I grew up gardening. My grandparents and my parents taught me gardening techniques. Some years were better than others, but I have learned to refine my techniques and not get over zealous and max out the soil areas I have. I had two previous poor years, with one flower bed that faced a street side fence near bushes, and one bed that didn’t. The street side bed always seemed to have failures, until I dug down about 6 inches and learned that my bed was LOADED with cut worms, and not like a few, i ended up pulling out about 200 cut worms in the bed.
I purchased a wire basket from Dollar Tree and sifted out the entire 2 foot by 8 foot by 2 foot deep bed, of soil that was loaded with cut worms. Every two feet or so, I would lift out the soil, sift out the cut worms and put them in a pail. The soil became very fine and hearty. Later when I was done, I took the cut worms and stuck through them out onto the street, and watched all birds go crazy and eat them.
After my bed was well turned over and cut worm free, I amended the soil with new gardening soil and then planted dollar tree seeds. 4 for a $1.oo. I am sure you have seen the kind. I never bought any before, because I figured in the past that there must be something wrong with them. This year. I took a chance and not only were these seeds hearty, they sprouted up in less then 30 days. Every single seed I planted has grown. I now have English Cucumbers, American Cucumbers, Bell Peppers, Marigold Seed, Sweet peas, Stringless beans, crookneck squash, butternut squash and Japanese Wax Peppers. I was amazed at how well they are doing. Knock On wood. The proof is the pudding. But the picture below is only a week old, and they cucumbers have climbed the wires and are setting buds. I encourage everyone try with dollar tree seeds. I have purchased seeds at a premium, only to have them fail. Why pay so much for no yields. Save your money, and you might be surprised what you get. Something else I do, is collect dried Marigold seeds from gas station and strip mall planters, the drier the seeds the better they are at growing. I plant them out and transfer them into the garden beds, when they are leafed out, as they are an excellent natural bug repellant.