The vegetable bed will be fifty feet long and three and a half feet
wide. It's located in my back yard which is sod right now. I'm going
to remove the sod by hand and then double dig the entire bed with with a
spade and will use a spading fork to loosen up the sub soil which is
clay. While doing this, I'll amend the bed with compost and leaf mold.
Next, I plan to use my Mantis tiller and only till the top five to six
inches of soil. I'll then be adding about eight pounds of a slow
release granular all purpose fertilizer and use a garden rake to spread
it into the soil three inched deep. I worked up my entire garden plan
on paper so I know where each plant will be as well as the spacing.
Since I'm going to use soaker hoses, I'll run them next. They will be
eighteen inches apart down the center of the bed. Since I want to try
intense gardening this year, I'll be planting three rows of different
veggies in this bed. Only thing to do now is get busy with this project
as soon as the weather breaks. I have asparagus crowns and Copra
storage onion sets that will be here around the middle of April. My
tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and ground cherries will all be started
indoors from seed under grow lights April 1. Don't know how it's going
to all work out but I'm going to give Hale's Best cantaloupes a try too!
Later in the season I also have some purple cauliflower and two
different kinds of turnips as my fall crops. Wish me luck, I may need
it but we never know until we experiment a bit :)
When you double-spit the area, make sure you incorporate bone meal or
superphosphate into the LOWER level. Plants such as tomatoes, corn, and
asparagus have very deep roots. They will need the phosphorus to be
When you buy the granular fertilizer, ignore its phosphorus content.
Mixed into the top 3 inches, the phosphorus will benefit only seedlings
and perhaps raddishes. Even carrots will grow longer than three inches.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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