Thursday, March 27, 2014

Preparing the Garden for Spring

How do you prepare the garden for planting?

They're calling for a lot of rain this weekend in northern New Jersey so I thought it would be an opportune time to get the garden ready for the season. It's a good idea to clean out and have some steady rain before sowing any seeds. In the past I've prepped the garden and sowed in the same day and then had really untidy rows once the soil settled. Rain will help settle the soil and make for much neater rows in the long term. This would also be a great time to add some compost to the soil to give everything a boost. I don't have any on hand so I'll  top dress with some later in the season. 

I never cleaned out the plants or the cages at the end of last fall, so that was top of the to-do list today. What else? The fig trees next door left a thick blanket of leaves that had to be cleared out and composted. I plan to replace the trellis so I wanted to disassemble the old one. The brick boarder and the stone pathways also needed attention. And I wanted to divide and replant the garlic bulbs that I forgot to harvest last year (oops).

Now it's ready to get a good soaking this weekend and receive some carrot seeds next week. I admit I did slip in some purple bunching onions from Pinetree Garden Seeds. The packet was from 2012 so who knows what the germination rate will be. 

Baby garlic, divided and transplanted for the 2014 season. 

I dug up this carrot from under the fig leaf blanket and tried it. Yuck. It had no flavor after 9 months in the ground and many days with frozen soil. So I don't recommend overwintering carrots in the ground. 


Aga Grabowska said...

It looks like you had some sunshine while you were cleaning up. I haven't grown carrots as my soil is full of stones. I intend to grow some long root radishes in the container this year-will see :)

Mao Mao Kitty said...

Yes, it was a beautiful sunny day and warm enough to work without a jacket. I replaced some of the soil last year, so I'm hoping it is nice and even for the carrots. In the past, I've had plenty of what I like to call "carrot pants"! I've heard that growing radishes in containers is perfectly doable so go for it!