Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gardening 101: Preparing the soil - The path to a self sufficient organic vegetable garden in 2011

Ready to start preparing the beds?

I started preparing the soil today. If you do SFG properly you are not required to do this as you will be creating nice boxes with brand new soil. However, I am starting with my old raised beds so I am sort of stuck with it. The first thing I did was to clean the beds up. I did not remove some of the plants in the fall so I had to do it now.

All the stuff I cleaned

Once the dead plants were removed, you need to turn the soil in preparation for adding some compost and/or manure. I use an edge spade as it is easier to me than a shovel. I work in rows, insert the spade/shovel in the ground and then lift the earth up, turning it as you go. Work in row until you cover the whole area. The earth underneath should be darker and the whole area will look lumpy.

The beggining

Finished Bed

Leave the area like that until you are ready to put the soil additives. I will put the compost from the horse and some sand as I found some clay soil when turning the beds. You are supposed to test the soil for PH, etc. I am going to risky as I have been growing vegetables there for a couple of years so I know it is not bad!

I will get the free composted poop at the weekend. I will let you know how it goes then. I am not sure if I will rent a rototiller or if I will do the mixing by hand yet. Stay Tuned.

If you liked this post, you may also like:
Gardening 101: Seedlings and planning
How to find free compost?

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