Gardening Prep in March
It is the time of year to consider the frozen veg gardens and what needs to be done before the upcoming spring melts and turns them into mush for a few weeks.
Step one is to remeasure and recalculate our square footage, especially in some of the newer, rejigged beds.
We have gone up from about 1650 ft^2 last year to just under 2000 ft^2 this year.
Some of it was planted with garlic last fall and some overwintering strawberries, but the vast majority is fallow at the moment.
First we look at adding nutrients in the form of composted sheep manure (0.5,0.5,0.5). We have been applying one 15kg bag to 25 ft^2. 2000/25=80 bags at about $3.50/bag is about $280. Wow. That sure creeps up fast.
We looked at bulk compost but you cannot know what its ratings are, how clean it is, and what other items might be in there. One yard of bulk is approx $38. You can get 11 bags x15kg for about the same cost. Is 165kg from bags the same volume/mass as one yard? Hard to tell. The bags are normally quite compact and the bulk is in volume… I think we would have to measure out 15kg of bulk compost and then move the entire pile to find out how many kgs it is.
Bulk *must* be cheaper… but how can you tell?
Once that happens in April sometime (totally dependent on weather and ground conditions), It is time to look at top dressing the veg beds with garden mix earth. Another 7 yards will be coming in by truck and used to fill up low sections of the newly built areas, top up on the remainder of the beds and maybe do some lawn topdressing and grading around the house. What is leftover will go to the flower beds, as they have gotten quite flat over the years.
This weekend will likely see some peppers being seeded and the greenhouse fired up with a small heater for the cold nights. The actual seed racks in the greenhouse are covered in heavy duty plastic to provide a warm tent volume, which is easier to heat as well. This is the first year of the new poly greenhouse transparent panels overhead as well.