February 8th, 2012
Spring Chores During Winter - Go Figure!
Posted by F&S
We keep talking about what a mild winter it’s been. Driving around the farm the other day, we observed a lot of action going on in the vegetable garden. I guess if it’s going to be unseasonably warm, you might as well take advantage of the situation!
1 Sharkey, what are they guys doing in the vegetable garden? It usually doesn't see much action this time of year! Let's investigate!
2 Normally, in the depths of winter, the ground is so frozen you couldn't possibly dig like that. Plus, it's usually covered with snow!
3 That's right, Franny! This has been an exceptionally mild winter, allowing for the guys to get a head start on garden preparations for the spring!
4 At the start of every growing season, the garden gets turned over, meaning the first ten to twelve inches of soil is dug up and flipped.
5 But, before that happens, any weeds are cultivated out and discarded in the compost pile. There, those weeds get 'cooked' by the heat of the decaying organic matter, killing their seeds.
6 Once that job is done, the digging begins, a process that aerates the soil. You could even spread a layer of compost first to incorporate more nutrients into the soil. You can smell that this soil is very nutrient-rich!
7 Phurba, you're doing a splendid job! Franny, aerating sounds like a good idea, but it seems like so much work. Why is this done for the garden? Isn't it just...dirt?
8 Think about it, Sharkey! This isn't just dirt, it's what plants live in! Aeration helps replenish nutrients and provides a loose soil for vegetable roots to grow deep and strong.
9 Right! It's all coming back to me now, Francesca. It also helps with good water drainage. Is this the next section to turn?
10 Yikes!!! No way, Sharkey. This is Martha's prized asparagus and rhubarb plot. This section never gets turned!
11 Sharkey, all this talk about vegetables and nutrients has made me hungry! Let's go find a snack!
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