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Aster's avatar

How do I make this soil grow successful veggies?

Asked by Aster (15315 points ) February 3rd, 2013

We have a ten feet by eight feet space in the backyard. Each fall someone tills all the weeds and grasses under so you can’t see them until spring. Now the grasses and weeds are already coming up. How do I make this space appropriate for planting vegetables and/or seeds? The soil itself is sandy loam with partial shade.

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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar

You need full sun for much of the day in order to grow vegetables. I don’t know what you mean by seeds; vegetables from seeds (you really have to start them indoors 6 weeks before transplanting), perennials from seeds (ditto) or annuals from seeds strewn directly outside (which is doable)?

Here’s one detailed schema for preparing the bed and the soil. It continues to page 4 for instructions on how to plant. it requires some time, some planning and some muscle.

(“Here’s:http://www.growit.umd.edu/gardening%20basics/Step%201%20—%20Plan%20Garden.cfm page one, which is “Planning Your Garden.”

An easier way is to buy several huge pots and grow a few tomato, basil, green pepper, and dill plants, and possibly some lettuce.

Even a small veggie garden needs daily maintenance; weeding, pruning, feeding and removing insects and other pests.

gailcalled's avatar

Sorry. Here is correct link for page 1…Planning your garden

Aster's avatar

I actually grew jalapeno peppers successfully last summer in this space (surrounded by weeds) as if Nothing can stop them. And a few cherry tomatoes but big tomatoes and bell peppers do need full sun. Thanks; I’ll read your links now.

rooeytoo's avatar

Compost, the answer to your dilemma is compost. I can’t think of the name of the lady who would just pile all her waste onto a pile and then just toss the seeds onto the pile and amazing results were had. Even google didn’t know her. But anyhow, all soil can be improved with composting.

Aster's avatar

I agree. But it has to , er, sit there for a long time rotting or it isn’t compost. It’s just rotted food scraps and I highly support it. But how to get rid of all the weeds and grasses?

rooeytoo's avatar

A properly constructed compost heap cooks rapidly, but yes, doesn’t happen overnight. Weeds and grasses can be covered over with newspaper or cardboard and holes cut in for plants, but if you want to plant seeds, you really gotta get the shovel out and get to work. Or black plastic over top, that will kill the weeds and grass underneath. No matter what sort of ground cover you use, then you almost have to put in established plants. If you want to plant seeds, we are back to the shovel again or rent a rototiller for the day. I love roto tillers, vroom, vroom!!!

Adagio's avatar

@rooeytoo Were you perhaps thinking of Esther Deans ?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Mix a lot of organic material in, like peat moss or composted manure. Then spray the weeds with Roundup. Before you think about planting anything.

ETpro's avatar

Sorry, @Aster but I just love to pick up on misplaced modifiers. To honestly answer your question as worded, I need to know what sort of success you want your veggies to enjoy.

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