This year I want to have nice gardens! I have a corner house so I have gardens along the front of my house and along the side (aka a LOT of garden). Knowing my plant reputation and the pitiful gardens I have planted in the past I decided to enlist the help of my Mother in law in planting this year. I thought that I would take you along on this journey to help other “
STEP 1: PREPARING THE SOIL
The biggest mistake most gardeners make (or so I’m told!) is not preparing (loosening and feeding) the soil prior to planting. When I moved into my house, the gardens were already present. They lacked the colours and flowers I wanted, so the first few years I bought flowers and stuck them in. Sounds good eh? Unfortunately, my plants barely survived because I assumed my soil was good for gardening. Little did I know that you need to prepare the soil on a YEARLY (minimal) basis. Its important to wait until the right time to begin working your gardens. Too early and the ground will either be frozen or too soggy to obtain the desired consistence. When you squeeze a handful of dirt it should fall apart, not form a mud ball.
This weekend, my Mother in law taught me how to prepare the soil. The first step is to turning the soil. In order to ensure a healthy, bountiful crop, you want to ensure you soil is loose. Think of the tractors in the farmers fields. In early spring, they are plowing the soil. That’s what you need to do too. The best tool to use is the ‘FORK’. It very simple to use and requires a bit of muscle depending on your soil type. You dig in and flip the soil. You want to make sure that you go at least a full forkful in to ensure that you are loosening the soil deep enough. Turning the soil is great for digging up weeds. The fork helps you loosen the soil, so you are able to pull the entire weed out by the root!
Unfortunately, this is as far as we got on our gardening adventures. When turning the soil, we found the partial cause to many of my flower failures. That would be ROCKS! (Who knew roots couldn’t penetrate rocks? lol) Turning the soil is not only good for loosening the soil for future roots but also giving you a window into what’s beneath the surface and potential problems you could be dealing with!