NDSU Extension - Sargent County

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Preparing Your Garden

Preparing Your GardenPreparing your garden for the growing season involves a few simple steps.  Taking the appropriate steps to prepare your garden in the spring will allow your garden to thrive throughout the growing season.     

If you haven’t taken a soil sample in several years it is recommended that you take a sample to determine the nutrient levels in your soil.  Once you have your soil sample results and you know your available nutrient levels in your soil, the appropriate fertilizers can be recommended and applied to your garden if needed.    

When preparing your garden you will want to remove any old plant materials that are left in your garden from last year.  This will help in reducing the spread of diseases that may have overwintered in the plant material. 

Determine if your soil is ready to be worked by looking at the soil moisture.  If you take a piece of soil from 2-3 inches deep and form a ball in your hands. If it easily crumbles apart in your hands it is ready to be worked.  If it stays in a ball then you may want to give it some more time to dry out.  If you work the soil when it is too wet it will result in chunks and clods resulting in poor water and nutrient infiltration and your seeds will have a harder time getting established. 

Before working the soil you may choose to add compost or peat moss, which will help to improve water and nutrient holding capabilities.

When preparing your garden you will need to plan for your plant rotations from year to year.  You will also want to plan your garden based on available space.  Make sure to leave enough space between your rows if you plan to till the weeds up between rows in-season.  Also make sure you plan for enough space between plants to ensure adequate space for them to grow. 

I like to use a garden journal, when planning for my garden space including what to plant and where I want to plant them.  I also use this as a reference in the following years for determining planting rotations in my garden. 

To watch the video created visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KczMCDPJkks  If you have any questions about garden preparation and planning contact the NDSU Extension office.  

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/soil-hand-farm-garden-fertilizer-766281/ (downloaded 4/23/2021)

 

 

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