You’ve got your piece of dirt picked out. Perhaps it’s still covered in sod, or weeds? Spring is definitely sprung though, and if you’re still dithering over what needs to happen and when, let’s sort that out right here, so you can get things going!
Start with the dirt! If there’s sod, till it under. Or hoe it under or shovel it under, if you need cheap methods. There isn’t an easy way to do this, it just has to be done. Weeds, especially seedy ones, if you can remove and burn them, you might save yourself from some fraction of those weed seeds. Gloves are good for this, and sharp shears. As you are finding that dirt, inspect it. How does it move? How does it look? How wet/dry is it? Think about those characteristics and as you are planning the space, amend the soil in sensible ways. Carrots need it dry and loose. Tomatoes need lots of space for their extensive roots, steady water levels, and calcium, (crumble them up some egg shells.)
Measure your patch. Know what you’re working with and plan appropriately . Give enough space for everything. Write it all down before you plant it, then write down what changes as you plant it. Dates, varieties, and planting depths.
Give it some good bones. Climbing vines of beans and peas need support. If you live somewhere that gets wind, or even windy storms, you’ve got to make sure you don’t wimp out on that support. You can climb cucumbers and squash too, but they’ll need 10-15 feet of support, build it strong so that all of those vines don’t come crashing down on your head in a gust of wind. If you plant INDETERMINATE tomatoes, they can grow upwards of 7 feet long. Those cute little 3 foot tall cages won’t cut the mustard.
It can seem like a lot of work. And sometimes it is. But good work can be satisfying. And what could be more important than feeding your family? Get out there and get it done. Holler in the comments if you have questions!
– Calamity Jane