Ran across an article on Straight From the Farm this morning. 10 Steps to Gardening from Scratch. Hmmm. They add a disclaimer: “these steps are a tad idealistic”. Yep. Let’s go over some of the most obvious “idealistic” steps.
Step 1: Get a soil test.
My advice skip it. They really don’t cost that much, but the results will most likely give you a lot to do. No one’s soil is ideal and the work trying to improve your soil and make it “perfect” is likely going to take away from the joy of gardening. Wait for future years when you have a better feeling for your garden.
Step 3: Apply sheet mulching
Once again, if you want to get started immediately, skip this step. You will need at least a full year to see the benefits.
Step 7: Amend your soil
I actually agree with this statement but not in the context written. They want you to amend your soil based on the soil test. Since I recommend you skip this step in the beginning years, it would be hard to know what to put in the soil. My recommendation, compost. If you don’t have a compost bin, simply buy bagged compost. It is a wonder ingredient and is hard to over apply. It not only will help with nutrients, it will help with your soil texture and composition.
So, now that I’ve told you that the article is full of nonsense, you should read the rest of the article. They have good advice on planning and the advice on proper soil preparation is still solid advice, I still don’t recommend some of the soil preparation steps if you are just starting a garden. Keep the experience light and enjoyable. Don’t make it a job or a burden.