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How to Prep Your Soil for a Vegetable Garden

Before planting any veggies, you'll want to make sure your soil is completely toxin free. Here’s how.

Photo: iStock

If you’re living in an urban or suburban area, you’ll need to prep your soil for anything that you plan to grow and eat. In the top foot of soil, there are often toxins like lead (from now-banned lead-based paints) and arsenic -- and you don’t want stuff like that going anywhere close to anything you plan to put in your mouth.

Visit a garden center, and instead of buying tons of little bags by the cubic yard and wasting all that plastic, have them deliver a pre-mixed load of garden blend that’s just for veggie gardening. It’ll have a certain amount of compost, black dirt, and humus. It’s also rich, fertile, and fast-draining. Once there’s no more danger of frost, you’re ready to start planting outside! (Hardcore gardeners often start growing their veggies indoors before the weather warms up.)

Some other things to consider when you’re creating an area to grow veggies: They love the sun. Look for a space that has as much hot sun and moisture as possible. Also, do everything you can to keep the area clear of wildlife like deer and rabbits. Some people use fences while others put their plants on a raised bed.

Nestpert: Thomas McClain is a Minnesota landscape designer and owner of GrowWithDesign.com.

-- The Nest Editors

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