New Garden from Lawn

Hi everyone.
I recently purchased my first home and will be moving in on May 27th.
It has a very large, slightly sloped backyard and I live in Cincinnati, if anyone is familiar with the climate and strange weather we have here it may be helpful I guess.
I haven't had a garden since I was a kid, so there is a lot I don't remember.
Can anyone give advice on what to do to get a start on a garden for next year, and how to plan my garden now?
What I would like to grow is:
Carrots Lettuce Tomatos (cherry and plum) Corn (couple staulks) Green Peppers Green Onions Onions Banana Peppers (can you grow those in the US?)
I would also like to try some strawberries because in the back portion of my yard is a pretty good slope in a shady area and I remember from being a kid that they grow best in the shade and on a hill. I would also like to try to grow some blueberries and maybe some blackberries.
In addition to all that (as if that's not enough) I would like to try a little herb garden with some garlic, mint, cilantro, ginger, parsley, and bay leaves. Would the herbs be best off in the garden or should I try that in a window box?
I do plan also on starting a compost pile for use next year.
I guess one of my biggest hinderences to the yard preperation this year might be that we have 17 year locusts, and this summer is the 17th year so they will be swarming. Does anyone know if this is really a hinderence or just an annoyance?
Well... I guess I have written a long enough post here. I will try to shorten them in the future, I am just pretty excited about it I guess.
Thank you in advance for your assistance everyone!
Cinnamon L - Cincinnati Ohio
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You sure can.

I've read that Strawberries require full sun. Mine seem to do well in full sun. Word of advice on them: plan ahead because they like to send runners out and will quickly overgrow an area. Space them apart and use landscaping fabric and straw in-between rows to prevent the overgrowth. And prune the runners.
I would

I believe blueberries require acidic soil.

Maybe you could try those on the hill.

It's fun to garden and try new things.

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Mark the area off and break ground.
Go to the other corner of the yard and close to your back door and start a compost pile.
By fall you will probly be able to plant some fall crops.
Good luck.
Craig
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I wanted to establish new beds last year and now. Since I wanted to do intensive gardening I dug up the dirt and sifted out rocks. I went down 18" for my main tomato beds. Go as deep as you can and figure out how deep your topsol is. I hit some clay which I removed. Other areas I went 6-9" down--it *IS* a lot of work, but you only have to go to that extreme once. I mixed in peat moss, composted manure & humus, vermiculite/perlite, and some water retention crystals that will last 3-5 years. I had a very nice crop of tomatoes, 30 lbs from two plants--first year gardening. I just prepped two lawn areas. I covered them with black garbage bags for a few week to kill off the grass and weeds and dry them out. I then dig them up, turned them, pulled big weeds like dandelions, and tossed out stones. Fresh grass is strong and too much work to tear up, let the black bags weaken it first. I'm added my amendments probably today and seeding them before the weekend.
This year I varied the fertilizer I added using bonemeal, bloodmeal & greensand. I make sure I use areas I've cleared of stones nice and deep for tomatoes, peppers, carrots, onion, etc, since they benefit from so few rocks underground.
snipped-for-privacy@cinci.rr.com (Cinnamon) wrote:

DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener
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(Cinnamon) wrote:

That's an interesting note about the strawberries, when I was growing up we had woods behind our house on a hill and we planted the srawberries there. They did well too...
Thanks for all of the advice (and letting me know about the banana peppers (that's gonna be awesome!).
I will keep reading and taking notes from you all until I break ground on my garden next year (or hopefully fall) at the very least, I think I would like to start the beds as Digital Vinyl recommended.
Thanks to all of you! All advice on this is still welcome!
:)
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Only some clay? And it was actually removable? Lucky! We have so much clay, digging 18" deep is out of the question. Unless you want to break your back. :)
I have a feeling my garden plants would envy yours. :)
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il 11 May 2004 15:26:30 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Liashi) ha scritto:

I have a friend who lives over natural volcanic concrete. I offered to plant a shrub. Years later it's still tiny. I needed a crowbar to break that stuff but all I had was a puny spade and my feeble strength.
--
Cheers,
Loki [ Brevity is the soul of wit. W.Shakespeare ]
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Wow, I'd think a jackhammer would do ya even better tho. Sounds like a place were one grows many plants in containers . . . o.O
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You might want to try alpine strawberries for your shady slope. They need a little watering late in the summer but they're everbearing. Other shade tolerant berries are: wintergreen, lowbush blueberries and there's also a groundcover raspberry...
http://virginiaberryfarm.com/Fruit_berry_plants/groundcovers.htm http://www.raintreenursery.com/catalog/producttype.cfm?producttype=Groundcover%20Raspberry
Bay and ginger may not be hardy enough for zone 6. Maybe grow all your herbs in pots then move them outdoors later -- after the locusts. Good luck! :)
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snipped-for-privacy@cinci.rr.com (Cinnamon) wrote in message

