Preparing Land for the First Planting

If you purchase some land and try to establish a homestead, one thing you will eventually come across is trying to plant a garden where nothing except wild growth weeds existed before. This can be quite daunting at times. More than likely, you will have a lot of established weed growth with roots running all over the place. The next thing you might encounter is the soil being of poor quality. I encountered all of that. It was so bad that the plow on the tractor couldn’t break through the weed roots. Every time I would try to break the ground and plow, the plow would get stuck.

I had a neighbor come down with his much larger tractor (you know, the ones with a closed cab with air conditioning and FM radio) and he managed to break up a couple rows for me. This is when I realized the ground was lacking nutrients and many other things. I did manage to plant a few potatoes which grew very well. Forgot to harvest them and now they are growing even more potatoes. That’s a good thing as we like potatoes. What about the other things though?

Here is a way to kill off the weeds as well as build up the soil. It is used a lot in no till gardening. You start off with a layer of paper or cardboard and cover the area you want to work on. On top of that, put a thick layer of compost. Several inches would be good. Next, place a layer of manure (cow manure will work fine here) and top it off with another layer made of straw. If you don’t want to take the chance of seeds being in the straw, you can also use leaves or grass cuttings. You jut need something that is organic and will supply some nitrogen back to the soil. You should do this for 2-3 seasons. After this time, it should be thick enough that it will provide for growing a garden without having to till far down and, it will have killed off the weeds.

Always keep a good layer of mulch on the garden to control weed and other nuisance seeds from germinating. Today, I am going to plant some lettuces and so on. What do you like to plant?



One thought on “Preparing Land for the First Planting

  1. Hello! Fellow homesteader and gardener from It definitely is hard to break your own ground for a new garden. But in the end it’s worth it because it’s your work that made the garden that produced vegetables that are feeding you and your family!


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