November 1, 2012
Good soil is incredibly important for healthy plants and an abundant harvest. Working amendments into the soil before planting pays dividends later.
Before adding any amendments, I remove debris from the previous season, layer on gypsum and turn the soil to a depth of about twelve inches. Gypsum is a universal soil amendment and with penetrating winter rains it can leach sodium salts from the soil. Read more about the benefits of using gypsum here.
And the best amendment is compost. I always have two stackers working preparing compost for use in the edible and perennial gardens. I layer on about four inches to each raised bed. Some seasons I remove about that same amount of soil before adding the compost; otherwise, my beds would overflow. I recycle the soil back through the composting process.
Next I lightly work in my favorite vegetable garden fertilizer and the compost with a garden fork to a depth of about eight inches.
Before planting seeds I level the soil with a rake and break up any remaining clods of dirt. Here I’ve planted ‘Baby Ball’ beets in a grid. The seed is pressed into the soil and the depression catches water to hasten germination.
To read about more about how I love dirt check my post from last year: Thoughts on Dirt and Garden Gloves.