Completely clear the ground you want to use of weeds, rocks, roots, and other debris. Make the bed deep enough for the roots of the plants you want to put in there; about 6 to 8 inches should suffice for the majority of choices. You can borrow or rent a tiller, or use simple shovel work, depending on the size of your growing area and your own strength and inclination. Then improve the soil. Add organic material. Almost any soil benefits from the introduction of some good organic matter. See Chapter 4 for more information.
Call your electric, telephone, cable, and gas companies to verify locations of underground utilities in your yard before you start digging. Hitting one of these things with a tool could cause you serious harm through electric shock, or at the very least damage the utilities in your house.
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