Our friends over at Crafting a Green World are hosting Spring Cleaning Week this week… and, like many other sites in the Important Media network, we wanted to join in. Sure, we’ve published numerous posts in the past about greening up your house cleaning routine… but, as I tried to think of a uniquely sustainablog-gy way to contribute to this effort, I thought “Why not move outdoors?” Yep, your garden space will need “cleaning up” in preparation for Spring planting… so here are some tips I uncovered for getting your soil ready for those tomato plants!
7 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Vegetable Gardening Space
- Weed: It’s amazing how hardy some weeds can be – I know I’ve already got a few in my square foot gardening space, and even more in the beds (which I’m slowly converting to food plants). Marie Ionatti at About.com notes that we’re now in the best season for weeding, because damp soils and weed seedlings make for easy pulling. Once you done that, get proactive about keeping those weeds out…
- Turn: Did you plant cover crops last Fall? Good for you… now it’s time to turn ’em over into the soil.
- Loosen: OK, if you didn’t plant cover crops, you still want to loosen up the soil to get air back into it.
- Compost: that soil needs organic matter to get it back into growing shape, so Ionatti also suggests “top dressing” your space with 2-3″ of fresh compost. Other gardeners recommend other organic amendments, from wood ash, bone meal, and limestone, to straw and goat manure (which requires no composting).
- Rake: OK, so this is more of an aesthetic consideration, but it’ll do your motivation a world of good to rake those beds neat and even.
- Mulch: Whether it’s bark, leaves, or straw, mulching not only helps control weeds, but also helps hold moisture in the soil. And, of course, it gives your gardening space that nice finished look.
- Plant: Yeah, go ahead and get started! Spinach and peas can work well before the last frost hits.
Got other tasks you wouldn’t dream of leaving off a Spring cleaning list for the garden? Let us know…