Prepare your vege patch
At this time of the year, it’s likely that your vegetable patch has a ‘green’ cover of winter weeds.This guide will take through the easy steps of clearing this cover off and preparing your garden for the fruitful months.
Attack your weeds
Begin by spraying the garden with one of the new generation of friendly herbicides. Some of these are based on fatty acids and knockdown the weed cover when used on warm and sunny days.However, they are not so good on deep rooted weeds such as twitch. You may need to repeat the process to catch them all.
Grab a heavy duty black plastic cover and lay down over the top of the weeds. To keep it from blowing away, anchor it down at the corners (some old bricks or heavy rocks will do the trick). The black material will attract heat from the sun and virtually cook the weed cover below. This will take a couple of weeks.
Once you’ve waited two weeks, double dig the area to incorporate the weed cover below the soil. Doing this will also bring a new layer of soil to the top.
Once the weeds have been taken care of, apply a generous amount of good quality lime(2-3 handfuls per m2) over your area. If you have clay soil,instead add a generous amount of gypsum. This material will not only help break down the clay, but it also adds calcium and sulphur.
The key component to building a great healthy soil is compost, compost,compost!
Personally, I recommend adding large amounts of good compost every year to your garden. Around 5-10kg/m2 is the ultimate goal,but any amount will do.After all, cost and availability are always a consideration.
Adding compost every year helps maintain the soil’s structure and its ability to produce nutrient dense food by maintaining and building soil humus. To help break down the compost material, add 1-2 hand fills per m2 of Earth Zing. Earth Zing also contributes a new population of beneficial microbes and some trace minerals to the soil.Once these materials are applied,you can incorporate them into the soil.
Add nutrients and minerals
Did you know that each time you harvest food from the garden,you also remove nutrients from the soil? These need to be replaced in order to maintain strong yields and high quality produce.
My personal preferences are:
- •Blood and bone
- Seaweed powder
When planting vegetable transplant and/or potatoes,I add a little guano [1-2 teaspoons], into each hole. This assists with the development of each plant’s roots. Once the plants are established and growing, 1-2 applications of liquid fish spray are great as well!
Remember to enjoy mucking in outdoors at this time of the year. Breath in the fresh air and think of all the wonderful food you’ll be having this summer.