Gardening Your Soil

OK. After Ida dumps a boatload of needed water on us, we need to think ahead to next Spring and our vegetable gardens. It is always so nice to be able to dig by hand in my plot. I “garden” my soil. Cultivate the trash, and get great, quality soil. I have already pulled out most of my exhausted plants, and have enough in my freezer to last until next Spring. I did good. I am still picking 2nd plantings on a few items, as well as getting ready to harvest my cold crops. Now, I need to start on next years soil garden.

First, I will finish leveling out with a garden rake, and try to get out as much of the fallen veggies as possible, to avoid “volunteers” for next Spring. Can’t get them all, though, but most of what I see will go. Thats what solarizing my beds in the Spring will negate for me.

Then, I will bag as much lawn debris that I can, which will mainly consist of lawn clippings and leaves. That will be spread all over my garden plot. Then a little pelletized lime in the mix, and cover with about an inch of last years compost, just enough to cover the leaf/lawn litter.

Thats pretty much it folks. Now I will wait until Spring for the solarization part. I don’t really care what grows in the beds over winter, weed or otherwise, because the plant material will keep the soil bed broken up and perking. I will easily get them out about early March. I will be anxious by then anyway, wanting to get going by April 15th, when my tomatoes go in the ground. Yeah, the dirt I gardened will be pretty again with those neatly planted rows and hilled veggies. Stakes and trellises standing tall, bare, waiting for the onslaught of vines and bunched leafy greens.

I can’t express how important it is to cultivate your planting beds to have greater success in the coming years. How much did you harvest this year from your backyard? If it was so-so, then do the simple, easy things to improve next year. It will be worth it. In just 3 short months, your seed catalogs will be in the mail, that’s not the time to start the soil garden. That time is now.