All In A Week’s Work. . .
First, I had “winterized” them by covering them with plastic. I hoped this would prevent the snow from leeching all the nutrients out of the soil. I drained the irrigation lines, and left them set up–so the plastic was to protect that as well. I removed the plastic, let it dry and folded it up.
Next, I took a pitch fork and turned all the soil over. I find that the soil compacts, especially when it gets lots of snow on it. They look really empty, but after a good turning they look more like 2/3 to 3/4 full.
Finally, I got some compost, filled the beds, then turned the soil again, mixing the compost in thoroughly. I lay the grids and irrigation lines back down, did a few minor repairs, and I was ready to plant!
This garden bed has 12 squares of onions–8 of yellow onions, and 4 of red onions. I alternated 4 in one square, then 9 in the next, 4, then 9. You can plant either amount, and I’m always experimenting to see which works best. I used onion sets I bought at Wal-Mart.
I should note that although my irrigation lines are set up, I have not turned on the water yet. It’s still raining and snowing and freezing in my area, so I don’t want to burst any pipes or hoses. For now I am watering with a nice spray nozzle on my hose.
This garden bed is ready, but not yet planted. It’s my deepest bed (14″) and so I’m going to grow a whole box of potatoes! It’s still a little early for potatoes, so I’ll wait a few weeks to plant them.
You can see in the pot–last year I planted oregano and thyme from seed in this garden. At the end of the summer I FINALLY had reasonably sized plants. I left them in the ground to see what they would do, and they survived! So, I’ve decided to move them into pots. That’s why there’s a little soil missing from this bed.
That’s 3 down, and 3 to go! One thing I’ve done with my garden plan is to try to plant all my spring (hardy and semi-hardy) plants in these beds so that I only have to prep half of them at a time. For me it breaks things into manageable chunks–especially when the weather is unpredictable and I often only have one nice day to work outside.