Due to the fact that the weather has been beautiful here this weekend, I have gotten a ton of work done in my garden. I have to admit that I have a tendency to not want to do all the work involved in prepping my garden for the growing season. I mean seriously, it is as much work to prep the garden as it is to grow fruits and veggies. Over the last several years, I have learned that of all the things to skimp on in the garden, prepping is certainly not the one.
This year I made my garden 2′ wider. Now it is 31′ long by 4′ wide. Widening it that two feet has really been a lot of work because there was grass growing there previously. Oh and not just any grass, zoysia grass. I like this grass because it is low maintain and pretty weed resistant. I like it until I have to dig it up that is. It is such a pain to remove. It has some serious roots. Anyways, that stage is done so let’s look forward.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I started my peas about 1 month ago in egg cartons in my green house. They have gotten pretty big so I have decided that today is the day to put them in the ground. Now in all honesty, I certainly could have planted these directly in my garden 1 month ago and skipped the egg carton step. The reason that I did not do this is because my garden soil was not quite ready. By ready I mean, tilled and amended with good quality compost. This is my first year with a compost bin so I had to buy compost this year. I had to by 7 bags at $2.47 a bag. I am not sure if I wrote this in my last post, but my goal this year is to spend less than $100 on my garden the whole season. This may sound easy, but it will take some good planning and care. I can’t stress enough though how much bang for your buck you get with compost. I spent roughly $18 and my garden will love me for it producing higher yields and better quality fruits and veggies. Compost is really worth the investment. After my summer veggies are done I will remove them and add some more compost to the garden before planting my fall veggies. This is a really important step because most veggies take nutrients from the soil, except for peas which actually improve the soil they grow in.
The way I add compost to my garden is by simply dumping the bags in different places in my garden and then using a rake or garden hoe to mix it into the soil a bit. That’s it really. I will add mulch later to help reduce watering and control weeds, but I like to get everything planted before I mulch so that will be in the coming weeks. My two biggest expenses in the garden this year will be compost and mulch so having only spent $18 on compost, I will have a nice budget to buy a good quality organic mulch.
What do you do to prepare your garden? I would love to hear how you get your garden ready for the season. Thanks for reading and happy gardening!