It is that time of year. Time to start thinking about your garden. I hope that you are as excited as I am about growing some of your own organic veggies! Towards that end I will be writing 4 blog posts over the next 4 months to help you plant your own spring garden and grow some carrots.
Though it may come as a surprise to some, now is the right time of year to start thinking about this years garden. A garden needs to be prepared before you can plant anything and now is the time for that preparation since you can plant your first spring crop in the next 3 or 4 weeks.
Plan Your Garden Beds
The first thing to do is to plan out your garden beds. There are many ways to lay out a garden. If you don’t currently have a garden bed I recommend reading the book Square Foot Gardening by Mel Bartholomew. You can also read about this method without buying the book here. If you already have a garden or garden beds now is the perfect time to do any repairs or landscaping, such as making new beds or paths.
Preparing Your Soil
Once you have your garden bed you will need to clean your bed and prepare your soil. If you are like me and a lot of other gardeners, your garden bed still has weeds from last fall and the winter that are growing quite happily. Removing your weeds before you plant and even before you turn over your soil will save you time and headache later on.
After all of your weeds have been removed it is time to attend to your soil. There are lots of options when it comes to soil. If you have soil already in your beds, this is the best time to turn your soil over and add organic mulch or fertilizer. To turn over you soil simply use a shovel to turn over the top 8 to 12 inches of soil.
If you don’t have soil there are plenty of places to get good organic soil. You’ll find most everything you need at your local hardware store. Local nurseries are also a really good source of organic soil and fertilizer. I prefer to mix already composted steer manure from my local hardware store into my soil as I am turning it over. Composted steer manure can be purchased in bags from any hardware store, it’s organic and easy to handle.
Though I prefer steer manure there are many other kinds of organic fertilizer. You can learn all about different organic fertilizers and mulch on veggiegardener.com, organicgardening.com, and gardeners.com.
Once you have turned your soil over and added your steer manure or preferred organic fertilizer, all that is left to do is rake your soil out until it is even and flat. Then your ready to plant! At the end of February it will be time to plant carrots and lots of other spring vegetables. Have fun working in your garden!