Last year my wife and I moved into our first home, and among the very first things we did was to dig the first row of our garden. I wanted to transplant the potted garden I had from our apartment that was suffering badly from not enough sun and to many pests.
In the end we had a row a little over 25' long and 3' wide with a number of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and some cucumbers.
It had a rough go of it through some hot dry weather followed by torrential rains, but eventually grew healthy enough to bear a small harvest. The biggest producer was our cherry tomato plant that kicked out well over a hundred sweet little cherry tomatoes that made for nice light breakfast snacks on the way to work.
I should note that the soil around here is full of large glacial rocks and boulders. After about 6" of topsoil we dug out another 6" of rocks and sand. We removed the rocks and mixed the sand with loam. We removed a lot of rocks, enough to build a small wall with the help of some other rocks we found about the yard. Those are various blueberry and blackberry bushes behind the wall.
By my math, last year we moved around roughly 2 cubic yards of soil, sand, and stones to create our little row. This year we plan to expand the garden exponentially. We're looking to excavate 12 cubic yards of topsoil, 12 cubic yards of sand and rocks, and replace the sand and rock with 12 cubic yards of new loam. It'll be a little tricky since my wife is already four months pregnant, so I'll be doing all the heavy lifting but the payoff this fall will be well worth the effort. Beyond that we know it'll be a project that pays off for years to come.
This blog will be a journal of how our efforts go this year, our first full year of having a real garden.