I'm up in zone six.
While this year it's not going to happen, I'm planning on getting a
vegetable garden set up for next year. The backyard is shaded with a
couple of large trees, and I know I have a back-breaking amount of of
digging to do to get the rocks out of the ground (Damned New England
earth!), but what else can I do to make sure it's ready to be planted
come spring 2011?
The soil's a heavy clay and the water table is all of two feet
underground according to a perk test done in 2007.
You could do raised beds, which would save you the labor of digging
rocks (and give you the option of converting it to a hoop house to
extend your season. You can do this in the earth as well, just remember
that it will absorb 5 - 15% of your sunlight
<http://westsidegardener.com/howto/hoophouse.html ), but if you're going to plant in the earth, you'll probably need to adjust the pH
upwards. Have the pH checked, or perhaps an university extension near
you already knows. You can use clear plastic to raise your soil
temperatures. I do this in conjunction with a drip irrigation system. I
cut an X in the plastic where I want to plant, fold the >< back under,
make my hole, plant, and add more dirt or planter mix as needed to seal
the plastic so that warm air won't escape.
When I'm back to work, I turn the water on in the morning, when I get my
newspaper. By the time I've finished with the paper and coffee, I turn
it back off. Watering is done. See alt.binaries.pictures.gardens -
How much direct sunshine will you have on the garden during the day?
You should be checking out what is available for short season crops.
Tomatoes like Glacier, Stupice, and Early Girl set about 60 days after
The hoop house or a T5 shop light ($120), and a hot pad will allow for
early germination, so that you are ready to go when the earth is.
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
Is there a reason you're not considering raised beds?
How much sun does your front yard get?
How much sun does your back yard get? (full sun is considered to be 6
hours of direct sun and most vegetables are full sun).
If you don't get full sun anywhere, how do you feel about removing one
or both of the trees? ...How would that affect shade to the house?
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