After the Deep Freeze this past Monday, are you ready for spring? I am! Of course, I was ready for spring about the time I put the fall wreath on the front door….
Stay on Top of Weeds and Debris
There are a few gardening chores I can do now, however, to ensure more success with my vegetable garden this coming summer.
I continue to make sure that my veggie garden area is free of weeds and debris. Yes, even in the winter. Weeds and debris are good hiding places for insect eggs—and they can host diseases that can then spread to my vulnerable plants.
If I forgot to top-dress my garden in the fall, I still have time. I usually add at least three inches of mixed composts to the area and just let it sit. Every time it rains or snows, nutrients get washed down into the soil. I use mixed composts because every type of compost brings with it the micro-nutrients from its origin. Leaf compost has different micro-nutrients than mushroom compost; mushroom compost has different micro-nutrients than composted cow manure.
I do try to mix plant-based composts (mushroom compost, leaf compost) with animal composts (compost cow or poultry manure, for example). Plant-based composts contain carbon for good soil structure, while animal-based composts contain more nitrogen.
Do be sure not to overdo the manures—too much nitrogen can give you lots of foliage at the expense of flowers/fruit.
Along with the compost, I add some Green Sand. Green Sand is formed from ocean sediment and is rich in trace minerals. It’s particularly good for our Virginia clay soils.
Plan Ahead for Great Results
Now would be the time to plan ahead. I sometimes forget to do that, but have better success if I at least stop and think first. What did especially well? Did anything do especially well? (Note: too much zucchini bread in the freezer—maybe plant fewer zucchinis this summer).
What didn’t do well? What can I do (rotate crops, remember to feed, allow more space, etc.) to make it do better next time? Are there any new varieties I’ve been wanting to try? If so, I know it’s a good idea to get them now—while they are still available.
Think Spring and Feel Excited
Even though it doesn’t chase the winter gray away any sooner, thinking about spring does brighten my mood and gets me excited about what’s ahead.
What new varieties are you planning for your garden this spring? Let me know in the comments below.
As you think about what you’ll plant this year and questions come to mind, stop by the Great Big Greenhouse and talk with us. If you have any questions, that’s what we’re here for.