Virgin ground garden

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by HomesteadingCox, Mar 15, 2017.

  1. HomesteadingCox

    HomesteadingCox Just Hatched

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    We moved to the farm just over 2 years ago, and now we have it settled enough to start gardening!
    What is the best way to prepare virgin ground for gardening?
    I have duck/chicken/rabbit and horse manure composted, a tiller, and a whole lot of enthusiasm!
    I was hoping for a 30x30 garden so I can can a winters supply for 5+ adults

    This spot I had in mind gets great water from the water table, so it will never dry out even in the longest drought season, but isnt so wet you cant grow anything. I would be exposed to direct sunlight for 12 hours or more a day, (sun up 5:30am, sun down 9:45pm in summer).
    It has had nothing more than grass grown for the last 30 years.

    Does anyone have a planting guide on a layout? What can I plant beside what, what grows better with this planted beside it, etc.
    Most importantly, what type of fencing/trellis should I use to keep the chickens/ducks from stealing the seeds?
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Everyone has to start somewhere. 30 x 30 hmmmm a lot can be grown in a space this size, but canning enough for 5 adults----I do not know---always that's according to how much those 5 adults eat during the winter.

    Till the spot several times, add the manure--till some more. If you have flighty chickens you will need to fence tall enough to walk inside and add cheap netting across the top to keep your plants/seed/produce safe. I grow usually 1 to 1 1/2 acre garden---probably 50,000 sqft. Never tried a 30x30(900 sq ft)----but I work mine with a tractor. I have seen some small beautiful garden plots----I use to LOVE watching Dick Raymond with the Joy Of Gardening years ago on TV.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    When you talk about the water table, how far below the surface is it? Does the area ever have any standing water? What is the soil like? What planting zone are you in? I suggest that you start with a soil test. It's practically impossible to give you enough gardening information in a thread like this, especially if you are new to gardening. But, I can point you in the direction of some excellent resources.

    Any books by Eliot Coleman: https://www.google.com/webhp?source...SpzTIostQQcS0sy8otC8p3y87P983IqAb4_gRArAAAA&*

    Ruth Stout: https://www.amazon.com/Ruth-Stout-No-Work-Garden-Book/dp/0878570004

    An excellent resource re: combining poultry keeping with soil management: https://www.amazon.com/Small-Scale-Poultry-Flock-All-Natural-Approach/dp/1603582908

    Back to Eden gardening:

    An excellent seed catalog that has loads of planting information: Johnny's Selected Seeds.

    You can do a google search to find some nice charts about companion and succession planting.

    If you're sold on using that tiller a lot, consider this book: The Joy of Gardening by Dick Raymond

    I've pretty much abandoned my tiller. It only gets used for breaking new ground, especially when digging holes in rock hard clay to plant trees or posts, make walk ways, etc. IMO, soil should never be left bare. It should have either a permanent mulch over it or green vegetation over it at all times. This includes the chicken run.

    I'm sure with all of these resources, you will find something that suits your style! Remember, gardening is a life time learning adventure. Start slow, be sure to give those plants more room than you think they need. Those cute little seedlings have a way of turning into a massive jungle.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  4. HomesteadingCox

    HomesteadingCox Just Hatched

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    Mar 15, 2017
    Ontario, Canada


    There is never any standing water, Our water table is always high, and never less than 30ft from the surface, We are very high elevation, zone 5 low acidity soil, it is very rich, with layers of loam and clay, but no pockets of one material. Last frost date is May 13th and first frost of the year is usually the second week of October

    I am not new to gardening, but have always used a well established plot.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Well, then... you are going to have a lovely garden. Enjoy.
     

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