Spring is coming soon. Now is the time to get your gardens ready.
Here’s a checklist of some things you could do to get your garden in order before you rush into this next garden.
Before working on your soil, be sure all your tools are clean and maybe even sterilized. A good soak in a solution of 10% bleach to 90% water for about a half an hour can kill soil pathogens that might still be on your tools from the past season.
Next, get your garden beds ready for planting, one of the most important parts of gardening. Removing any weeds that might have come up from the past season is a must. You don’t want any of them go to seed and start producing more weeds.
Now is a great time to add soil nutrients, such as a good quality compost that will help to prevent compacted soils and provide airflow and allow young roots to easily grow. This is one of the best times of the year to work compost into your soil and remember that healthy soils can provide you with healthy soils.
You probably have noticed that over the years your soil level has decreased, which naturally happens. Again, this is the best time of the year to add more compost or a good garden soil mix before planting. If you have had past problems with caterpillars, such as cutworms, turning over the top 6-8 inches of soil in that area can help to kill off any hidden pest that are over wintering in your beds. Cutworms are one of the earliest pest to emerge in the spring and will attack your seedlings.
A few weeks before planting is a good time to add your fertilizer to the soil. This will give the fertilizer time to spread through the soil. If growing transplants mulching once your plants are in place will help protect your soil from weeds.
A very general guideline for watering is use about an inch of water per week depending on the weather conditions.
Until next time, let’s try to garden with nature, not against it, and maybe all our weeds will become wildflowers.
Laurie Garretson is a Victoria gardener and nursery owner. Send your gardening questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77902.