To be successful, the gardener needs to know about their local soil. We have taught vegetable gardening down in South Florida. Often it is more manageable to build a raised garden. Since our soil is about 2” to 4″ before we hit coral rock, we are more successful with the raised garden. This also applies to other poor soiled areas. And if the soil quality is controlled, so are pests. The better the soil, the sweeter the yield. – ebec.usa
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The only thing that I would add is to include a spading fork to the essential tools list. An initial loosening of the ground with a spading fork is useful if your ground is clay heavy. – J.A.
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Great letter on gardening by hand. Another invaluable tool to get now is a high quality, all steel broadfork. I used one to prepare a garden bed, and it works wonderfully. It is not easy work, but it is simple work, and much like the shovel and hoe the broadfork is almost invaluable for preparing a garden bed. – JKR