Help I don't know what I'm doing (starting a plot)


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Hi I am new to this, I've never even had family or friends who gardened. I am trying to make a plot and hoping these leaves decompose and kill the grass. Is this the right way to start? Planting in my zone isn't until mid may.
 

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I like the idea and far prefer it to Roundup or some other chemical herbicide. You are still going to have to turn the ground over but this will help make it easier. Welcome to the forum too.
 
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I like the idea and far prefer it to Roundup or some other chemical herbicide. You are still going to have to turn the ground over but this will help make it easier. Welcome to the forum too.
I will still need to till? And would I have to worry about mold with the leaves or should I just stir it around every other day? Also what kind of soil would I use to put on top for when I actually plant? Thanks
 
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I wish someone could give me a list of what I need to buy lol I really am a newb!
 
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Chel, follow nature. It is the best gardener ever. As far as what you need to start, a shovel is about it. Let the leaves rot like they do in the woods. A couple of weeks prior to planting go out with you shovel and turn the leaves under where you are going to plant. Keep it simple the first year - a couple tomatoes, a couple pepper plants, a small row of radishes and some Bibb lettuce. Keep it fun and you will be looking forward to year two. If you try to do too much at first, you can easily get discouraged and quit gardening.
 
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alp

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@Silentrunning is right. Just grow some salad leaves. They are good starter. Those come and cut again ones. Don't overthink it. Make sure the seeds have sunlight, warmth and moisture and you will be there.
 
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Hi I am new to this, I've never even had family or friends who gardened. I am trying to make a plot and hoping these leaves decompose and kill the grass. Is this the right way to start? Planting in my zone isn't until mid may.
Applying leaves and other organic materials is great to add to soil but not to kill grass. The grass will happily grow through it. It is too late to solarize, you won't have time before your planting date. So, if you want to plant this year start removing the grass. Just get a shovel and with each shovel full remove the runners and the roots as you dig. As the roots and runners are removed from an area add leaves. Then just before planting time turn it all over again, make your rows and plant. You have what looks to be a fairly small area so it won't take long.

If you till it before removing the runners and roots you will have many times the amount of grass as each runner and root will come back. All I would buy now is a good shovel, a garden rake and a pair of good leather work gloves and work boots. Then after you plant you will need something to weed with. I suggest a hula hoe or stirrup hoe. And after your plants are up and growing you will also need an insecticide. I suggest a spinosad based insecticide as it will kill caterpillars too, plus it is organic. Then if anything else pops up just ask.
 
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Applying leaves and other organic materials is great to add to soil but not to kill grass. The grass will happily grow through it. It is too late to solarize, you won't have time before your planting date. So, if you want to plant this year start removing the grass. Just get a shovel and with each shovel full remove the runners and the roots as you dig. As the roots and runners are removed from an area add leaves. Then just before planting time turn it all over again, make your rows and plant. You have what looks to be a fairly small area so it won't take long.

If you till it before removing the runners and roots you will have many times the amount of grass as each runner and root will come back. All I would buy now is a good shovel, a garden rake and a pair of good leather work gloves and work boots. Then after you plant you will need something to weed with. I suggest a hula how or stirrup hoe. And after your plants are up and growing you will also need an insecticide. I suggest a spinosad based insecticide as it will kill caterpillars too, plus it is organic. Then if anything else pops up just ask.
Ty and another dumb question but what are runners?
 
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@Silentrunning is right. Just grow some salad leaves. They are good starter. Those come and cut again ones. Don't overthink it. Make sure the seeds have sunlight, warmth and moisture and you will be there.
Yes I plan on starting small, just cucumbers, tomatos, and pole beans. I tend to overthink projects! Ty
 
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Chel, follow nature. It is the best gardener ever. As far as what you need to start, a shovel is about it. Let the leaves rot like they do in the woods. A couple of weeks prior to planting go out with you shovel and turn the leaves under where you are going to plant. Keep it simple the first year - a couple tomatoes, a couple pepper plants, a small row of radishes and some Bibb lettuce. Keep it fun and you will be looking forward to year two. If you try to do too much at first, you can easily get discouraged and quit gardening.

Yes that is so me, I tend to over think things and not do something right then lose interest. I'm happy to read that this is possible without buying a ton of tools, I am really wanting to do this right and start small this year. Ty!!
 
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Could you please tell us what soil you have? Clay, sand or loam. It might be a good idea to weed the area. If clay, you might need to incorporate some material to break up the compactness of the clay. You could dig a hole of about 5 inches and pour some water into it to find out how fast the water drains.

