Early Spring Vegetable Gardening

Well, I can finally check off “Clean up Veggie Garden” from my to-do list.  After the unbelievable temperatures the past two days, I was committed to get my vegetable & herb garden into shape.

A few things about my veggie garden…first and foremost…it is not pretty, therefore, it is in a hidden spot in my yard.  It is only about 6 to 8 feet wide and about 16 or so feet long.  I have a section for actual planting into the ground and ample space to plant into containers.  My garden qualifies for what is referred to as “Small Plot Vegetable Gardening”.

If you are contemplating a veggie/herb garden, it MUST be in a site that receives at least 6 hours of sun each day.  Shady spots only produce weak plants that just don’t produce.

Last year I put down a weed barrier – which quite frankly was as simple as cut-open trash bags secured into the bed with clips and some mulch on top to hold it down.  To get to the soil and to add composted manure, I had to remove the bags.  I worked the manure into the top 6 to 8 inches of the soil and then raked out the surface weeds and root clumps with my garden rake.

My garden is surrounded by fencing that consists only of metal green wire fencing secured to metal garden stakes.  (Living in Wilmington, DE, I do not have to battle deer – just bunnies and my dogs who like to carouse and trample everything that is important to my gardening ventures.)  This year I adjusted the fencing to allow space to walk around the perimeter of the garden.  Last year I did not even think about that.  Once the plants matured, it was a total pain trying to make my way around the garden to harvest and to water.  A suggestion to keep in mind so that you don’t have to find out the hard way – like I did.

If you are ready to clean up your garden…and perhaps give cool-crop vegetable gardening a try (like me…see my next post), now is a great time.  Remember, sunny site, add manure, and work the soil down to about 6 to 8 inches in depth.  Do not do this right after it has rained though.  Working with wet soil tends to make it hard and clumpy  – requiring the same tilling process all over again when it dries…plus, walking on wet soil  creates areas of compaction which is too dense for planting.