After 2 mediocre to totally unsuccessful years of gardening, we're determined to actually produce this year from our little garden patch in the back yard. I bought plants yesterday. Here's our gameplan: We went to our good friends who raise rabbits and they were kind enough (more like ecstatic) to give us about 15 gallons of pure rabbit manure. Kim told us we could have more any time we like too--she's filled her garden 1" deep, all her flower beds, and still has more. We put the manure over the garden. We plan to till that under, then dig trenches for irrigation water. The whole garden will be covered in black plastic, then we'll cut holes in the plastic and plant. I've been saving milk jugs for 3 months to put "hot caps" over the small tomato and pepper plants. Lisa's mom also gave us some transplant root stimulator and some miracle grow spray to use throughout the summer. I hope all of this helps! I've had the feeling that our soil is very low in nutrients, hence the manure and the other fertilizers. The plastic is to keep the weeds at bay. The garden spot lay fallow for several years before we moved in, so those weeds have really taken hold.
Wish us luck!