Saturday, April 4, 2009

Start Of The Garden Season

The start of a new growing season has finally arrived. It is still wet in the garden but most of it is raised beds. If I didn't plant this way it wouldn't be until may before I could get into the garden.

There are advantages in having a garden that has a high water table. In the summer months it stays moist enough under the surface so that watering is keep to a minimum.

I am going to get what I can ready to start planting some spinach today and clean around the garlic that I planted last October, that is along with my helper. She just loves digging in the garden.

It feels good to be able to get back outside working in the garden again after the long cold winter we have had. It is only 43 here today but it still feels good.

In this area is where I plant my garlic, peas, lettuce and string beans. I start out by turning the beds, adding a little peat and more compost before I start any planting. This area is fairly wet early in the season so I built a raised bed and plant on mounds or hilled rows. The beds I build a little more each year with rock that I have saved from the garden. I even use the rocks just to divide off different areas.

I started by cleaning off the leaves from last fall and putting them
in the compost bin, then I turned the soil and add about 2 to 3
inches of peat, once I mixed the peat in I added another 2 to 3 inches of compost to the beds and turned it all in. The soil I have to work with in the garden is a glacial till. It is a silty, almost clay type soil that when dries out turns fairly hard and water doesn't penetrate very easily, more sheds off than goes in the ground.That is why it is important to mix the peat and compost to improve the soils structure.

As I work the soil I take whatever rocks that I come across and save them to build new raised beds or just to use them to divide off different areas of the garden. There is no easy way to get rid of them so I put them to use wherever I can.

This is an area where I plant some zucchini and placed a row of rock that I have dug from the garden to divide the area from my asparagus bed, it keeps things neat. As you can see from these photos, I plant in small areas, it makes it easier to maintain. In small areas you can do a lot with companion planting that greatly benefits the garden. It is a way to control pest, it helps to improve soil structure and there are crops that will provide nutrients to other plants that they are planted with.

Organic gardening is a great method of gardening. With a good healthy soil structure and the method of companion planting your garden can produce a highly productive crop and one that is healthy for you, without the use of chemicals.


Michelle Hoad said...

I am glad I found your website. We do organic gardening in our back yard and have several heirloom varieties growing right now. We are lucky to live in central Texas, so we already have our plants well established. I just blogged about our garden.

John Yazo said...

Thank You Michelle for following my site. If there is any info you need about gardening feel free to ask. We are updating our site daily. We are here to supply whatever information that will help you with your gardening needs.


Daisy said...

My area is also small, and the soil is glacial/ high in clay. after several years of adding compost, it's much better for growing.