New garden jitters

Hi all,
I'm fairly new to the world vegetable plots, grown some tomatoes and pickling cukes with good success, but that's about it. The part of the lawn I dug up for my plot was mostly sand. We dug down about half a metre (~2ft) or so, and mixed in some top soil, on top of which we put about 500 litres of black soil, some sheep manure, and some peat moss. There are lots of black ants, I assume they are harmless.
We started most of our veggies from seed; spinach, carrots, lettuces, tomatoes, and peppers. Also planted a few onions and shallots. At one of the garden I planted 10 strawberry plants I picked up for a couple bucks. They don't seem to be doing very well, only one had leaves... I am not sure which variety of strawberry they are.
I realise it is a bit late to be starting from seeds, and that the weather around here has been too dry lately... I don't have a hose to water with, just the watering can. The ground seems too dry, despite daily soakings in the evenings.
Would I have been better to mix all my soil with the sand instead of leaving the layer of topsoil on the top? The seeds were all planted in rows, with raised mounds, is this a good thing or will it lead to erosion later on?
A row of spinach is already sprouting, so not all is lost!
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because it is sand, you did not have to dig it up. when you do dig it up and mix, the soil takes a while to settle down, and while it settles down it could lose water through the gaps. the mounds will be drier still, because they are more exposed to air. Next fall put in four or five inches of whatever organic, on top, it will give you good water retention by the spring, and don't use mounds since the soil is freely draining already.
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With sand, sometimes your best course is to water lightly several times a day, rather than heavily once a day. Here, between the desert heat and soil that is nothing but sand, I find that I must water 3x a day (8am, noon,. 4pm) tho the sprinkler only runs four minutes each time. Also have to do a little manual sprinkling of new seedlings between times and at night, so they don't dry out.

Some types bloom all the time, some only in one flush. Some are very temp and sun sensitive. The tougher ones seem to have fewer and sourer berries!
~REZ~
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On Tue, 07 Jun 2005 21:58:14 -0400, Charles H

Good thing you didn't plant corn. I did a couple of years ago, and it was ruined by ants. If I'd known about this group back then maybe I could have gotten some advice. I haven't planted any since then. Sue

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