Preparing vegetable garden soil for seeding and planting

As the temperatures went up to 70F on Sunday, I couldn’t wait to tackle the soil preparation for my vegetable garden. Every spring,I prep the soil before I plant the seeds and the seedlings. This process includes the gruesome tasks such as pulling out the weeds, tilling and mixing the soil that comes out of the compost bin.

You can see my compost bin in the picture above and below. It is the simplest and cheapest model out there. It works. Maybe it works slower than some other models but when I have the right combination of brown and green waste, it works like magic. I put every organic waste that comes out of our garden, front yard and kitchen. If you need detailed information on this subject, google “composting”,

When I open the bin, as you can see from the dark soil color, the very bottom section is already composted. The mid section is the old grass clippings, food waste from kitchen and dry plants, leaves from the garden. The top section is the dry leaves from the tree and dry plant stems from the garden from previous fall.

I take the composted soil at the bottom. I spread them around my garden bed. Blend into the soil. Then I put the compost bin back together. I put the waste that was at the top into the bottom of the bin. As I combine the brown and green waste they heat up and start to compost. As this happen they get compacted, so space opens up in the bin for me to put more materials. I either water the compost material myself or leave the bin lid open during rainy days to ignite the process.

I tilled the soil with a human powered! pitchfork as the composted soil was sitting on the side. I cleaned up all the weeds by hand. Then I spread the compost soil into the aerated soil with the fork and mixed them.

When we first moved into this house, this section was all grass. I contracted landscapers to resod the lawn and in the meantime had them removed about a foot-deep top section of the existing soil by the garages and replaced it with organic soil and humus. Since then I always feed the soil with this home-made compost and organic humus if needed. I use organic seeds. It’s not certified but I think with my efforts I can call my garden an “organic vegetable garden”.

Both sides for vegetable garden are ready. I have Italian parsley on the far left side. They spread around a lot. So every year I pluck them by the root and replant them in the same section all together. I also have oregano that grows back every year, in the middle of the left side. I have the trellis leaned towards the side of the garage so that cucumbers can climb.

This is my tool storage within our car garage. I think I am very well equipped with shovel, pitchfork, hoes, rake and all the hand tools. If I need something I don’t have, I borrow it from my neighbor, who is from the old country (Greece), and has everything and then some. Kids have their own shovels, hand tools and gloves. They help me out a lot. My son loves to dig around so I let him dig away during the prep phase, before I seed or plant anything.

My next post will be about planning the vegetable garden layout.


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