Just so you know this is a nerdfighter news website. So the game of thrones references are there with good reason. Here's the first draft. I'll post the finished product and link once they're done. But for now I just want your input.
So you're interested in Gardening and you're thinking about what to grow. Let me stop you right there. Everything is going to die and everything else is going to do poorly. You're thinking buy seed, plant, water, profit.
Well like our mutual friend Jon Snow, you know nothing. You forgot the soil.
“But I've got plenty of dirt in my backyard” -you say.
To which I respond “Yes dirt. Dirt is not soil. Now listen up you silly peasant.”
Soil is made up of many many things. It's like a salad and dirt is the lettuce. Trust me no-one wants an all lettuce salad. The best “lettuce” to have is loam. Loam soil has a good clay to sand mix. If you don't have that don't worry. You've just got bitter lettuce, we can still make an awesome salad.
Now you can buy compost and manure at the store. But that's expensive and statistically speaking you're dirt poor. DIRT PUN! Traditional compost is fairly straight forward and time consuming. So we'll look at some alternatives.
Wood chips work as a good mulch but are typically considered a bad soil additive. As the wood takes nitrogen away from the plants. However that can be negated with animal manures. All manures have nitrogen in them from cow to chicken and fish to human. So a month before you start your garden you get a whole heap of wood chips and manure and mix it into your ugly little dirt patch. Animal manure should be easy to come by but if not human urine works just as well and its sterile. Think of manured wood chips as the cucumber in the salad. The wood chips soak up water and give your “salad” some well needed hydration
Biochar is like a sprinkling of cheese. It adds depth and flavour but too much is a bad thing. Its simple to make, get charcoal, crush it into a fine powder, put it in a bucket, pee in it, wait a month. More pee? Yes more pee. A cow patty smoothie would also work but that's kind of gross if you ask me. The biochar gives all those little microbes in the soil a place to live and reproduce. Sprinkle it on top just before planting. Don't touch it with your hands, it is month old pee.
What about the sweet juicy cherry tomatoes. That's the compost. If you don't have compost just burying your food scraps in an empty garden bed will still help. That works for banana skins, fish heads, and rotten eggs. The stinker the item the deeper the hole.
Now for the finishing touch the dressing. Otherwise known as “tea”. Compost tea is made by putting compost and water in a bucket and stirring it. You then use the “tea” to water the plants. Tea can be made from anything: manures, fish entrails, even dead Lanisters could be used to push up the Rose. The “brewing” times, methods and dilutions change with every material. But you have the internet and thousands or resources. So I'll leave that to your better judgement.
Good first-time plant: basil, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, broad beans, runner beans, nasturtiums, marigold, sunflowers, okra, and radish.