This years crop - need some tips

Hi,
Novice farmer here in need of advice this year.
This year we will attempt to grow green beans (bush variety), Cucumbers, and tomatoes.
I have 3 little seedlings for the green beans that our daughter brought home from kindergarten. I also have about 6 cucumber seedlings growing and I was planning to buy some tomatoe plants already started.
I have 4 bags of dehydrated manure and I'm planning to dig up the spot for the little farm tomorrow. Actually, I'm kind of dreading it. The soil is really hard, there are rocks, tree roots, and it is kind of shallow. Not a great place to set it up, but the only place available.
I will have to fence in the garden once it is set up because my kids would trample it otherwise.
What's the easiest way to turn over the soil? Should I wet it first? It's supposed to rain tonight so maybe that will help loosen it up a bit.
How should I mix in the Manure?
Where should I put the cucumbers in relation to the tomatoes and green beans? I'm worried that the cuc's are going to take over.
Thanks in advance for any advice on my big project.
Steve
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

My first thought is why not pots? That said, if the ground is un-tillable, wet it. Till to a depth of 18'-24". If you have to wet it to turn it, you will want to add at least 2" - 3" (or more) of compost to it in addition to at least 1"-3" of manure (read directions on bag). Water and mulch plants. Plants need water during the day, try to water in morning, otherwise, whenever you can. Water until it starts to puddle. Continue reading rec.garden.edible and rec.garden. for ideas and questions. Welcome.
- Bill Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
William Rose wrote:

Yeah...I've grown cucumbers and tomatoes in pots without a problem. I use 30 L pails filled with potting soil (can't use regular soil...it's too compact). All the OP has to do is make sure they're watered daily.
Also, by dehydrated manure...is that composted manure? Fresh manure really shouldn't be used on anything. Then again, if they use pots with potting soil, the soil contains most of the nutrients needed for the season (and is discarded every year with fresh potting soil used next year).
..
Zone 5b in Canada's Far East.
--

We must change the way we live,
or the climate will do it for us.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Or - if you're going to have to fence it anyway, build a raised bed. That way you don't have to till, it will be high enough so that the kids don't tromple it accidentally, and you don't have to worry about soil problems. Just make a big box frame out of wide boards and fill it with soil from the garden center. Mine are 4'x8' and 12" high.
Plant the cucumbers plants together in a hill. Put a big tomato cage around the hill and they will vine up that instead of along the ground.
Susan B.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Raised beds. Absolutely. I've got terrific "bottom land" here in zone 5, but when the ground dries, it's concrete-hard. I've tried the peat-sand-compost amendments, and it will take (literally) tons of material to change. Raised beds can ignore all that; you just have to be more careful to water, and even that can be made reasonable by mulching to reduce evaporation.
Go for it! Good luck!
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.