This is part 2 of garden soil preparation.
When I’ve spread out my compost, I bring in my rock dust and calcitic lime. Then it’s time to dig those in or even double dig them in, which I did off camera.
The next thing is mulch. There is a whole section in the Smiling Gardener Academy on mulches and mulching. Today it’s enough to say that leaves are the best, and straw is great, too. It doesn’t look quite as natural, but it’s a good mulch.
Pile at least 2 inches on if possible, and as much as 4 inches. A sheet mulch is a different story – this is just basic mulching I’m doing today.
Mulching is such a beneficial step for controlling weeds, conserving moisture, supplying organic matter, giving homes to all kinds of organisms, and on and on with many more benefits.
Do you have any questions about garden soil preparation? Feel free to let me know below.
Garden Soil Preparation Video Transcript
This is part 2 of garden soil preparation.
I kind of had home organic gardeners in mind when I set this up, although I wasn’t trying to be everything to everyone, but it turns out that it’s good for professionals too.
Like, I did professional landscaping for 10 years before I knew most of this stuff and I sure wish I had known it earlier because I would have done a lot of things differently.
So, it ends up being pretty good for professionals but I kind of had home gardeners in mind and I certainly do start with the basics in the Academy.
I get a little advanced on some stuff though, and I do get into some science. I want to do the science so I can show you why we’re doing what we’re doing. Really, I try to be really practical.
Now here is a little bit of my lime. I talked about how the lime has to come in. Now, I’m not going to use all of this, just a touch, just to get a little bit of that calcium in there. And a little bit of rock dust here. That’s good for now.
And now I’m going to at least single dig this in, with a fork. It’s so useful to have a fork. I have different kinds. This one just happened to be close by.
And I’m going to just single dig it in. I think I’ll double dig it in when I turn the camera off. So I’ll do this all off camera but I really want to incorporate that compost, that rock dust, that lime right into the top at least 12 inches of the garden soil, probably deeper if I double dig.
And then I’m going to come back around and put a good edge on this again. And I’ll show you that when it’s done so we can go to the final step, so I’ll be right back.
So you can see I’ve incorporated my compost and my fertilizers in here. And, when you’re done incorporating that stuff the soil should go back to looking kind of drab compared to when you put that nice black compost on top – it looks so beautiful and you’re like ‘oh I wish I could leave it on top.’
But really if you do a good job incorporating it, it goes back to looking like the old garden soil because you want that compost to get down in there.
And you can see I’ve taken my spade here and I’ve put an edge back on the bed, like this, gone along taken the soil back up. The soil really gets fluffed up when you double dig for your garden soil preparation, really builds up and it will slowly settle.
And now my next step here, my final step and the second organic matter component I was talking about is to mulch this.
I love leaves for mulching, and I don’t have any leaves because it’s not quite leaf falling time so the next best thing is straw and it’s not the most beautiful mulch, but I’ve been using it this year as kind of a temporary mulch because it really is beneficial. Especially nice to have in the vegetable garden here and it kind of works there.
Of course, in the Smiling Gardener Academy I discuss all the different kinds of mulches and the benefits and disadvantages and all that.
And speaking of discuss, the one thing I love about the Academy is that every lesson that we have in there, if you want to ask a question about it there’s a place right below where you can ask a question. Or if someone else has asked a question you can contribute. You can answer the question there.
That’s why I’m pretty excited to hopefully get some people in there who’ve done a little bit of organic gardening there to help out and of course I will answer lots of questions in there, too.
And, if you’ve ever emailed me before you may have noticed that I probably emailed you back – I try to answer most emails – but I can’t answer them in much detail because I’m pretty busy and I get a lot of emails and I can’t answer them in much detail so you may have noticed it was kind of short.
In the Academy you get more access to me, I really answer your questions and I’m even hoping once this thing gets taking off that I can get some of my really knowledgeable organic gardening friends, associates, people I’ve taught with and worked with to help answer questions and really make it a vibrant community in there.
I’m even going to make it so you can upload photos of your vegetable garden kind of before and after and during.
When we’re all uploading photos and content and asking and answering questions I l think it’s going to be a really amazing part of the Academy because we’ll just have all this knowledge coming in there I think it’s going to be really cool.
So this mulching here, some people would do it after they plant instead of during the garden soil preparation. I like to do it before I plant and you can kind of figure out what works best for you but it can be difficult to put mulch around existing plants, it’s kind of finicky.
With this, you just plop it on and it’s pretty easy to plant in there. So I’ll get all this looking nice now and then I’ll go onto the next video.