I swear I am the WORST at tying up all of my projects in one neat place. BUT, I'm finally taking time this morning to alert you to an awesome collaboration I made with Food52.com, City Dirt. City Dirt is a step-by-step, seasonal, organic guide for anyone wanting to grow food at home. We will cover the basics in a detailed fashion, there will be weekly q&a for individual plots/regions/gardeners and all in all you should DEF bookmark this and make it your bi-monthly resource for all things urban farm related. It's a MUST.
This week, I covered how to convert yard space from lawn or shrub to lush organic material for planting vegetables this spring. NOW IS THE TIME, people! Break ground, did in and read the article (in addition to the first three on seed ordering & strategy!!) here on Food52. It runs every other Tuesday.
I'm pulling a GREAT question from the comments here, as a source of inspiration, and an example of a really great question:
A question that will reveal the depths of my novice-ness: when you make the forms for the bed (out of wood or whatever) are you laying them OVER the top layer you've created of burlap/newspaper/cardboard? And then putting the soil on top of that layer? Or do you remove that layer first (assuming it has not fully decomposed...)?
AMYP: GREAT question!!! You can do it either way, really. Ideally, you would allow the burlap to decompose the organic material for a few weeks - 4 to 8 weeks depending on when you want to plant your first crop rotation. After that time, the materials should be decomposed at which point you can either a) remove the burlap and save it for another time (this is what I would do) OR b) you can dump soil over that burlap, as it will (eventually over several seasons, though not quickly) decompose.
As for 'filling' a raised bed, you can either pull soil from your rows or another spot in your yard OR order in topsoil/compost blend to fill the beds.
Any more q's? OR does this make sense yet? LET ME KNOW!