Apr25

Getting Ready For Spring

herb GardenHere in Minnesota, it’s been a long time coming, but I think spring is finally in the air… I HOPE!
As I look out on my garden plots, I think the single most important thing I can do for my gardens this spring is improve the soil. Have you thought about it, too? You can start by testing your soil, and you may be surprised by the results.

Most testing kits will test for pH, nitrates and phosphorus and can be found at your local garden store. Most plants have a reasonably wide tolerance and will be comfortable with a pH of around 6.5, but certain plants require an alkaline soil or a particularly acidic soil. The type of soil in your garden will influence the amount of mixture needed to make a change to your soil’s pH level.

To increase soil alkalinity, use ground limestone, and to increase soil acidity, add sulphate of ammonia or flower of sulphur in the quanitities recommended by the manufacturers. A good fertilizer will help with nitrate and phosphorus levels and are best applied in the spring as it will encourge the growth of your leafy plants.
One of the things we do is add organic matter. A friend of ours has a farm, and with the addition of clean, year-old manure, our garden thrives with a spring application. If you don’t have a farmer friend, you can find cow or sheep manure at your local garden store. Of course, you should also aerate the soil. We’re anxious to to this, but if we were to try it now, we’d just be aerating the mud… it’s still kinda wet out there.
We also stay away from harmful pesticides, and we rotate the crops we grow in our vegetable garden.
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Apr 25

Getting Ready For Spring

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