Need Help Preparing for My First Garden (Next Year)
I'm not exactly new to gardening, as my parents always have had a garden (with fanatical composting habits) and I always knew when I finally bought a house I would start one as well.
I am buying my first home (Long Island) but won't move in until late September. Luckily this home has a huge yard, with areas in full sun and shade. The old owner had a decent size vegetable garden already and I am looking to expand it significantly. I have room to expand the full sun and shade spots.
From my gardening experience I know certain plants do well on LI; particularly berries and the tomato/pepper/herb staples. Am considering a host of other fruit trees and vegetables as well. I love to cook and eat and trying to get a really productive garden going with tons of fresh fruits and vegetables that I can preserve or simply consume.
My question is, what would you recommend for me to do in the initial year when I move in? Since September will be a bit too late for the current season, I would like to start getting prepared for next year.
Would you dig up grass for next season's garden or wait till the spring thaw? I will certainly test the soil for ph content as soon as I can to see. Should I work on improving the soil quality over the winter or should I just wait for next year?
Any tips would be great and well appreciated.