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
Thanks so much,
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.
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?
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
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
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
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
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.
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. :)
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.
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?
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.
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
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