Spring Garden Preparation - Knowledgebase Question

Mobile, Al
Question by qui_53
February 28, 2009
I would like to start building up my garden for spring.Currently I have red mulch down over red dirt. What do I need to do to prepare my garden for spring, what can start planting now, & what plants & flowers grow well in red dirt?


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Answer from NGA
February 28, 2009

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The first step is to work the soil and add some organic matter. Begin by spreading 4-5 inches of compost, aged-manure, shredded leaves, etc. over the top of the bed and digging it in to a depth of 8-10". This will loosen the soil and make it rich with nutrients so the roots of your plants can become well established. After adding organic matter, rake the area smooth and plant your veggies. After you've finished planting, spread 2-3" of organic matter over the top to help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. If you had organic matter to your garden beds each year, you'll eventually build some rich loamy soil. Some of the most popular plant selections for Alabama include: Bleeding heart: Blooms in springtime; moist soil and shade preferred; may grow to three feet tall; may need support. Flowers are pink, shaped like a heart. Some other colors also available. Butterfly Weed: Blooms late in springtime; often seen growing wild in Alabama; dry, loose or sandy soil and sun preferred; attracts butterflies and hummers; various colors, mostly yellow-orange-maroon ranges. Columbine: Blooms late in springtime; moist, rich soil and sun to light shade preferred; wide variety of colors available. False blue indigo: Blooms late in springtime; grows to three or four feet tall, in bush form; drainable soil and sun preferred; indigo blue flowers most common, though other colors are available. Fragrant Solomon's seal: Blooms late in springtime; moist soil and shade or wooded areas preferred; flowers on long, arching stems. Torch lily: Blooms late in springtime; spike leaves; grows to three feet tall; drainable soil and sun preferred; various colors available. Rose campion: Blooms late in springtime; grows to three feet tall; drainable soil and sun preferred; generally rose, white or pink available. Shasta daisy: Blooms late in springtime; some varieties grow to four feet tall; moist, drainable soil and sun preferred; various colors available. Yarrow: Blooms late in springtime; grows to four feet tall; hardy in dry or marginal soil; sun preferred; yellow most common, though other colors are available. Enjoy your new garden!

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