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Sunday, March 23, 2014

How To Start Prepping Your Gardens

Hi everyone!

Are you ready for Spring? Ready to get out in the Garden? I know we here at DTL Herbs are! Now that the snow is beginning to finally melt I am excited about the new season and getting our herb beds and flower beds around our home ready and prepped.

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We are getting ready to embark on an exciting, crazy and busy new level of our business, DTL Herbs. As most of you know, we have a contract at a local well established farm for some land. This also includes having access to existing greenhouses and the opportunity for hoop houses.

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We have already planted a couple of thousand herb plants and plan to get more growing. We also are adding many heirloom vegetables and fruits to our planting schedule. Yup, BIG plans for just the two of us!!

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Right now with the weather still not warm enough for planting, we are taking advantage of this decent weather to get our own yard prepped for Spring. Fortunately we have mostly perennial herbs and flowers planted here at home. We really have no extra time during the summer to spend energy in our home gardens. Every ounce of energy and time we have goes right into our business.

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So, home garden prepping has begun around our little homestead!

I came across this article from The Home Depot (no we have no affiliation with HD). It’s a simple article about “Getting your garden prepped” and thought I would share it.

CLEAN UP

Start your garden prep by cleaning and tidying up your beds. But don’t rush the season. You can do more harm than good if you walk around in your garden while the ground is soggy or icy. Walking around now will compact the soil, making it difficult for plant roots to penetrate, and digging will leave clods of dirt you’ll struggle to break apart.

When the soil is dry enough, pull up any dead annuals or vegetables still standing in the garden. Also prune or cut back perennials and ornamental grasses to encourage vigorous, healthy, new growth.

Toss the debris in your compost pile, unless you see signs of pests or diseases. If you do, trash the plant parts to avoid spreading problems.

Remove any grass, rocks, weeds and twigs from your planting spot. Weeds can re-sprout from chopped-up roots, so be as thorough as you can.

DIG IN

Now you’re ready to dig in. Loosen the soil by digging or tilling 6 to 8 inches deep. Dig or till up to 12 inches deep for root crops like carrots and potatoes, or plan to grow them in hills, which are flat-topped mounds of loose soil. Root crops will also thrive in raised beds filled with lots of good soil and organic matter.

AMEND

If you didn’t test your soil last fall, you can still do so now. Use a home test kit or send a soil sample to your county extension service. Then add any lime, garden sulfur or nutrients the test recommends. A fall application gives amendments more time to meld with your native soil, but they’ll help improve your garden even if you’re adding them now.

Also add lots of good organic matter to your garden bed, such as shredded leaves, compost, and / or dehydrated manure. Organic materials loosen the soil’s structure, improving drainage and allowing roots to penetrate more easily. Turn your amendments and organic matter into the loosened soil, so everything is mixed together.

MULCH

Top off your bed by mulching it with several inches of organic matter.

PREPPING A RAISED BED

If you’ve never gardened in a raised bed, it’s easy to assemble one from a kit. If you’re prepping a raised bed you’ve used before, top it off with more soil, if needed, and mix in any amendments as indicated by a soil test. Finish by mulching the raised bed with a few inches of organic matter.

MAKE A LIST

Before you plant, make a list of plants you want to grow. Be sure to shop early, since many popular varieties sell out fast. Jot down any seed starting supplies you need, too, such as peat pots, trays or seed starting mix. Consider using some grow lights if you’re starting a lot of seeds indoors or if you don’t get enough bright light from your windows. You may also want to invest in a seed propagating heat mat, which supplies gentle heat underneath your pots or trays to help plant roots develop faster.

Check your seed packets when you buy them, and mark the dates to start your seeds on a calendar. You — and your garden beds — will be ready to go when spring arrives.

Source: The Home Depot

Have you started prepping your gardens yet? Have you decided on adding anything new?

Remember, you can purchase our products at our online store: DTL Herbs

 

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