Before beginning your new vegetable garden, it is a good idea to have some well-made compost available to give your seeds or seedlings a good start. When you're selecting a suitable site be sure that the area is free from vigorous weeds or grasses (nut grass will penetrate a layer of plastic without any problems at all). Remove any larger weeds or grasses by hand before mowing the area. A site which is gently sloping is best, so that excess water from seasonal rains will drain off easily.
Follow the guide in the previous section on no-dig gardening, however, extra thicknesses of newspaper can be used because decomposition is much faster in warmer climates than temperate zones.
A good mulch hay available in some areas is blady grass hay. This consists of good, strong grass with no seed at all. A layer up to 20 cm thick can be used: it is amazing how quickly it will break down. Some straws can contain wheat seeds, which can be quite a nuisance when they germinate and grow through the mulch. Ask your supplier which type of straw you are purchasing.
After the no-dig garden is in place, water it for three or four days only. This will be quite sufficient to start decomposition. Mix the compost with equal amounts of soil from another part of the garden. After placing the mixture in 'holes' or 'lines' you can begin planting up.
Establish a small area first, growing a few of your own favourite vegetables. Maintain this initial garden for a few weeks before extending. If you feel you can manage a larger area, you can enlarge a small vegie garden with minimum effort using the no-dig gardening method.
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