March 27, 2012

Preparing the Vegetable Garden Soil for Tilling

New garden extension covered during the winter in wood dust and ashes from the woodstove
A nice array of weeds, overwintered lettuces, and fava beans
Tiny little Swiss chard or silverbeet
Tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings waiting on the back step
I am a bit embarrassed at all the weeds in the garden, but the only excuse I can offer is a bruised rib and pulled rib muscles. It hurts to breath let alone cough or laugh. So any weeding has only been half hearted at best.

The garden was more than doubled in size in the fall and then the garden extension was allowed to lay fallow covered in wood dust. All winter we have been taking the ashes from the woodstove out into the garden to combine with the wood dust left from having tree stumps ground down. Along with 400 pounds of purchased aged manure and compost all the soil amendments will be tilled under in the next few days. Hopefully the manure will be acidic enough to balance the basic pH of the wood ash.

It is amazing how well the overwintered lettuces and fava broad beans are doing. Even with weedy competition the lettuces seem to be holding their own. And the lettuces are everywhere. There are lettuces in the lettuce bed, the Swiss chard silverbeet bed, and the fava broad bean bed. Too bad the Swiss chard otherwise known as silverbeet are doing so poorly. The chard looks good but they are so little, hardly worth the effort of overwintering but that may be due to not getting them big and established enough before the cold weather set in.

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