gardening - Knowledgebase Question

Hapeville, Ge
Question by vickiejparke
February 25, 2010
How do I prepare the soil for planting vegetables? How soon should I plant tomatoes and bell peppers?


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Answer from NGA
February 25, 2010

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You can enrich your soil over a period of years and end up with rich garden loam if you add organic matter. Start this spring by removing all vegetation from the area and spreading 4-5 inches of organic matter over the vegetable bed. You can use compost, aged manure (fresh manure can be too hot and might contain weed seeds), shredded leaves or whatever organic matter is readily available in your local area. Dig or till this organic matter into the soil - 8-10 inches deep. Plant your veggies and mulch over the bare soil between the plants with additional organic matter. A 2-3 inch layer will help suppress weeds and slow water evaporation. At the end of the season dig the organic matter into the soil and add a fresh layer. Repeat this process annually and you'll end up with rich garden loam - and a spectacular vegetable garden. Peppers and tomatoes are warm season veggies so wait until April to plant them. Hope you have a bountiful harvest!

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