Monday, April 8, 2013

Help needed starting a vegetable garden

Now that we have our own home with a yard....I'd like to start a vegetable garden. I don't know what I'm doing, but I've gotten some tips from family members. I've previously grown a few things here and there, mostly in containers, due to living in apartments without much outdoor space.

I have to start from in, digging up the whole thing! There's only grass outside, so it's going to be a lot of work. It's 70 degrees today, but technically the last frost won't be until at least May 15th, I think.

Here's what I'd like to plant:

Sweet Peppers
...maybe Zucchini.

Is this too much for a beginner? I gave up the idea of raised beds, because it's expensive and I'd also need to have soil/dirt delivered. I read that a 10' x 16' garden is good for a beginner. Seems a bit large to me. I was outside measuring today and it looked like maybe a 9' x 9' or 9' x 12' might be good. I was calculating a single row at 1 1/2', then a path at 1 1/2', a double row (3'), then another path (1 1/2') and finally a single row (1 1/2'). I'd like to put chicken wire around the whole thing.

Flood me with your suggestions PLEASE!! I'm such a beginner.

Oh, and here are the tools I have so far:

Large shovel
Small shovel
Pruning Shears

So I think I need a hand tiller and a hoe perhaps? How do I start? Dig up the grass with a pitchfork? HELP!

PS-we have clay soil.

Eat smart,


  1. We did a much smaller box for our first time last year. It took two of us to cut the grass away from the dirt under--one to insert the spade, the other to roll back the turf like a carpet. This was the hardest part of the work and took many hours; then we dug down several inches more and removed that heavy, rocky soil. I bought bags of garden soil and peat moss (per my local garden center's directions) and mixed them up right inside the box, similar to what the Square Foot Gardening guy recommends but without vermiculite b/c garden center said we didn't need it. I grew mostly tomatoes and herbs and got one HUGE zucchini. This year I'm planning more squash and fewer tomatoes.

    If you're building a bigger box, you may want to have loose soil delivered, as long as you have a wheelbarrow (I don't).


  2. Dianne,
    I am intrigued by your zucchini plant. Did it give you any other zucchinis, or just the one huge vegetable? We planted zucchinis a couple of years ago, and the plant grew tremendously, gave us one huge zucchini, and then no other ones. I still don't know why!