Fairfield Ledger
http://fairfield-ia.villagesoup.com/p/1631956

Neighbors Growing Together | Mar 24, 2017

Spring is almost here

By Aleta Mottet | Mar 09, 2017

To the editor:

Spring is a wonderful time to start thinking about planning your garden. It is a good time to start getting the ground ready for planting. Did you know you can plant your peas, radishes, turnips, beets, onions and spinach now. They are considered cool weather vegetables. It's also a good time to start seeds indoors. You want to use a high quality potting soil starter and a warm sunny spot in your home to get them started. I like to use the biodegradable pots that you can plant right into the ground when the plant is ready to go.

Provided that the soil in your garden has not become compacted or waterlogged, a light cultivation of the top layer of the garden, without disturbing the the soil structure, is all that is needed to maintain or improve a bed. But if you feel there are any deficiencies of nutrients then this is a good time to spread an even layer of compost over the entire bed. On top of this you can spread any soil amendments, such as lime (to increase the pH) or rock dust (a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron). If you apply fresh manure that may burn, allow the bed to rest for a couple of week before planting. The next thing would be to work the compost into the soil lightly, you want the majority of the compost to remain close to the surface. You want to smooth the bed and break up any clods remaining on the surface. Now you're ready to plant.

Some of the Jefferson Master Gardeners will be at the Farmers Market March 11, April 8 and May 12, please stop by and visit us with any questions. We will be happy to help you and if we don't know the answer we will find out for you.

We have some nifty Garden Planners, some small Wild Flower booklets, you can take along on your walks on the trails. We also have some very sturdy Garden Stakes. So stop by and see us.

– Aleta Mottet, Jefferson County Master Gardener

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