Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Preparing garden beds

A couple of years ago, I set up what I call the 'satellite' garden.

Originally meant as an experimental (uh, I'm not really expanding my beds, I said to myself) sort of plot, I decided to incorporate them into permanent beds to expand my (rudimentary) rotation scheme. Also, as the holly hedge near my main vegetable garden has gotten larger, my main vegetable garden is even more shaded in the winter than it used to be. It's a great summer plot, OK in fall, but only gets several hours of sun in the late afternoon, even now, in early March.

So, to have a sunnier space for late winter and early spring crops, my satellite garden is great. Last spring, a hungry young woodchuck was a nemesis, and was relocated, but a relative has now appeared, and I'm determined to find a better place for him/her (the Havahart trap is set).

The unseasonably mild weather has made preparing beds for carrots, beets, chard, and potatoes (as well as preparing warm-season beds) a joy. What fun to be able to be out there digging in early March!

Since this is the second year of serious cultivation for most of these beds, they still have lots of clayey soil, so more compost, composted manure, and mushroom compost is needed. I'd limed all the beds in the fall (our soil is quite acidic), so hopefully, that will help, too. I'm afraid this is all very unscientific (not recommended) and I DO need to do a soil test.

But the beds are looking quite nice, and are ready to plant.

And seedlings are popping up in my flats and containers. Hooray!

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