preparing Mom and Dad's garden
Yesterday I went up to my parents house and enjoyed a day in the dirt. I had ordered a truckload of compost to be delivered. I was expecting a morning delivery, but as my luck had it, it was a 5:30 pm delivery. So I had time to do a lot of raking and prep work, but had to scramble to get the dirt spread and turned before dark.
My parent's garden plot is about 15 by 50 feet, by my guess. It is against the woods with a westerly exposure, so it gets lots of midday and afternoon sun. As the trees to the east grow, my parents have been gradually inching the garden out into the yard to get more sun.
The plot has a few things growing in it now. Perennial rhubarb, and herbs oregano and sage. Also three nice rows of garlic.
I had meant to order enough compost for a 2-3 inch layer, but looks like I was off by a factor of 2. It was pretty intimidating after the truck left to be standing there by an enormous pile - just me and my shovel and the setting sun. I surprised myself and did get it spread. Then I limed (10 lbs) and added a little organic fertilizer (Garden Tone, 5 lbs). And I was able to turn about half of the plot before Skippy insisted it was time to go home.
I ended up with 4-6 inches of compost. This is almost too much, but from what I've read, it should be OK. I will try to go back and double dig the whole plot down to 12 inches. (My Dad may get a friend in with a big rototiller before I get back to it, but I just hate to think what that does to all the worms he has.)
The compost is dark and even and looks great. No mixed in trash, no sticks or rocks. Just very nice and good smelling stuff. I hope it will produce a bumper crop!
Note added: Here's the link for the compost that I added: Agresource Compost. Looks like its already pH adjusted - so I didn't need to add lime. I'm also noticing that the weeds prior to prep seem to be "sweet" soil weeds: dandelions and chickweed. Well, at least tomatoes like the soil sweet, as do peppers and zucchini. The carrots and beets may not appreciate it. We'll see.