When you’re ready to start preparing a garden bed for your new vegetable garden, you’ll have a lot of decisions to make. You need to decide how big you want the bed to be, how deep it should be and what kind of cover it needs to protect it from the weather. A good way to start is with an easy project that doesn’t take very much time and can be rewarding for the entire family. If you do a little planning before you start digging, you’ll end up with a more pleasant garden. Preparing the soil for growing vegetables is super important, especially for the first year.
When you prepare the ground for vegetables, there are several important things to keep in mind. The first thing is to make sure that all weeds are dead. Weeds will grow wherever there is enough water and can even invade the flower beds if the ground is not properly cared for. Mulch can help keep weeds from growing, but once they begin to grow too fast, the ground might not be able to sustain the weight. Soil that has been damaged by weeds can be extremely hard to prepare for planting grass roots.
Another key to preparing a garden bed is to lay out the layers correctly. It’s important to make sure that you layer everything properly so that you don’t have any gaps in the garden. One of the most common mistakes when preparing a bed is laying out the grass before laying out the vegetables. The grass can easily take over the vegetable space and make the bed look messy. Before you place the sheeting over the bed, put a plastic sheet over the grass to help keep it in place.
There are three main layers to your bed: the organic layer, the decomposed layers, and the vegetative layers. Lay the organic layer directly on top of the plastic sheeting. This will help protect both the bed and the plants from the elements and preserve moisture in the soil where it is needed most. A layer of compost, made from leaves and straw, is the next layer. A layer of shredded newspaper, coconut husks, or any other organic matter will make good decomposing layers.
The third layer is the layer that will help the garden soil to maintain the correct balance of elements needed to grow healthy plants. Compost is very useful for this step because it helps break down nutrients found in weeds, leaves, and grass clippings, and helps plants stay balanced. Mulch is a last layer and should be used to help preserve moisture in the soil as well as to help the decompose organic matter. By following these steps, preparing a garden bed should be easy.
As far as fertilizers go, organic matter can be used in two ways. You can either make your own compost using manure from the kitchen, or you can purchase pre-composted materials. The latter option is more convenient and usually less expensive than making your own compost. Fertilizer can also be purchased directly from a local garden store or online, but this method may not be the best way to prepare a garden soil for planting tomatoes. Most experts recommend using a commercial brand fertilizer as opposed to store-bought ones. While store-bought fertilizers and fertilizer mix are available in most grocery stores, they may contain high levels of fertilizer by-products, such as urea, nitrate salts, and phosphates, which are not helpful to gardens.
Another great article written by Don Caves