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BONNIE'S GARDEN--Thinking Ahead...

After the Deep Freeze this past week, I am so ready for spring.  Of course, I was ready for spring about the time I finished shoveling all the acorns out of the back yard….There are a few gardening chores I can do now, however, to ensure more success with my vegetable garden this coming summer, so I can, at least, Think Spring.

I make sure that my veggie garden area is free of weeds and debris.  Weeds and debris are good hiding places for insect eggs—and they can host diseases that can then spread to my vulnerable plants.

If I forgot to top-dress my garden in the fall, I still have time.  I usually add at least three inches of mixed composts to the area and just let it sit.  Every time it rains or snows, nutrients get washed down into the soil.  I use mixed composts because every type of compost brings with the micro-nutrients from its origin.  Leaf compost has different micro-nutrients than mushroom compost; mushroom compost has different micro-nutrients than composted cow manure.  I do try to mixed plant based composts (mushroom compost, leaf compost) with animal composts (compost cow or poultry manure, for example).  Plant based composts contain carbon while animal based composts contain more nitrogen.

Along with the compost, I add some Green Sand.  Green Sand is formed from ocean sediment and is rich in trace minerals.  It’s particularly good for clay soils.

I dream of spring while flipping through the seed racks here.  2015 dated seeds from Burpee, Botanical Interests and Southern Exposure Seed Exchange are here so I’ll grab my favorites (just to ensure they don’t sell out first.)  Some I’ll start indoors in a few weeks—usually end of February, others I’ll wait and sow directly outside.

Now would be the time to plan ahead.  I sometimes forget to do that, but have better success if I at least stop and think first.  What did especially well?  What did so well that I was inundated? (Note:  plant one less eggplant this summer).  What didn’t do well?  What can I do (rotate crops, remember to feed, allow more space, etc.) to make it do better next time?

Even though it doesn’t chase the winter gray away any sooner, thinking about spring does brighten my thinking.
Posted: 1/12/2015 by Bonnie Pega | with 2 comment(s)
You definitely want to get rid of any debris so insect eggs or disease can't winter over it it. While you're at it, if you want to top dress with a couple/three inches of compost, it's a perfect time. You don't even need to till the compost in. Just let it sit and every time it rains, it will leach nutrients further into the soil
1/26/2015 12:04:07 PM

Based on your recent entry, should my vegetable garden bed be turned over/tilled? It still has weeds and old veggies.
1/15/2015 4:49:22 PM

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