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Jan. 28 - Filled the bird feeders and shoveled snow. Lots and lots of snow.
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Posts Tagged ‘preparing for a garden’

Spring Gardening – Getting Started

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Raised beds with vegetables beginning to grow.

Do you want to have a garden?

Do you have a plot of land that needs clearing off so that you can either put in a little garden or raised bed boxes for a garden? Whether this plot of land is covered in grass or nothing but weeds, you probably don’t want to have to saturate the whole area with an herbicide and then wait till everything is dead to clear it off so you can actually plant a garden.

An easy way to get started is to till the area, either with a tiller (which you can borrow or rent) or with a shovel. A shovel takes longer but is still very effective. After the area has been turned over and tilled, take a garden rake (a leaf rake might work but not very well) and pull the weeds and grass out of the dirt. As you rake them out, just discard them in the trash and not the compost.

If the area is covered in good grass lawn, then it might be better to lift the sod and transplant it somewhere else in your yard or share it with someone else who might be able to use it.

After you’ve gotten out as many grass and weed strands and roots as possible (the more the better since it cuts down on so much work later) then it’s time to either:

Prepare the soil for the garden by turning in some composted cow or steer manure, which you can buy pretty cheap at WalMart or Lowe’s etc. If you heavy clay soil or very sandy soil, you can add some peat moss (also available at WalMart and Lowe’s). Also, it is a good idea to add a balanced fertilizer at this time. Mix all of t


Build raised beds for your garden. After getting the raised beds in place and making sure they are pretty level, it’s easy to put a layer of newspaper in the bed to discourage weeds from coming up from below. The newspaper will break down and become part of the soil. It’s possible to fill the raised bed with garden soil, but much better to use a combination of other things to create a soil that is light, drains well and won’t pack down.

Some of the things you can use to create a “soil” for you raised beds is: sawdust (no, it won’t hurt the plants), washed sand, perlite, peat moss, compost, composted manure, straw (but it may have seeds), shredded newspaper, and a balanced fertilizer, (see previous post for more information on fertilizers). We also add the polymers from gently used baby diapers (wetnot dirty) as they keep moisture in the soil really well.

Raised vegetable bed with tomatoes and corn

To keep weeds from growing in the pathways between the raised bed boxes or the garden rows, it’s a good idea to lay down some layers of newspapers and then cover that with wood chips.

All done. Now you’re ready to plant. Wasn’t that easy?

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