So spring is finally upon us again and you are starting to think about what needs to get the garden planted this spring. There are several things you can do right now to get the process going long before the weather is warm enough outside for the early spring crops.
Uncover the Garden Beds
If you garden like I do you most likely have raised garden beds that you covered in heavy layers of leaf, straw or wood chip mulch at the end of last season. This was done of to insulate the soil from the cold weather and to provide a food source for soil organisms. Both of which keep the soil more active and “alive” through the cold season. But with spring right around this corner this cover is no longer needed and it can actually hinder the process off the spring planting since it slows down how quick the soil heats up. So remove this cover and either use it as mulch between your garden beds are pile it up and compost it over the course of the warm season.
Loosen the soil with a light cultivation
Here at the Green Living Library we are typically very against excessive cultivation and digging of the soil since in the long run it causes more issues than it fixes. But new plants and seeds do sprout better in a soil that has been loosened and fluffed up by some mechanical action. So this is where you should break out the 4 tine hand cultivator and put your arms to work. By gently loosing and breaking apart the top couple inches of your soil you create a better seed bed but you preserve the good soil structure you have been building in the deeper layers. Having a good soil structure in the deeper layers of the garden is critical to help your plants grow and produce better.
Another plus to this helps break apart and mix in any leftover garden residue from the previous year which adds that organic matter into the soil.
Top Dress Soil Amendments
I always like to add my soil amendments in the spring as a top dressing in the garden beds. Depending on the space available in the beds I will bring in enough compost to add 2-3 inches to each of my beds. This compost of course provides useful nutrients and just improves the seed bed for planting and sprouting seeds.
If you want to grow some different varieties than you can usually get at the local garden store then now is the time to plant the seeds and start them under light inside. Warm season crops like,
Really benefit from an early start inside since they need a longer growing season. Always grow a few more than you actually need so that gives you the option to select the best plants to actually plant outside. One of the main reasons I like to grow my own is that I can better track their growth and plant them outside before they get too big in the pot and get root bound.
So there you have just a few different things you can do right now to get ready for the spring planting season this year. For more like this check out other articles here on the Green Living Library.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.