Some people don't agree with digging, saying it might damage the ecology of the soil and its inhabitants - bacteria and worms.. They suggest putting down cardboards and use raised beds. Those leaves will benefit from being mown by a lawnmower to increase the surface areas so that they can decompose faster. It's not easy just to leave them in a heap and expect them to biodegrade.

First - think about you want to till or not. You could study the approaches


But if you have clay, you probably do need a bit of digging or you may will have a pond of water and the roots might rot in case of heavy rain. Again, it depends on how high your raised beds are.

As you say you are new. Why not start with a small raised bed, high enough to avoid root rot for the kind of vegs you want to grow? Have some fun and rather than being bogged down with philosophies!
 
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Could you please tell us what soil you have? Clay, sand or loam. It might be a good idea to weed the area. If clay, you might need to incorporate some material to break up the compactness of the clay. You could dig a hole of about 5 inches and pour some water into it to find out how fast the water drains.

Some people don't agree with digging, saying it might damage the ecology of the soil and its inhabitants - bacteria and worms.. They suggest putting down cardboards and use raised beds. Those leaves will benefit from being mown by a lawnmower to increase the surface areas so that they can decompose faster. It's not easy just to leave them in a heap and expect them to biodegrade.

First - think about you want to till or not. You could study the approaches


But if you have clay, you probably do need a bit of digging or you may will have a pond of water and the roots might rot in case of heavy rain. Again, it depends on how high your raised beds are.

As you say you are new. Why not start with a small raised bed, high enough to avoid root rot for the kind of vegs you want to grow? Have some fun and rather than being bogged down with philosophies!
I will update this soon when I start to dig and see what kinda soil I have, I believe it's not bad because pumpkins grew by accident on my porch lol. I would like to do a raised bed, all I'd need to buy is some wood right?
 

alp

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You could do worse than google how to make a raised bed and do a bit of research. It's like after I bought tons of bromeliads, I googled and to my absolute horror, I was told that they needed to be watered where the urn was!:eek::LOL::shame:!
 
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To make a raised bed, all you need is something to act as a wall. Bear in mind, if you use wood, it will break down over time. See how the wood was treated. Tail road ties are common, but they are covered in chemicals, and not the best option. Pressure treated lumber has chemicals added to it. You could do them, but do you’re research. Weed barrier cloth is worth looking into. I put mine under my plants, and used bagged soil on top in a garden I did years ago. Worked well. If you decide you like it, start a compost bin. Dead leaves in the fall, grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, No meat! Eggshells are good to add, tea and coffee grounds. Wood shavings are good. Give it about a tear to break down, then toss worms in you can gather them after a good rain. I just emptied my bin for flower beds, I had tons of worms. For best effect on a compost bin, it needs stirring on occasion. We used a big plastic trash can, leaves on the bottom hadn’t broke down cause it wasn’t stirred enough. If you have a pond, or aquarium, when you change the water, or clean it out, that’s all good for plants. I turned my above ground pool into a pond, and the funk on the bottom is great for plants. Or if you go fishing, the scrap and guts can be burried in the garden too. Growing up, my grandpa would burry whole fish in the garden.
 
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alp

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To make a raised bed, all you need is something to act as a wall. Bear in mind, if you use wood, it will break down over time. See how the wood was treated. Tail road ties are common, but they are covered in chemicals, and not the best option. Pressure treated lumber has chemicals added to it. You could do them, but do you’re research. Weed barrier cloth is worth looking into. I put mine under my plants, and used bagged soil on top in a garden I did years ago. Worked well. If you decide you like it, start a compost bin. Dead leaves in the fall, grass clippings, fruit and vegetable scraps, No meat! Eggshells are good to add, tea and coffee grounds. Wood shavings are good. Give it about a tear to break down, then toss worms in you can gather them after a good rain. I just emptied my bin for flower beds, I had tons of worms. For best effect on a compost bin, it needs stirring on occasion. We used a big plastic trash can, leaves on the bottom hadn’t broke down cause it wasn’t stirred enough. If you have a pond, or aquarium, when you change the water, or clean it out, that’s all good for plants. I turned my above ground pool into a pond, and the funk on the bottom is great for plants. Or if you go fishing, the scrap and guts can be burried in the garden too. Growing up, my grandpa would burry whole fish in the garden.
No wonder I am so dump. My grandpas died before I was born!
 
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Different strokes for different folks. He taught me to shoot well, a bit about how to garden. My grandma taught me how to clean, refinish antiques, and a bit more about gardening. I’ve grown up we’re at times all we had was a garden to live off of, trades veggies for meat. To this day, I hate ham and beans. And salmon cakes.
 

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