Preparing a Garden Plot
This greenhouse is out of control!
Often times we let the garden over grow, or a new plot of ground must be prepared for the upcoming season. Preparing a plot is just like cleaning up an over grown hothouse, except that process is always easier before the greenhouse frame is fixed into the ground. Shown here is a typical Quonset 32' x 20' do-it-yourself Greenhouse kit with a 3.5' sidewall, and a pink 45% shade cloth. This hoop house, as shown in the picture, cost around $1572.00 (plus tax & shipping) with the optional shade cloth ($229.95). Growers Solution greenhouses remain a sturdy, economical choice but it is wise to remove various weeds and old plants that remain on the plot of land before the greenhouse is built over top.
Even if you do not want to spend money on a greenhouse, an outdoor seasonal garden can be very rewarding, and requires about the same preparation as a hoop house plot. No matter where you start a garden, as long as the spot is beneath plenty of sunshine, the ground will need improvement at a minimal cost, yet will remain enhanced for years of productive plant growth!
First, use an axe, shovel, knife, or other tools to remove the various weeds, and old plants from the garden site. Now we must work the soil with a tiller (the quickest tool for the job), but a shovel, rake or digging fork will allow new root growth by unpacking the tightly packed soil, increase water penetration and drainage, and allow spacious organization for new plants in the garden. Next, simple soil amendments and additions like worm castings, mushroom compost ($44 a square yard), or the various NuMix potting soils (available at $10-$75 per cubic yard) should be added before tillage or turning the soil begins. Adding worm castings or potting soil after turning the soil can be beneficial, but many nutrients, air pockets and loose soil beds benefits deep reaching roots extending harvest and increasing quality yields.
Notice the difference in soil color, and texture after tillage, and amendments. The red, densely packed clay soil took on a darker, brownish-black tint with a fluffy texture. This will allow roots to access more nutrients than before soil turning occurred.
Gardeners can use as much worm castings as they prefer so turning their soil a dark brown or black with little worry of burning new plants like mushroom compost can sometimes do if used immediately for a fertilizer. So, use mushroom compost sparingly, and be generous with premixed potting soils and worm castings that are all available at Growers Solution.