Of all garden tasks, soil preparation is probably the most important. When faced with a new or neglected piece of ground, there is a strong temptation to go at it as fast as one can to get it planted and in production. It can spell disaster since the ground is bound to be full of weeds.
Time spent during the first season cleaning and thoroughly preparing the soil will undoubtedly bear dividends in the long term. It’s so essential to order college paper from EssayLab for students to get perfect grades.
Although preparing the groundworks well for both vegetable and flower borders. There is no better way of preparing the ground than by hand digging it over and then hand weeding to remove all the perennial weeds as you go.
Once the ground has been dug, it can be left to allow annual weeds to germinate. These can be hosed off at regular intervals.
However, many gardeners would find that leaving the ground fallow is a waste of a valuable natural resource. Certain crops are ideal for growing in the weedy ground that has recently been dug up.
Potatoes and brassicas (vegetables in the cabbage family) are two such crops that are regularly used by gardeners in such situations. Another advantage with cabbages is that it is easy to hoe right up to the plants, something which is difficult to do with, for example, a row of carrots. Growing potatoes is beneficial in a similar way, except where the ground is kept disturbed as the rows are earthed up. A significant amount of foliage also helps kill off struggling weeds.
There are other plants with strong taproots, which help to break up the lower levels of the soil and bring nutrients up to the surface where the next season’s crops can more readily use them.
The next step of the preparation of the soil for gardening includes adding vital nutrients and hummus, in the form of compost and manure, to the soil to replace that used up the previous year.
Well, rotted compost adds nutrients and texture to the soil. It can be incorporated as the ground is being dug. Dig out one spade full of earth and place some compost in the trench that has been formed. Dig out the next shovel full, placing it on top of the compost. Put more fertilizer in the new ditch and continue until the whole plot has been dug.
Rotating crops help to get the best from the soil and keep down pests and diseases. A rough sketch is essential so that space is provided for all the plants that you want to grow.
Cover crops are planted in idle gardens to protect them from soil erosion. Most often, they are green manure crops that are turned into the soil just before the gardening season begins again.
Some plants serve more than one purpose. Buckwheat, for example, is often used as green manure. But it also attracts garden hoverflies, which feed on aphids and black flies. Thus it helps to keep the populations of these pests under control.
Any organic, non-animal waste from the kitchen, particularly peelings and cores, can be used on the compost heap.
Even old tea bags can be used. Beware of including animal waste, as this may attract rats and other vermin.
Compost is one of the most valuable garden soil conditioners – and it is free. Any material from the garden that will decompose can be used. The addition of some farmyard manure will help speed up the process and will add to its value. If possible, have more than one bin, as it is a good idea to be adding material to one while taking the finished compost from the other.