Oh my…the Spring weather this past week or so has been AMAZING! Sun and more sun and some lovely, even warm days. Of course it’s April, so last night the temperature was -4, but that’s fine…we are through the worst of it. You know what nice weather in April means, it’s time to get back in the garden! 🙂
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that this year I am doing a little gardening series here on the blog with a seed to plate journey of my experience. I’m an amateur gardener so I’m really thankful to be learning along the way with Elspeth from Wile’s Lake Farm Market. I’ve got a good start on growing tomato seeds inside. It’s been a lot of fun watching them grow and I can only imagine how exciting it will be to finally get them in the ground in June! THEN, a few months later to be picking and eating tomatoes that I grew from a little tiny seed…so EXCITING!!! Is there such a thing as a garden nerd? I may be becoming one. Let’s go with “enthusiast”. 😉
So now with the snow cleared and the sun warming things up, it’s time to think about getting our soil ready for gardening. I started my garden with two 4×4 raised beds and last year I added two more, so now I am up to four. Mine beds are very simple, just using logs as a border. I filled them with a “grower mix” of soil and then every spring I add some type of compost.
If you are just starting out, perhaps with some containers on your patio, you can fill those with a good quality potting soil and you’re ready to go. If you are doing raised beds, and wanting to use some topsoil you have, you’ll want to mix that half and half with some compost. There are a few options when it comes to compost such as using your own (not from our green bins that we have here in Lunenburg County, but rather a compost you make yourself from kitchen scraps, grass clippings, etc). You can also use some aged manure, but if you don’t have access to that, you can buy compost material specific for your garden beds that add nutrients to your soil. Wile’s Lake Farm Market carries a Sea Compost from Fafard that I used last year and had a lot of success with.
So I just dump the compost onto my cleaned out raised bed and then rake it into the soil. This is not the glamorous part of gardening, but oh so important. Elspeth said during our Facebook Live, that the best investment of time you can make in your garden, is in getting your soil ready. You will struggle all season with poor soil, so taking the time now to make sure you have added compost which will retain air, nutrients and moisture and give your plants and seeds a healthy start.
I’ve got a start on getting the soil ready in my raised beds. I’m looking forward to finishing up the rest and then getting some seeds in the ground. We can start spinach, lettuce and peas now! YAY! I love this part. I’ll be taking lots of pics and sharing on my Facebook page and Instagram if you want to follow along in between blog posts.
Elspeth said it best…”You can buy a cheap, discounted plant and plant it in good soil and you’ll probably save it, but you can also spend a lot of money on plants and seed and put it in poor soil and end up with very disappointing results.” Getting your soil ready is one of the best investments you can make in your garden.
I’d love to hear from you about your plans for your garden! How do you add compost to your soil? Have you planted any seeds yet? Isn’t this fun??? 🙂
*Wile’s Lake Farm Market is sponsoring this gardening series, but all opinions and experiences are my own.