Gardening 101 by Mike & Patti Boyert
(as seen in The Medina Gazette)
Let’s Talk Dirt
One of the most important elements to vegetable gardening is the soil. It is good practice to add compost to your garden bed whether you are starting from scratch or have an established garden space. We recommend adding 2-3in. of compost to existing beds and at least 6in. to new or struggling gardens. Begin preparing your bed by tilling the existing soil thoroughly then add the new compost and till again This ensures the mix of soil and compost are a final depth of 16-18”in. There are many different types of compost that you can use such as shredded leaves, mushroom compost, grass clippings, aged manure, and vegetable scraps. Being able to pull weeds easily and the presence of earth worms are great indicators of healthy soil.
Spring is an ideal time for testing your soil. Have your soil tested for trace elements, nutrients and pH. Collect soil samples from 5 different locations in your garden. Make sure you collect them from about 2”in. deep and clearly label them. Crop rotation is another way to ensure healthy soil in your garden. Rotating crops will help discourage disease and insect problems as well.
Another great tip to remember is to never work in the garden when it is to wet or to dry. Ideal soil is ready when a handful can be squeezed into a ball, and breaks apart when pressed with your finger.
So Dig In and lets get planting!
Mike & Patti Boyert