It may seem funny to talk about gardening and soil in October, but hear me out. Now is the time to start preparing for that amazing garden next year that will bear you many fruits and veggies for the whole family.
Granted this was only our first year gardening, but we followed some sound advice from friends and family to ensure that we could have a good yield. One of them was the lasagna approach to soil. This means filling your garden beds with different layers of organic material layer by layer like when you prepare lasagna.
One of the selling points of the house we bought last year was a stunning maple tree in the back yard. But come autumn we were inundated with leaves. I raked daily only to wake up the next morning to a fresh layer on the ground.
A friend suggested we save our fall leaves in a corner of our garden over the winter and bury them under the beds of soil, as the composting organic material would provide constant nutrients to our new garden, in the spring. For me it was a win-win!
When the ground thawed we set out digging holes under all these beds. I took it a step further and buried leaves under my flower beds as well.
After this we layered some organic top soil that we found in town. Its amazing how much soil it takes to fill these beds. I recommend finding a local source that allows you to pay by the load instead of buying the bags at the store. Then we involved the whole family in our effort to move dirt!
For the top we put a thick layer of compost. Again, we found this in town and paid by the load. Our chickens also added to the compost layer. However, we made sure to allow the chicken droppings to compost for at least a year as well before adding it to the soil.
Finally, a last step we took that I am sure contributed to a great garden was the simple watering system my husband set up. I’m not reliable at plant watering. I forget one day and tend to over compensated the next. This system involved a hose along the perimeter of our fence and some small timed sprinklers that can be found at a local hardware store.
I am confident that these steps helped us have an amazing garden that virtually ran on autopilot.
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