I think I may have been active here a few years ago, but just got back into gardening after not having time for it. My last gardening experiment (8x4 raised bed) failed miserably in 2010. But I lack some common sense when it comes to gardening in Ok I guess... everyone says raised beds are better, they need full sun, etc. So I placed that bed right smack in the middle of a backyard with no wind break or shade, in a fairly urban area which probably had very few pollinators. I tried to grow carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, regular & cherry tomatoes, and okra. I think that was all... probably pretty crowded too. We literally got nothing except a few okra and the basil. Anyway, it's been a few years... we've moved... and the backyard here is so nice I just want to try keeping something alive again. Where in the last yard it was just grass and whatever those little trees/shrub looking things are that grow everywhere, this backyard has shown a few different types of flowers, it has two huge pecan trees, mostly soft types of ground covering, and not the ugly grass that grows everywhere. So I'm hoping it is just in a better starting place to grow stuff. I am not sure, but I think I will be planting in the ground this time. It is definitely not red clay. I don't know if it is some other kind of clay, if so, it isn't too sticky, but it isn't sandy either. I hate to be overly optimistic but the texture seems pretty good as is. Anyway, this is long and rambly! I have had so much trouble deciding what to try and grow variety wise, but I think I will go with the ones I've seen mentioned on here multiple times. Oh yeah, do huge pecan trees indicate anything about the soil? Can I be pretty sure about the fertility just based on the fact that stuff grows already back there? Glad to be back and hear what everyone has going on :) Oh yeah, seed starting method? Do you use heatpads/grow lights or just a warm enough room with sun?