Screaming to be pruned are the ‘ Annabelle’ and paniculata type hydrangeas*, roses, grapes… the list goes on… plus the hellebores need to be deadhead. (who am I kidding? the hellebores will not get done) This list is for the ornamental garden; right now the preparation of the beds for vegtables is proirity. This week end we turned the beds in the potager.
My friend Julieta of the incredible blog LINDARAXAS GARDEN is buildng a potager. She will be posting recipes created with the bounty of her garden; and I can’t wait! If you appreciate good food and have not yet discovered her blog, you are in for a treat.
So here is a brief outline on how to prepare your soil.
Idealy beds should be 4′ wide, so one can reach into them (from each side) without the need to step-in, as this compacts the soil. Paths between beds should be 18-24″; wide enough to accomadate a wheelbarrow.
Turning the soil is simply, a shovel inserted fully into the ground and the soil removed is flipped over. To this add a good thick (6″) layer of compost, manure & chopped/shredded leaves. (run over a pile of leaves with a lawn mower a few times.) and chop into this soil, or use a tiller to incorporate. Add another layer of compost etc. and again ‘turn’ this into the soil. This brings the amendments to where the plant roots will feed. Water well and let those soil enzymes go to work for a few weeks before planting. NOW is the time. (the above beds are not yet amended)
Lacking these amendments; I have had very good luck with NATURES HELPER and composted cow manure from DIY stores. The best brand is BLACK KOW,it comes in a yellow bag. Avoid the .99 cent variety as it is mostly pine bark and less than 1% manure. If you are fortunate to have a good nursery close by, they should stock soil amendments, buying in bulk is cheaper and it will be delivered.( the bags weigh 20 to 40 lbs.)
In Georgia, lettuce is a cool weather annual, so one grows it in the winter. This year they are maturing very quickly, due to the warm weather, Lots of salad on the menu!