The Q&A Archives: Soil Improvement

Question: I have a 20/25 garden, the last two years it hasn't produced as well as the year past, I have a lot of grass, weeds that I can't get rid of unless I live in my garden -- what do I need to do? "help ps when is the best time to start putting out seeds?

Answer: First of all, you need to run some basic soil tests and find out what your soil may be lacking and then add amendments as indicated by the results. Your County Extension (756-4539)can help you with the tests and interpreting the results. Next, you need to pay some attention to building your soil by adding organic matter such as compost, rotted leaves or aged stable manure and bedding. This will "feed" it and help improve its ability to hold both air and water, both of which are important to plants. Weeds are an ongoing battle, but one of the best things you can do is to mulch. Again, using an organic mulch will help improve your soil as it breaks down naturally over time. Mulch will also help keep the soil cool and moist as well as cut down substantially on weeds. If you do find some weeds, try to remove them early, before they can flower and set seed for next year.

Seed planting time depends on which plants you are growing. Some such as peas and spinach would be planted in very early spring, others such as melons after the last expected frost. Most seed packets will indicate approximately when they should be planted. Your County Extension should also be able to tell you when the average last spring frost date is for your area.

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