We’ve been enjoying a streak of above-normal temperatures for the past week, and today seemed like a good day to work on getting the garden ready for planting. We learned a few things from last year’s garden, and one thing we’ve decided is to put the tomato plants in Earth Boxes this year. The deck gets full sun and seems like a good place for them. They got so big last year they shaded the peppers and eggplants and probably soaked up most of the nutrients in the raised bed. Hopefully the new plan will keep things under control a bit better.
After I raked the dead leaves out from around the bed (they spent the winter trapped between the bed itself and the deer fencing), I cleaned out the bed, and turned the soil over. I was happy to discover that the bed is full of earthworms. While I’m not crazy about finding them in my escarole (that’s a long story for another time), I do recognize their worth in a vegetable garden. Once the soil was turned over, I raked it smooth and then took some samples from various points in the bed. The samples were mixed together and will now go to the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, where they will analyze it (for free!) and tell us what we need in the way of soil amendments before we begin planting.
Another very cool thing about gardening is the up close and personal view you get of the persistence of life. The bed, like the rest of the yard, was full of acorns. A lot of them, left to their own devices, were in the process of becoming trees. Now they’re trees interrupted, of course, but someday one of these little guys will grow up to be a mighty oak like the one that graces our yard.