Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gardening: Preparing your plot

This is not a raised bed garden. This is not a garden in pots. This is not square foot gardening. This is where you rip out your grass and put some dirt down. Just wanted to clarify before going on.

First thing is to clear away all the leftover debris from the year before. Pull the dead plants and the weeds as much as you can.

Then till up the dirt. You can do this with a shovel, but it's so much easier and faster to do it with a tiller. You can rent one from a local hardware store, or borrow from a friend that has one. Every year. Thanks guys.

Work your tiller all through the garden to mix up all the soil. This brings the soil from the bottom to the top, and breaks up leftover roots. All in all, making for a better planting ground.

Next up is to treat your soil. You can send in a sample of your soil, through your local cooperative extension service, to be tested for any deficiencies: lime, and whatever. Yes, that is the extent of my knowledge.

You can also buy fortified potting soil and mix it in.

Or you can walk over to your compost pile and shovel the compost onto the top of your garden. It's the easiest option.

The only thing we put in our compost pile is grass clippings. Every year we turn it over and the grass on the bottom has composed or broken down into a fertilizer. This is, thanks in large part, to a very hardworking colony of roaches. We all have to pull our own weight around here.

Now till through the garden all again to mix in all that good insect poop. 'Cause really, that's all it is.

Use your shovel to make raised rows. The seeds will go on the top of the raised rows. This way you will know exactly where the seeds are and won't be in danger of stepping on them.

If you get lots of rain in your area, or your garden is quite big, you can pick up some flat stones to use as stepping stones.

You're ready to plant!


Anonymous said...

Nice post - loved the "THIS IS NOT A RAISED BED.." LOL...A good thing to do also is to get a round garbage can, drill some holes in the sides and attach a stretchable cord to lock down the lid and that can be used as a DIY composter. Just every couple of days toss in some grass, kitchen scraps (no meat products), fill it up half to 3/4 way and roll it back and forth a couple times every other day. Then after about two weeks, put the items (compost) onto your garden for additional fertilizer.

Also, put down grass between the rows to keep weeds down/moisture into the ground.

P.S. What are you planting this year?

Alyosha said...

Useful, and hilarious.

Jana said...

Great garden, looks like mine!

I was wondering if you dehydrate the veggies from your garden? I recently bought a dehydrator and have been using it like a mad woman every since. Here is the videos that inspired me:

Rachel said...

You may be interested in learning how to double dig. You create much healthier soil (rototilling can destoy soil structure and health and creates a hard pan right under the loose soil), and you can grow much more in less space. Tonight I will create a blog about it.