You don’t need to call an expert out to your garden in order to grow great stuff to eat and look at. You become the expert (former drip under pressure) there are tons and tons (literally by weight) of books out there in libraries and book stores and pamphlets in garden shops to help you become an amazing gardener, and if you can’t amaze your neighbor at least you can amaze yourself and your mom. If you really don’t like reading books or pamphlets, find yourself a gardening friend who will help you figure things out. Or just call upon your DNA and wing it. (Can’t say much for that last approach but I have employed it many a time.)
So first things first, is your garden ready for you to attack it? Soil is a living thing and if you bother it too soon it will get grumpy (lumpy) and stay that way all year or at least you will spend lots of time in therapy together to help it get over your impertinence. So knowing when to dive in is important. Later there are techniques you can use to make it so that your garden soil is always ready for you. But for now we’ll start here, with the basic soil wetness test.
No special tools, just naked earth and your hand.
Basically you are making a ball of soil in your hand and using your thumb, “pinching” it. If it falls apart like you see it do in the video above you’re ready to play in your garden. What are you going to do? Add some soil amendments? Plant carrot seeds?
If it doesn’t break apart or if it only splits down the middle where you push with your thumb, wait for a few more dry days to work on your soil. In other words, let it dry it out.
If you can’t even make a ball of soil, well you waited too long in the season and your soil is too dry or you are living on desert sand, I have no idea what to do for that.
Well as you can see I have at the very least one bed ready to rock and roll for this planting season, so off I go to get some work done!
I really do have many beds to work, in spite of recent record rainfall and gardening in one of the wettest areas on our farm, save the actual ponds. How can that be?
I garden mostly in raised beds, I’ve talked about it on other posts but I will cover the concept better in a near future post. But really, for now, I gotta go to the HHH to sow some flats of cucurbits, and put to soak some peas to plant tomorrow, then I need to weed a couple asparagus beds and finish transplanting the rest of my summer brassicas, hopefully there will be time to plant some carrots and other root crops today. We’ll see.