Planted before preparing soil

At the last minute we decided to plant some vegetables and we had a pretty decent sized area set aside, 25 by 10. Before we finlly decided to actually do the vegetables, we weeded, put down some top soil and put down so grass seed. Then we saw that there was decent sun but not all day, due to trees and our house blocking some areas.
The key is we didn't really do too much soil preparation. No rototilling, no mulch, fertilizer, compost or manure. I scraped the area with that square tool and got rid of any extra weeds and I keep scraping to get rid of the grass. We planted tomotoes, peppers, basil, cabbage, eggplant, thyme, cucumbers and red onions. We raised the heads of the two sprinklers to about 3 feet nd we have the water go on for 20 minutes at 4:00 AM every day.
I have to continually scrape the soil to get rid of weeds and grass that come up. I have to prune some of the trees to get more sun and I usually Miracle Grow Spray every 7 to 10 days. Is there anything else I can do to the soil now, after the fact, that will help the plants grow?
Thanks so much,
xx
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you can mulch now, and it will eliminate most of your weeding, reduce your watering, and help get the soil prepared for next year. Mulch all the way to the first set of leaves for each plant (ten inches for tomatoes, two for thyme), then spread it flat at the end of season. You need to have a tree company deliver four or five cubic yards of free wood chips. They are a pain to spread with the plants already in, but at least you have to do it only once. if you put newspaper down before applying the chips, most of the grass will die also.
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simy1 Wrote:

I agree!! Sounds just like the advice that I would give!! :
-- Maryc
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I have a little garden area that I just started gardening. Is mulch necessary and do I really need anythign else. This area previous had flowers but had been overtaken by weeds. I basically dug down about a foot in teh garden to remove as much weeks and junk as possible. There were a lot of roots in there. Anyhow I mixed in some topsoil, a bit of bonemeal and just transplanted straight in. Anything wrong?

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Weeds have a way of showing up no matter how well you prepare the soil
I did my garden in the Lasagna garden method and the weeds did stil show up. So I do use newspaper and some mulch on top to keep them a bay.
Ottawa Wrote:

-- Maryc
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That is a lot of mulch, isn't it? I bought six large bags and I don't think it will come close to 10 inches high, at about 270 sq. ft. Will I have to buy that much mulch every year, about 18 baags? This hobby can be quite expensive and for some reason I think the vegetable yield that we actually use will not be in like with the cost. We spent so far::
Gardener to pull all the weeds Sprinkler guy to fix the sprinklers heads where the garden is. We had stick in the ground fences but I also bought 36 in fencing to keep out the rabbits and maybe the squirrels. Fiskars 16 foot Pruner to make sure there is sun. 13 tomato cages Miracle grow Sprayer Gloves
That won't have to be repeated next year.
The annual expenses are:
Plants $ 150 Box of Miracle Grow Packets 16 Humus 4 40# bgs 14 Mulch 18 bags 69 ------------ Total $252
That's for lots of tomatoes, basil, 6 red onions, thyme, parsley, peppers, eggplant, zuchinni, red cabbge, chives and cuccumber. The thing is, this is only for three months at best and we still don't have green cabbage, romaine, carrots,
However, there is something priceless about those tomatoes and cuccumbers. Probably should haave done less tomatoes and instead romaine and green cabbge. We make lots of cole slaw.
****As far as the woodchips, What do you do with them at the end of the season? Since I never really had the time to prepare the soil this year, I thought next year I'd rototill with a gas powered stick rototiller that I have. I guess I'd have to rake off the wood chips and put them back after the soil is prepared again.

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I just got a bunch of free cedar mulch so I hope that is okay for the veggie garden if i put it on top of my newspaper,
wrote:

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Here where I live you can go to the local landfill and get truckloads o
mulch for free. You just have to go get it. You might check your loca land fill or tree trimmers to see if you can get it free. :)
snipped-for-privacy@excite.com Wrote:

-- Maryc
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good golly, you will have to learn to do things more cheaply. a gardener? bags of mulch from the store? Miracle Gro?
as for the wood chips (which anybody in the world gets for free), at the end of the season they are still wood chips. Depending on their size, it takes them two to four years to fully become soil. Meanwhile, you have very few weeds but can not plant from seeds (if you plant plants, you do not care). My front beds, which got one foot eight years ago, have established perennials that quickly suffocate the weeds. They only need one light weeding a year, and even that would be a lot lighter if my hickories did not drop nuts in there. Veggie beds typically have a three year respite from weeds when woodchipped.
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I didn't ask the gardener to plant the vegetables!
I'm sure I can do things more cheaply but planting seeds and leaving grow lights on isn't free here on Long Island either. I am sorry that I didn't rototill the soil. That's the only real big mistke I made but I just didn't have time then. I suspect next year will be a better year for growing.
I planted way too many tomatoes, maybe 20 plants, maybe even a few more. I also planted a little too close together. I had no time to plan this and if I relied on planning I bet I would not have done it. I had to just go in and do something quick, get an Ok yield and plan it out for next year. A good indication of how unprepared the soil is, can be seen by looking at how hard it was to put in the tomato cages. It was impossible to get those prongs in the ground.
Here, there are no landfills and no place to get mulch, other than from Home Depot or nurseries.
At the end of this season, what do you do with your wood chips? Do you rototill again?

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I never did till my Vegetable garden. I started with a real thick laye
of newspaper and put it right on the grass then put grass clippings o it then the mulch stuff and some peat moss and then I stuck my plant right into it. It grew great!! I did however use some miracle grow o them once in a while.
snipped-for-privacy@excite.com Wrote:

-- Maryc
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My son went around the neighborhoods here and found bags of gras
clippings and bags of pine needles(for my blueberries). Also free fo the taking. :)
snipped-for-privacy@excite.com Wrote:

-- Maryc
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snipped-for-privacy@excite.com wrote:

tree companies will deliver them for free. I have sand, so no-till for me. At the end of season, you just leave the chips where they are. They will disintegrate in time.
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Plants are the most expensive way to garden. Around here, seedlings range from 1.50 for a 4-pack to 10.00 or more for perennials.
Doesn't sound so bad until you figure that seeds at 1.75/pkt are closer to pennies/plant. Granted you have an investment in your time, potting soil, maybe lights if you start indoors in a basement (me) but you aren't going to spend $150.00 worth!! This spring I spent maybe $35.00 in potting soil, but I start a lot of plants.
Check out the prices of store veg, do the math.. Your biggest investment should be you - your time, energy, etc. Starting seeds indoors for me means checking in the AM to make sure dry plants get watered, lights are on a timer so no worries there, uncover seedlings that are sprouting.. Pretty much auto-pilot early on. Later, it takes time to drag flats of plants in/out as the weather changes.. Later yet, prep and weeding.. later, harvest.. etc.
My seeds are stored in a cool, dry place and I haven't had viability problems on anything except corn. Some seed packets are 4+ years old, and so those plants I don't buy new stuff. Even so, I still have a ton of seeds :)
And that doesn't account for those thrifty folks who save their veg seeds from their own plants! You have more options than $$, I would think :)
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