Garden: Prep Work

The weather this weekend was BEAUTIFUL! Finally. We have been waiting a long time for it to warm up some and it looks like the warm weather was just a teaser with the possibility of snow on Thursday. Regardless of what the weatherman is forecasting  I wanted to get out and start some prep work on my garden.

When we bought our house there was already a garden in the back yard. It was overgrown and full of weeds; this will be the 3rd year we will have a garden at our house and it has taken of bit of work to get it going.

The first year our garden did not produce well, so farmer husband and I decided to do a soil test. We took our soil sample after harvest that fall and sent it off to the test lab. Results indicated our soil type was high in clay, which we figured, and low in nitrogen.

The next spring we were able to get soil off of peat ground. This soil has a lot of organic material and is a light soil type; we determined this would help the soil mixture in our garden and provide a better seed bed and growing condition for our crops. In addition to the peat ground, my husband also brought home some rabbit manure from the farm for fertilizer. If I would have said yes, my husband would have brought home liquid hog manure to fertilize the garden with but I was more then happy with the rabbit manure. Our harvest that year was much better then the prior year and we got the weeds under control using corn gluten meal.

Garden Pre Tillage

Garden Pre Tillage

This year we are repeating our fertilizer plan and applied a 5 gallon pail of manure to the garden and worked it in. I’ve bought all my seeds and purchased tomato and pepper plants. I tried starting my tomato plants from seed the first two years and it just didn’t work out well so I pay a bit extra to get plants that have been started so I know they will produce.

The garden is only 11.5′ x 14′ so its not tremendously large but it is adequate for Kyle and I.

Garden Post Tillage

Garden Post Tillage

This year we plan on planting:

  • 4 tomato plants
  • 2 green pepper plants
  • 2 jalapeno plants
  • carrots
  • green beans, bush
  • beets
  • spinach
  • Mesclun salad mix
  • 1 mound of zucchini
  • potatoes, above ground

Additionally, we have raspberries planted in the garden and a small patch of rhubarb in the corner of our yard.

Yes, this is a fair amount of stuff to plant in our small garden  but it works out quite well. The distance between rows is minimal but it cuts down on weeding, one of my least favorite jobs. Hopefully it will warm up soon so I can plant my garden!

The best part is eating the produce year round, we freeze a lot of carrots and beans and can salsa and tomatoes for year round feasting.  Another great part of having my garden is being able to share produce with others. The neighbor lady has a daycare and I am affectionately know as “Garden Lady” to some of the daycare kids, they enjoy coming over to see what I’m doing and even eat some of the veggies!

Do you have a garden, what are you planting this year and what is your favorite part of having a garden?


6 thoughts on “Garden: Prep Work

    • Great question! We spread corn gluten meal (CGM) as a pre-emergent weed suppressor. This mean I don’t apply until AFTER garden plants have emerged from the ground. An couple of steps so this works well: 1. wait until your vegetable plants have emerged from the ground 2. weed 3. spread CGM 4. reapply CGM every 30-45 days. The active ingredient in Preen is 100% CGM, its just a lot more expensive then what you can buy from your local coop/feed supplier. Check out Preen’s website for more information on the product and the weeds it controls:
      FYI is does smell a bit and won’t work unless watered or rained on.

      Hope that helps!

  1. I’m interested in the corn gluten meal as well.

    We have a large garden, but my husband works in the horticulture industry… it was bound to happen! My favorite part of having a garden is the “free” produce we can enjoy all year, and being able to go out and pick a few things to make for supper. Nothing like eating veggies THAT fresh! mamie

    • Mamie, check out my reply to soshemarriedafarmer about the corn gluten meal, I still have to do some weeding but not nearly as much as if I didn’t use it!

      I agree, being able to use what you have grown and being able to go out and see what’s ready to be eaten is awesome! Plus it gets me out of the house and enjoy the nice weather!

  2. Pingback: Garden: Planted | Ahnna On About Anything

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