Starting my first garden - need advice.
I just bought a new home and it has a 1/2 ac back yard and a 10' x 20' garden, it was actually 60' x 20' but they grassed over it to make it smaller.
Whats a good size to start with and what should i plant the first year?
Im thinking tomatos, carrots, broccoli, green bean, bell peppers, banana peppers, jalapeno peppers and lettuce. Is that a good amount or two much to maintain for a first timer?
Should i do the non-hybrid seeds or stick with hybrids so they are more pest resistant?
Is a rain barrel worth thew money or should i just use city water, i live in oh so water isnt super expensive.
ive seen deer, rabbits, raccoons and squirrel in my back yard, do i need to do snything to to get ride of them? prob only need to worrry about the carrots, lettuce and tomatos?
Those crops are all good to start with. If you like zucchini, they are easy to grow and very prolific, so they're good for a first timer. Hybrid vs. non-hybrid really depends on whether or not you want to save seeds for next year, in which case you will need to take precautions to prevent cross-pollination with certain crops. Rain water is better for crops than city water, but city water works too. If you do invest in a rain barrel, consider buying a cheap IBC off Craig's List or something. As far as the critters go, if your garden is unfenced, you'll probably have problems with them.
It's probably not a bad idea to start small. I did my first last year and and it was 13X50 with additional raised beds for Asparagus, watermelons and rhubarb. I had a hard time managing it from a weeding standpoint but I still chose to expand with 5 more 2X4 foot raised beds this year
I learned a TON last year and feel like I'm in a much better position to leverage my garden to get the most out of it this year.
Whatever you do, good luck and enjoy the fresh, awesome food!
start with a soil test kit
Originally Posted By Dunragit:
start with a soil test kit
This is true. I just finished building a wall behind my house and had dirt brought in from 2 different sources. It turns out that one of the dirt suppliers brought me about 10 dump truck loads of shitty dirt. Very little Phosporus or Potassium and low amounts of organic material.
I tested each part of my hard N, S, E, W and got surprisingly different results. My yard is over an acre and there were areas I had fertilized heavily and others that i had kind of ignored so it wasn't shocking. What I did find odd is that even though my area always has very acidic soil my applications of lime the last few years had done the job to raise the PH to an appropriate levels from 6.8-7.1. Always in the past I just limed because I thought I had to and the soil test showed me that it was not necessary this year. Basically my $80 I spent in testing ($20 each) saved me $300 in lime.
$300 in lime is ALOT of lime , its like 50-60 bags WOW
Agressively deal with bugs!