loveykatie
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Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Maryland

New garden...need advice

I'm starting a new garden 20' x 6', covered with grass, and I'm getting a lot of advice and not sure which to follow.

Should I:

A) Rent a till and till the grass under itself, then rake out the grass, then add soil?
B) Rent a till and till the grass under itself, then rake out the grass, then add soil AND mulch?
C) Rent a till and till the grass under itself, then rake out the grass, then add soil and mulch and then mix it up?

How much mixing do I need to do, or am I adding the soil and mulch on top of the tilled dirt and not mixing?

Someone mentioned weeds...do I need to worry about weeds if they aren't already there?

When should I do this by in order to plant in early May?
~Katie
First year of gardening - loving every minute!

loveykatie
Full Member
Posts: 35
Joined: Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:50 pm
Location: Maryland

Also, do I need to rake the grass out to begin planting after tilling?

And if I plan on planting peppers, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, cucumbers and asparagus, do you have any specific suggestions as far as how many seeds to put down and how far apart they should be?
~Katie
First year of gardening - loving every minute!

Yellowsnow
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Posts: 60
Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:52 am
Location: SC PA 6b

I would remove as much of the sod as possible before tilling. Till the soil after sod removal. Have a local nursery deliver a mushroom soil, sand mix and dump it in the garden and till the mix into the already tilled soil.

Weeds come in perennials and annuals. Many weed seeds can blow into the garden and germinate into a weed. Hand pulling of weeds is the way to go. I put down news paper and straw between the rows to help control weeds, but there are always some needing hand pulled.

First year gardens don't always produce as well as an established garden.

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jal_ut
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Joined: Sun Jan 18, 2009 10:20 pm
Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

I wonder if the area is in lawn and what type of grass is growing there? If it is Kentucky Blue grass it is much easier to deal with than Johnson Grass or Quack Grass.

You can hand dig an area that size with a digging fork. Just turn over the sod and let it dry for a day or two then go shake it and the soil will mostly fall off. You can put the grass in a compost heap. Till it if you wish, but if you do till it, wait a week or two and till it again. You can then go right ahead and plant. A double tilling with a break in between will pretty much kill the grass. The second tilling will also get the weeds that are germinating.
First year gardens don't always produce as well as an established garden.
I don't find this to be true. A plot just taken out of sod often produces very well. The organic material from the grass enriches the soil.

I don't know what your soil is like, but if you can get some compost or aged manure to put on and till it in that would be good.

Weeds? Yes, weeds are a fact of life. Plan on having weeds. Get them when vary small by a shallow cultivation with a hoe. Pull any too close to your garden plants to get with the hoe. Pull them when small because pulling larger weeds can damage the roots of your plants.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-



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