Posted by Tara on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010
It’s time to talk dirty again. Due to the L O N G winter, we are running a little later preparing our raised bed garden this spring. Do you have your garden ready? Most local garden centers here in Middle TN suggest planting around April 15th to avoid any frost. So let’s get those taxes done and get our beds ready. Plantin’ time is almost here! Here’s our recap from last year’s prep work.
Hey all you wanna be gardeners (like us) out there! Do you have your raised bed frame built yet? Then it is time to talk DIRT. Last weekend, we shopped for dirt – how EXCITING! We wanted all the larger rocks, roots, and twigs removed so we purchased 2 truck bed loads of sifted topsoil. It was a beautiful day and the kids were pretty eager to help move the dirt from the truck bed to the raised bed. Notice how much richer the topsoil appears than the dirt in our yard.
Then Sunday after church we spent some time in Lowe’s pondering how we could spice up our dirt to yield the most abundant haul of crops this year. We may be beginners, but we can still dream big right? If you purchased the Organic Gardening book, you need to read the chapter on DIRT. There is a lot to know about dirt.
Happy vegetables need a soil that is not too sandy, without a lot of clay, and with the perfect PH. The topsoil we purchased needed to be enriched somehow. Humus is a terrific soil additive and it is made from once living things, which have died, and have decomposed. Peat moss is a popular humus substance. Seasoned manure (I can’t believe I just typed that on a cooking web-site) is another choice soil enhancer. After much debate, we finally settled on an organic mix which contained humus, manure, and soil. We chose the organic because -well, we want an organic garden. We purchased 12 bags of Miracle Grow Organic Choice Garden Soil. It costs a bit more than buying separate ingredients. But all the gardeners we have talked with rave about the results from this mixutre.
We spread the mixture over our topsoil, then used a hoe and shovel to mix the topsoil with the Miracle Grow Organic Choice. Now the raised bed is ready and waiting for seeds, and sunshine, and April showers!
We have been purchasing organic seeds for all the veggies we are craving. We’ve got sqauash, zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes (plants), green beans, lima beans, green pepper, jalapeno pepper, red hot peppers, pumpkin, asparagus, herbs, and rhubarb. Now I gotta go read the 150+ page chapter on how to plant and care for each one of these babies. Stay tuned for more gardening action!