Posted by Tom C on February 26, 2003 at 16:54:58:
In Reply to: Real Beginner posted by AnneR on February 10, 2003 at 14:36:06:
: Please send help! =) I really want to start a vegetable garden the right way. I have a great place picked out ( former owners had theirs there for many years and had excellent results .) I have let it grow up the past 4 years and is now full of grasses and weeds. One organic growing neighbor said NOT to move a weed or till, Just to lay down news papers and beging to PILE stuff, grass clippings, food scraps, leaves ect. (sounds more like my compost pile to me ) which I already have ) but I need to know HOW to prepare the ground ... To pull weeds or not to pull weeds? How thick should I put compost over it? I have read a few books and became even MORE confused . I'd be greatful for any advice but in simple words from you real gardeners .
What you are hearing is one of the sheet composting schools of gardening. Basically you would end up with a permanent mulch and plant through it.
30+ years ago Ruth Stout was an early proponent.
If you can hire a custom tiller with rear tines and are more comfortable with exposed ground have it tilled (by somebody else).
Permanent mulches in zones warmer than 4 are going to be more and more common.
A mulch keeps water in and reduces spash-back on tomato vines etc. Its what I use exclusively now.