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For the Garden 7 days ago

How To Breathe Life This Spring Into Your Tired Garden Soil

No matter how healthy your vegetable plants start off in the spring - no matter how carefully you water - how perfectly it rains, or how much of the sun's rays find their way to your garden – your plants are only going to turn out as good as the soil you plant them in. Period.

Vegetable crops like tomatoes, peppers, corn and cucumbers take a heavy toll on the soil' structure and make-up. They devour valuable nutrients as they grow to produce the very fruits and vegetables we love to eat. Eventually, after a few years - even the best of soils will begin to break down and weaken if not replenished and re-energized. Soil that becomes weak in nutrients will result in successively weaker crop yields that are also increasingly prone to disease and pests.

So what is the best way to keep your garden strong? Feed your soil!

And no - we're not talking about heaping on generous amounts of expensive synthetic fertilizers. Those are temporary fixes to a problem that can leave your soil weak, unstable, and full of excess salts and chemicals.

To see more: http://oldworldgardenfarms.com/2013/02/05/how-to-breath-life-this-spring-into-your-tired-garden-soil/

18 Comments Displaying 15 of 18 comments | See Previous
  • Thanks so much Douglas!
  • Thank you Miriam...can't wait for spring to get here!!!
  • HGTVGardens - I sure hope it's around the corner too! We will be starting our seeds indoors soon, and that is always makes us feel like old man winter will be leaving soon.
  • Patty Bellingham, WA
    Was interesting reading this as I planted a cover crop for the 1st time this fall but never read before to do one in Spring as well. I'll have to do this tks for the great info. Living in the PNW it tends to be pretty wet in Spring.
  • Rose A Robinson, IL
    Thanks. I am just beginning to learn about natural gardening, although I have gardened for years.
  • I had better get to the feed store for my rye. Never got a winter cover on so hoping this will help. First I have to hope the sun shines to melt off the snow covered veggie bed. Thank's for all your gardening experience.
  • Cindy W. Oshkosh, WI
    Thanks for the info!! I will heading to a feed store (if I can find one) to buy some clover or annual rye soon. Now just for the snow to melt!! With living in Wisconsin, when should the fall cover be planted?? October??
  • Sondra A Janesville, WI
    Thank you for the info. I had read about this and planted winter rye for the first time last fall. With all the snow we've been having this year I'm not sure I'll ever find out the results! We may be 2 days into Spring but I'm sure not seeing it yet.
  • Christine Anderson Farmington, WA
    what's the best way to use rye as a cover crop? Can you seed your whole garden plot with it then till it under when it gets a few inches high?
  • Dee W Albuquerque, NM
    Do you do the same in container gardening?
  • Diana Dray Harrod, OH
    Yhank you soo much.
  • Lequita Ridenour Eureka Springs, AR
    I am starting my garden this year. Raised beds and a small greenhouse. I am planting the raised beds using the hugelkulture method of putting downed timber in the bottom of my waist high beds.... then new dense top soil (the downed timber composts in the
  • Jeanette C Dallas, TX
    Amend, amend, amend is a great idea. Using cover crops in the winter such as vetch, clover, rye grass, buckwheat, alfalfa and planting legumes such as English peas can be helpful when tilled in in the Spring. Containers can benefit from those too. Here
  • Gloria K Little Falls, MN
    By the time the snow melts here in Minnesota I hope I will have time to put a cover crop in. Otherwise it will be to late for putting garden in. Our first Frosts come in Sept. So don't give much growing season. Should I wait till fall or should I still
  • Martin Finn Oshkosh, WI
    How do you turn the grass under? You don't use a rototiller?
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