The garden is gearing up for growth are you ready? Have you prepared the garden and gotten everything set to grow? I haven't but the warm weather is going to be here this weekend and I'll be making some headway into my garden's preparation. When to prepare the garden varies depending on where you live but several of these tasks can be accomplished just about anytime you are able to get to them!
Clean-up The Vegetable Garden Beds
I have a few raised beds in the vegetable garden cleaned up already but normally I clean them up as I need to use them. In a month I'll need to plant tomato and pepper plants and I need to get the garden ready for them. I try to avoid planting tomatoes in the same place each year to dodge those diseases that lurk in the soil. For me cleaning up a bed involves removing dead growth, weeding, amending with a soil additive, then mulching. I use our lawn as a mulch supply. Grass clippings are a very good mulch if you don't have a rhizome spreading grass like Bermuda. I'm not a fan of Bermuda grass! Most of our yard is annual rye and fescue at this point in the season which is just right.
Attend to the Compost Bin
At this point in the season the compost bin should have some compost that can be sifted out and spread in the garden. I'll remove the materials that haven't composted and put the finished compost in the wheelbarrow to bring to the vegetable garden. The beneficial microbes that exist in the compost are extremely valuable in the garden. For composting use any vegetable matter that is not diseased. Kitchen scraps, yard waste, and grass clippings are all great to use. You can also throw in animal manures from rabbits, chickens, cattle, or horses. If using manures be sure to give them plenty of time to decompose properly (about 6 months).
Plant More Cool Season Crops
I've started sugar snap peas, spinach, radishes, and chard but it's time for more plants to go in the garden. I have about 160 onions that need planted and want to also get lettuce and pak choi started. I also have a bunch of potatoes saved from the fall crop that need planted in the garden. I'll probably plant the onions and potatoes in the same raised bed as they tend to be good companion plants. We have about a month until the last frost date after which we can plant warm season vegetables like tomatoes, squash, peppers, and corn.
I bought several bags of mulch this week which I intend to use around my blueberry bushes. Blueberries enjoy acidic soil so over the winter I was putting leftover citrus peels and coffee ground over the garden area. I'll cover over these with newspaper as a weed barrier then add pine bark mulch as a main covering and top dress the mulch with cedar. I'm hoping that the cedar will repel pests to some degree. Soil tests are good for checking your soil to determine if your soil needs acidifying.
Clean up the Work Areas
Perhaps when you think of gardening you think of the garden beds and the plants but in order to be as efficient as possible the work areas need to be nice and organized. My work areas are not organized but it is a goal of mine. The shed, the garage and now my greenhouse are the three zones I'm most concerned about. The shed isn't too bad but has some pots and things that need sorted. The greenhouse doesn't have any clutter but needs sealed up better. It also needs plant benches to put everything I hope to grow there. The garage...needs work!
Spring is that time of year where I'm both excited about the garden and a little overwhelmed by what needs to be done. Fortunately those two emotions balance each other!
Labels: The Friday Fives