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Preparing the Planting Bed

I never seem to get a Before picture. I don’t avoid it on purpose, but I am usually so embarrassed at the state of my garden that I subconsiously don’t think of getting the camera until I am a little way into the job.  Just picture this as a weedy area after the spent broccoli has been pulled out. It is about 6 feet long and no more than 2 feet deep.

Almost finished compost

After pulling out all the weeds and roots I got a wheelbarrow full of almost finished compost from our compost bin. I usually start that bin with a big bag of fall leaves, then add some chicken manure of which we have a good amount, and then put kitchen refuse in it during the winter. I also added more leaves and more manure so this is pretty good stuff. I could see that some of the matted leaves hadn’t quite broken down.

There was enough compost to spread it on this bed about 2 inches deep.  I broke up any matted leaves into leaf dust.

Before digging in the compost I sprinkled on a cup each of greensand and limestone, which I do on general principles. My soil is acid of course, hence the lime. The greensand is an organic source of potassium (K) and I count on the compost to provide the nitrogen and everything else the soil needs.  Now the bed is all ready for planting.

Though this bed is in the vegetable garden I think I will divide a couple of perennials and put the divisions here for winter nursery where they will be easy to dig up and pot up in the spring for the Bridge of Flowers Plant Sale in May.

I was happy to get all this done before 10:30 yesterday morning. This part of the garden is shaded by the roadside trees until about 11 so it was comfortable to work. In the afternoon the temperature got up to 90 degrees. Nothing to do but go inside and blog.

5 comments to Preparing the Planting Bed

  • Preparing the planting bed is so important, and yet often I’m too impatient to do it properly. Your perennials are going to enjoy all that compost.

  • That’s a good morning’s work! I love starting new beds. It’s kind of like having a clean slate.

  • I did the same exact thing just this morning. Did I take before pictures….no and for the same reason. Too funny. We gardeners have the same issues don’t we? I am preparing my beds for garlic, radishes and perhaps some late broccoli if I can find the plants at a garden center.

  • Pat

    Rose – I enjoy digging a new bed. Especially if its not too big. Preparation is always full of hope – a respite before the weeds come.
    Mary – I did enjoy myself. A discrete task with a real payoff.
    Layanee – I planted lettuce a while back and I’m thinking of putting in more greens since the broccoli is done.

  • Lisa at Greenbow

    You are an inspiration. I should get out there and do some similar work. The dusty air is just too much for me. Sigh~~

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