How do i start my garden? Is it too late for no-till?

Asked March 19, 2018, 2:10 PM EDT

Starting a garden in a yard that had been mostly neglected and left alone. I've attached a picture of the area in question. I tilled just the top inch or two to get rid of moss and pull up weeds that were in the area .The soil is also filled with worms which I've heard is good sign of heavy organic matter? We want to get started with our produce garden in the next week or two (vegetables, herbs, maybe fruit) and aren't sure what to do. Should we till and work in new soil? Mulch? Don't till? Seems like there's a lot of info out there and not sure how to get started .


4 Responses

Hi, great questions. Can you reply and tell us which Texas county are you in? For some reason we didn't get that information form the web system. I can then get you in touch with local agent and resources.

You might like to start with some tips from our Aggie Horticulture website:

Hi, thanks. I'm not sure how it got marked as Texas. I'm in Multnomah county, Oregon.

Wow, some glitch! I will pass your question off to the Oregon extension horticulture people. thanks for the quick reply..

Hello! Welcome back to Oregon! It sounds as if you're getting your garden off to a good start! This weather certainly makes you want to get your plants in the ground, but don't rush it! A couple of things we don't know about your gardening area is the soil pH, and how much organic material there is in it. Worms are certainly a sign of healthy soil, but adding composted organic matter won't hurt.

Here is a link to an excellent OSU Extension article on vegetable gardening. You might want to look at page 4, about improving your soil, before you plant anything. We have clay that gets compacted, and then there aren't enough air pores for water to penetrate once the weather heats up. You can get some litmus paper, or a small test kit to check for pH, especially if the fruit you're planting is blueberries, which require a more acidic soil pH than vegetables and herb.

You'll see that many types of plants can be planted in the garden (page 7), but most need to wait until the soil warms up quite a bit. (A $10 investment in a soil thermometer is a good one!) Here is a link to another article that tells you what each type (warm or cool weather) of plant requires. If you plant too early, most seedlings will die and seeds won't germinate or grow.

I hope these resources prove helpful for you. If not, please write back. Good luck!