Hi y'all! Couple of newbie questions.
I'm new here, so just thought I'd introduce myself. We live outside of Richmond, out in Hanover.
I manage to grow a few things every year, but still consider myself a very novice gardener. I'm much, much better with animals than I am with plants! This year I'm determined to ramp things up a bit. I've got 2 apples, 2 pears and a peach tree ordered, but not yet planted, as well as strawberries, blackberries, sunchokes, and one lone blueberry bush. Mr. Tomato is building me a raised bed, and I've got lots of seedlings growing indoors. I'm notoriously (some would say pathologically) thrifty, so I'm always on the lookout for good gardening deals. I'm hoping an expanded garden this year will help us both eat better and save a little money. I realize some of the fruit won't bear for awhile, but still consider it a good investment for the future.
A couple of newbie questions:
For the raised bed soil- our local county dumps offer free mulch (that's usually more of a "dirt" than "mulch" consistency). I've used it with success for landscaping stuff, but nothing edible. I was wondering if mixing this with some old manure and regular dirt would be acceptable for the raised beds, or if I should actually get garden soil delivered. I'd hate to try to take the cheap way out and use the free stuff- then have my plants be puny because of it. Anyone have suggestions for a cheap way to fill the bed? My regular garden soil won't cut it.
I'm hoping to get sweet potatos and regular potatos planted very soon, I was thinking about using the method where you just grow them in upright bags of soil- anybody had good luck with this in our area?
We have a mole problem, so are going to line our raised beds with wire on the bottom. How small should the wire holes be so the little boogers can't get through? Anyone know where to get the wire inexpensively?
Also- if anyone shops at the Amish Market outside Harrisonburg and could tell me their prices on bulk canning lids (or anyplace else to get them inxexpensively) I'd be very thankful!
Thanks for any advice- I've already learned a lot here, and looking forward to learning more!