I moved to a new house last fall and it came with a 10X10 vegetable garden. The previous owners harvested some before they moved, but while I was weeding last weekend (also pulling up the old vegetable carcases) I found 6 onions still in the ground. I pulled one to see its condition, and it wasn't too bad. The outer layer wasn't great, but it had new greens sprouting out the top. Should I pull these, since they've been living there all winter?
Also, how long before planting should I prepare the garden with compost? Do I have to fertilize at the same time? Sorry for all the questions, but I've never done this before so I want to be as sucessful as possible. Our last frost is the last week in May so I want to get all my plans set soon.
Rightnow, my plan per bed is for Corn, Tomatos, Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Squash, Cucumbers, Lettuce. Next Onions, Green Onion, Peppers. Then Broccoli, Beets, Eggplant, Bush Beans, and Potatoes. Sounds kinda ambitious, but my garden is 450 square feet, and I want more avatiety, then quantity.
The soil in the garden is a little gravely, but mostly loamy. It was amended the last two years, but I'm not sure how. I have access to purchase organic compost (cow manure) from the local garden shop. This upcoming weekend I'm yanking all the weeds and working it in. Although, I'm not sure how much I'm going to need. One bag of the compost is 1.25 cu ft, but I'm not sure how to calculate it to sq feet. I read I should use anywhere from 1-3 inches mixed into 6-8 inches soil. Is that correct? Just last weekend I got my Tomatos, Peppers, and Eggplant started inside. I'm starting my Broccoli tonight. Beyond those, everything else I'm planning to start oustide in about 6 weeks.
I'd appreciate any tips on what I'm working on. Once I get it all weeded, I'll snap a picture so you can see the working area better. Also I've read that Sunflowers are a deer deterant. Part of my fance is easy to jump for the deer rightnow, and I've played with the thought of growing sunflowers along the fence line where the issue is, but I don't want to block any sunlight. Is this a good diea, or are there better options.
for what its' worth, I started last year with the 'square foot' gardening method. The idea behind it is to create areas of the garden that are growing areas, and pathways between. Each 'bed' is 4ft x 4ft, with a 2ft path between. Each bed is divided into 16 foot squares...
This way, you never walk on the grow area, but each bed is easily accessible from all directions. You also amend the soil only in the grow area, not wasting between rows. You plant only the number of seeds for the plants you want (and don't plant 50,000 lettuce or other tiny seeds...lol)
Example, the spacing for lettuces is usually 4-6" apart, In a square foot, you can plant 4 lettuce plants.
Anything you can, put on a trellis, going vertical saves space.
I read the Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Edward C. Smith. He uses a method like drivenbonkers mentioned. It is very detailed and tells you what vegetables are good interplanted, and which ones don't do well together. It has a lot of useful information in it...I found it very interesting and helpful. Oh, and he also suggested using layers of newspaper in the pathway covered by straw so you don't have to weed the paths. I think I will try that this year.