Build Up Beds

Next, strip the weeds or grass from the beds, loosen the existing soil, and fill your frames with the best soil mixture you can afford. (See chapter eleven for more details.) With few exceptions, your existing soil will not be good enough to grow an optimum cash garden. If you can't afford to buy bags of prepared soil mix (the ideal solution), it's better to fill your frames gradually with as much compost, manure, peat moss, and vermiculite as you can. They don't have to be filled to the brim immediately. If you're in a rush and fill your frames with poor growing soil, you'll be stuck with it forever. It's very unlikely that you'll ever replace it. If you bring in good things gradually, you'll be surprised at how quickly your frames will fill up.

In laying out your garden area, your final decisions will concern the number of beds and what you're going to grow. Will it be short, medium, or tall, and will you have frames for your vertical crops? You should plan to put your tall plants on vertical frames, to the north side so they won't shade the shorter plants. Group vulnerable crops together if you have pest problems. For example, if rabbits or deer are common in your neighborhood, group lettuce, spinach, and peas so they can be more easily protected with fencing. Radishes, carrots, and onions could go in a different area, since rabbits and deer are not as fond of them.

A garden of squares and aisles can be both practical and attractive.

To anyone choosing the ultimatesize of a garden, my advice is the same as it is to beginning square foot gardeners: start small; you can always expand. You'll be much more successful if you stay small at the beginning, take good care of what you have, and learn to handle that before moving on to a larger enterprise.

Chapter 11

Soil

Organic Gardeners Composting

Organic Gardeners Composting

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