Ready, Set, Compost!

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!



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