- Waterwise Gardening | David Salman
Fall Soil Prep for Vegetable Gardens
Fall Soil Preparation for Spring Planting; Vegetable Gardens and Perennial Beds
Fall is an ideal time to be thinking ahead to next spring, especially when it comes to soil preparation and soil enrichment. This year 2020, has seen a huge upsurge of interest in vegetable gardening and home fruit orchards. And nothing is more important to a productive vegetable garden and orchard than healthy, fertile, living soil.
Fall Soil Care for Veggie Gardens
The first year vegetable garden often has some issues with the soil. Generally these problems are centered around planting into a newly prepared soil with incompletely decomposed soil amendments. This causes yellow foliage and weaker growth. So it’s essential that the soil be fed in the fall to insure that the garden soil has matured completely for planting next spring. I recommend a mixture of;
high quality compost (Back-to-Earth Cotton Burr Blend or mushroom compost) applied at the rate of 1 cu. yd. per 100 sq. ft.,
plus 4 lbs. of Yum Yum Mix worked thoroughly into the soil.
Come spring, these soil building ingredients will be well decomposed and ready to supply nutrients to your veggies.
I strongly advise against the use of manure to feed your soil. Commercially bagged manure is extremely salty, which is bad for soil and plant health. And unfortunately, unless your manure comes from animals fed organic hay, there has been a lot of herbicide-tainted hay fed to animals, and the herbicides are pasted through into their manure. When this contaminated manure is applied to the soil, herbicide damage to the plants has resulted.
Pollinators are Essential for Food Production
Vegetable gardens and home orchards benefit greatly when annual and perennial flowers that attract pollinating insects are planted around them. Attracting bumblebees is especially important as they are essential pollinators for all fruits, melons, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and eggplants (to name a few). Honeybee are also essential to pollinate many other vegetables and all types of fruits. So prepare some flower beds around your food growing areas this fall using the same soil building recipe listed above. Dig the ingredients down to a depth of 8-12 inches.
Stay tuned for future spring 2021 blogs that will discuss the best annuals and perennials for attracting pollinating insects to your food growing areas. You get better harvests and provide essential pollinators with much needed nectar and pollen.
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