you can start this year if you roundup the grass (or cover with cardboard and plant through the cardboard), then fertilize, and that will probably give you a handle on how to start organizing your garden for the fall. Three things come to mind:
1) which wildlife at your site? You will probably suffer some damage, but you will get an idea what you need to defend against. You will almost certainly need some defenses eventually, at least for some of the plants (herbs need no defense, but greens almost certianly do). The cicadas will love your young vegetation, so you may want to protect with an insect cover or wait to plant the lettuce until august.
2) which plants where? some plants strongly prefer full sun, but I always plant strawberries, lettuce or chicory in the shadiest part of my garden. Start getting an idea about what grows where.
3) where to put the garden? full sun, say I, with automatic irrigation. everything else matters less. You will never grow very good peppers in a place that only gets 4 hours of sun. You can still have satellite beds for strawberries (I have two for strawberries, two for raspberries, one for mache, and one for herbs)..
The soil type (clay or sand) only matters from the point of view of whether you need, or not, raised beds. In all cases you will have to come up with large amounts of organic material by the fall, I would start with at least two inches of compostables, to be laid down by the fall (if you start garlic this fall, make sure it is under something it can poke through in the spring. Matted leaves can kill it). All my beds have over the years received at least one foot of compostables. You probably also want a soil test. In time you will learn what prefers fresh compost and what can go on a bed that was composted the year before. You will also learn that some plants like your site and some do not. If you have heavy clay, it will be quite a few years before you have acceptable carrots. If you have acidic soil, the onions will be unhappy. All can be corrected over time, but if my experience is any guidance I learned to be satisfied with what grows without problems.
For herbs, forego the tender herbs like ginger or bay, and concentrate on those that grow well at your site (thyme, mint, oregano, and sage). Give them a well drained, permanent spot in full sun, don't fertilize, and put some rhizome barrier (I use old vinyl siding) because they are all quite invasive and cover all their allotted space.
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As I understand it, periodic cicadas feed almost exclusively on young tree branches and twigs. I don't think your lettuce is as risk from them, although slugs and earwigs may end up being your nemesis.
17 years ago, on the eve of the last go round of the 17 year cicadas, we had lots of young trees and saplings. We purchased a huge roll of black plastic netting, that made a bit of a dent in the budget of young homeowners, with the intent of protecting our tree investments. Well, the cicadas came, but were a bit of a bust in our locale.....we only saw a few, and they didn't seem to touch our saplings. We still have most of the roll of netting, and I have learned to relax considerably when in the face of presumed disasters.
Cheers, Sue
--
snipped-for-privacy@NOSPAMearthlink.net
Zone 6, South-central PA
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now that I have found out more about them, you are probably right. I have never experienced them directly, but an article I read earlier said young vegetation in general.
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sorry to double.
http://www.msj.edu/cicada /
gives the map coverage of cicada Brood X emergence (now only days away). Looks like Ann Arbor is at the very edge of the range.
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simy1 said:

This is definitely something every nature-lover should try to experience at least once in their lives. In town or suburbia is not the best place for a heavy emergence.
I will never forget the experience of being at Turkey Run State Park in Indiana at the height of the buzzing frenzy (34 years ago).
The aftermath (as far as the trees were concerned) was an overall, fairly well distributed pruning back of the upper branches. It must have been a fat year for much of the wildlife...
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net (Pat Kiewicz) wrote in message

actually I got that site from the article on the Economist, science and Tech section. and there they say that suburbs help cicadas, who prefer the roots of younger trees ( such as those found in suburbs). Also of interest the evolutionary explanation of why all these broods choose prime numbers for their periodic emergence (13 or 17 yrs). Where you around here in 1987, Pat? Are we in or out?

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simy1 said:

We didn't have them in-town in Indiana -- only out in the parks, as far as I can remember (and I think I would have noticed them in town if they were there in any number).
You would need to be in an area that had been at least lightly treed two cycles ago and fairly undisturbed since. I'd think any place that went over to a typical subdivision (stripped and platted) in the last 17 years would be cicada-free. Also places where most of the lawns get treated with pesticide on a regular basis...

I lived in Shelby Township in Macomb County in 1987; didn't notice any there.
Maybe we'll have some here; I'm in an old sub and we back up to parkland.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (simy1) wrote in message

Interesting you posted that site SugarChile, it is a college in the part of Cincinnati I grew up in, Delhi Township.
In 1987, the last go around, we had them BAD. Couldn't even open the car windows. I live in Cincinnati, on the west side of Cincinnati, and we are expected to get hit the hardest on this side of town.
For those of you unfamiliar with them, an interesting fact about them is that if you dig one up when they are not brooding there is a P on their wings... if you look at one when they are, you will see a W. It's weird but true. The old folks say it stands for war and peace... I dunno, but it's an odd thing.
We're already seeing some and they expect them to really start sometime this week. I can't wait to MOVE IN IT! Hopefully the current homeowners will have netted the shrubs! I never thought about that until now!
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