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How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

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How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  jewlz2121 on 3/20/2014, 1:04 pm

Happy Spring!  We are starting year 2 of our SFG. Last year, we were so successful and I attribute that to having a quality mix, as well as all the helpful hints I picked up from the lovely folks on this forum. I'm obviously hoping for similar results this year.  So how do you prep your garden to be ready to accept seeds and seedlings?  Do you just add some different composts?  Test ph first?  I've seen people online that add worm castings, blood and bone meal and call it done. I'm just not sure what all to add!

We cleared all the old plants out yesterday, and this weekend we are installing irrigation. However, I'm thinking that I need to add some goodies to the mix first.  We did add a truckload of compost in September that was supposed to aid our fall garden, but life happened and our fall garden never got planted.  Does winter affect the available nutrients in compost...is it better to have fresh instead?
 
Thanks in advance for your thoughts!  sunny

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  camprn on 3/20/2014, 1:23 pm

A good quality homemade compost and fill the box to the brim, and give it a little fluff with a garden fork. That's what I do and all there is too it.

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  gwennifer on 3/20/2014, 1:29 pm

Yes winter affects the available nutrients in the compost. Definitely add fresh (finished) compost, minimum of one scoop per square just before planting each square, as recommended in the book.

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  Mikesgardn on 3/20/2014, 5:25 pm

As time progresses, you will notice that the soil surface drops. Just add compost to bring it back up to the original level and mix it in.

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  sanderson on 3/20/2014, 8:58 pm

Ditto on adding some new compost every time you plant something. I added compost in the late fall when I cleaned the beds for winter, and a couple trowels per square this spring before planting.

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  Turan on 3/20/2014, 11:53 pm

I think a bit about what was planted where and how it went. So the general rule is add more good compost and mix it into the top a bit. Beyond that there is the eye of the grower.
Leafy greens need more nitrogen than root crops. So I am sure to go heavy on the stronger composts where they will be. I usually do not add much compost or pretty mellow stuff where I will grow root crops. A spot that had a heavy feeder growing on it last season might need a bit extra for this year.

I do not do soil testing unless something seemed out of whack last season.

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Amendments

Post  fog on 3/21/2014, 12:31 am

I have a deal worked out with my garden buddies--- the worms. I don't take them fishing and they do all my composting & etc. Last fall I unearthed 21 worms of varying sizes in one standard spade full of soil. So I simply top up each of my grow beds with leaves & grass clipings a couple times. Then sit back and let my guys do the rest. Works for me!

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  martha on 3/21/2014, 11:14 am

Funny, but very on target, post, Fog!

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  JustMe on 3/23/2014, 12:09 am

I add homemade compost into the squares when planting, like the book mentions. If the soil level drops significantly, it can't be fluffed up, and I don't have enough homemade compost, then I go to the store and buy the 5 different types of compost to bring up the levels.

Last year, I added worm tubes into the SFG.

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  Goosegirl on 3/23/2014, 8:22 am

I dump a layer of homemade (or commercial if I don't have enough homemade) compost to the boxes and then turn it in with a shovel. Not as hard as it sounds because of the light nature of MM. I do it once at the beginning of the season and that is it.

GG

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Re: How do YOU amend your garden in the spring?

Post  llama momma on 3/23/2014, 9:54 am

Same here.  Add fresh compost and fluff it up.
 Before it's time to remove the tarps, I also try to keep up with removing large heavy puddles off the tarps from melted snow, ice, plus rain.  I don't want the good stuff squeezed out the bottom while compacting the remaining mix!   So I cut off the bottom of a gallon milk jug for a free, large scoop.  Has a nice handle and it prevents getting splashed in the process.   Mel doesn't say to remove the puddles in his books, but it makes sense (well, to me)  to do everything to preserve the mix. Wink

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Re: How do you amend or garden in spring

Post  Boz on 3/23/2014, 2:01 pm

I add compost to almost fill each square then add about two cups of vermicompost to each square. During the growing season I top dress the heavy feeders with additional VC.

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