to gain much knowledge from both the veteran gardeners and the "less seasoned" gardeners as well :) to get my vegetables to start growing.

Today, I decided to square off a 6x6 area of land to start a vegetable garden. These are the steps I have taken thus far with starting my garden. Today, I bought some watermelon, cantaloupe, and cucumbers (they were already in the plastic containers) from Home Depot and local farmers. Then, I also purchased a pouch/pack of carrot seeds. This afternoon/evening I started taking off/skimming the grass (sorry for my lack of knowledge and not knowing the proper terminology). Now that I have the grass off...this is where most of my questions come, I shall now say thank you in advance for all of the help anyone is able to share. I would like to plant the vegetables as soon as possible if it would make sense to. These are my questions:

1. Should I spray some grass killer before planting?
2. How long should I take before planting the vegetables?
3. Should I use a mixture of manure/compost with Miracle Grow gardening soil to plant the vegetables?
4. Is the 6x6 area I have designated for the vegetable garden, big enough for all of the vegetables I would like to grow?

Again, thank you to everyone! I am very eager to grow, I have a very positive attitude and I am ready to do some good gardening!! :)

Thank you to all!!


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Super Green Thumb
Posts: 25279
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 6:04 pm
Location: TN/GA 7b

Hi and welcome to the forum; hope you find it friendly and helpful. I took the liberty of moving your post from the Intro section to the Veggie Garden section, since you had all those questions about starting a new veggie garden. Not everyone reads the Intros; this way more people will see it who might be able to answer some questions for you.

No, don't spray poison where you want to plant food, not a good idea.

It's not a question of time, it's a question of how well prepared your soil is. As soon as you have created a good garden bed, you can plant it.

Here's a couple recent threads about the process of turning lawn into garden bed:

Where it talks about tilling, for your little 6x6 area, just use a fork and hoe. But you want the ground all broken up to as soft and fine as you can get it. And yes in that process you want to turn in your soil amendments. Personally I think if you add compost and composted (WELL AGED) manure, you don't need the miracle grow, but mixing in a little bit of potting soil at the end just to lighten it up a little can't hurt.

The veggies you mentioned were watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumbers and carrots. The carrots, where you plant a seed, there will be a carrot and it will stay in that spot, just getting a little bigger. All you need to do is give it a few inches of room per plant. HOWEVER, the other three are all big large-spreading vines. For what you want to do with your little space, it would help to put up a trellis and let the cucumber grow up the trellis. Then it depends on what is outside your 6x6. Is it still lawn? Is it okay for the watermelon and cantaloupe to grow out into the lawn (that would mean you couldn't mow where the vines are)? You could plant one or two cucumber plants on the trellis, one watermelon and maybe two cantaloupe plants in the bed, understanding that they will spill over, and you will have to find a different spot for the carrots, they will get totally over-run and smothered if in the bed with all those vines...

Super Green Thumb
Posts: 3062
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:40 pm
Location: ohio

Welcome to the Helpful Gardener. Spend some time on here and you will learn A LOT!

RG hit it right on the money. The vining crops will have to be trained on a trellis or out into your yard since they will overtake your bed. I would recommend that you trellis the cucumbers and just let the other plants grow into the yard. They larger crops can be trellised, but cucumbers are just so much easier.

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Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:42 pm
Location: Wentzville, MO (Just West oF St. Louis) Zone 5B

A big resounding NO to the weed killer on your garden.

AS far as the cumber trellis I am very down with that. Not only will it take up less space but the cukes will come out more straight due to hanging with out any obstacles to grow around. One thing to think about is planting some carrots or lettuce underneath your trellis if it would be an A-Frame type. They would like the protection from the heat the trellis would give.

Good luck

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Location: Mid Ohio

If you were going to use weed killer (I.e. Roundup = glyphosate) you would have wanted to apply it before cutting the grass so that it could get into the plant. It takes a couple of weeks to kill off the grass and works very well. Much of the food you buy in the grocery store was grown on fields that were de-weeded with Roundup prior to planting, so refering to it as poison or toxic to humans is inaccurate. You would not want to use other weed killers because they have a longer retention time in the soil and will kill your vegetables.

Since you are converting sod, it is full of organic matter (roots) so there is no urgent reason to add compost. You would want to add some sort of fertilizer and wait 2-3 weeks after turning over and chopping up the sod (tilling) to let it break down and start releasing nutrients. Before that the decomposition process tends to pull nutrients from the soil. Mulching after planting is a good idea to prevent rain from compacting the soil.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:43 pm

Much of the food you buy in the grocery store was grown on fields that were de-weeded with Roundup prior to planting, so refering to it as poison or toxic to humans is inaccurate.
and this is why I grow my own and or buy from the Organic section of the grocery store. :wink:

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