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FYI: I am not an expert in this (or anything) so please do research for your specific needs before trying any of these ideas.
Here in NorthWest Louisiana, it has reached the low 80s and spring rains are waking up the soil already! So last weekend I went a little bonkers and decide to get our vegetable garden started. As always, I didn’t have a layout planned as we have 4 giant water troughs that my husband used to make raised beds in our back yard. Our kids each have a “plot” and I have one as well. Our kids picked out plants from my haul from the garden center or seeds that we saved in our freezer from last year’s harvests.
Here’s our garden plots at the end of the season last year(2022).
I did have some plans propagating in my mind over the cooler months though regarding the need for amending the soil. I wasn’t too impressed with last year’s yield. Which most of that was caused by the plants being ignored and not watered enough but also the soil just seemed like it could use a boost.
My trip last weekend to the home improvement store was mainly to get a ridiculous amount of poo (ok manure for y’all fancy people) and compost/manure mix. According to University of Wisconsin-Madison, “Adding manure to soil improves the soil’s texture and water-holding capacity while providing nutrients needed by growing plants. Unfortunately, fresh manure can also contain bacteria that can contaminate vegetables and cause human disease.” I’m not too worried about the later but definitely wash your hands thoroughly anytime your are amending soil no matter what you are adding to it.
So why in the world did I think about using manure for our garden?
I’ve got a story for that. *If you’ve read this blog for a while, you probably know I have a story for just about everything. LOL*
When I was between 5th & 6th grade we moved to live in my grandparents’ house while they were out of the country. They had a HUGE plot of land in their “yard” that was all garden. But the soil was junk. AKA not a whole bunch of nutrients. So my parents got a wild hair and got a giant truck load of cow poo to spread over the garden and tilled all that dirt with it. During the growing season, we have the most gigantic tomatoes and veggies I’ve ever seen in my lifetime.
Soooo my hope is buying 10 bags of manure and 10 bags of compost manure will help our little plants be happy and produce a bunch of delicious, giant vegetables. If nothing else, my kids and I got a great workout! LOL
More on feeding different types of garden soil…
Ok, like most things in life, knowing what your soil needs means knowing and understand the soil you have to work with. If it’s really sandy, you’ll probably want to add decaying organic matter. Or if it is packed mud (compact soil), then compost is your BFF and you’ll want to mix that in realllly well. Maybe you are stuck with clay. UGH. I had to deal with this in East Texas one summer that we lived there and my goodness, it was worthless. It made me want to dig up our yard and just have a dump truck show up with real dirt… but it was a rental and we weren’t staying there but just a year! Try this article for tips from the Farmer’s Almanac or you might just need to move. Just kidding, the soil can be upgraded with compost, sand, and silt.
The most important thing for any home or garden is it’s foundation. Make sure your soil is healthy and watch your garden grow!
Check back in the coming months for more Fresh Veggie Saga articles like these ideas…
DRIP IRRIGATION – This year, I’m also trying out using lots of 2 liter bottles for drip irrigation. More ways to help your plants grow with 2 liter bottles – cut in half to put rotten banana peels below the top surface between plants give plants potassium and other decaying organic scraps.
HANGING GARDEN – I’m going to try to make plants grow more vertical verses horizontal.
PRUNING FOR PRODUCE – I’m planning on taking off leaves and underperforming chutes so see if I can force bigger and better produce.
APPLE TREE FENCE – How to create an aspalia(fence made of a plant or trees) and why apple trees are a good choice.
Click here for more Food articles.
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