Have you ever heard that advice before… the best way to ensure gardening success is to make a $10 hole for a $5 plant? I really had to keep this great recommendation in mind this past weekend when it was beautiful and warm weather here in Chicagoland. All I really wanted to do is plant –because getting seeds and plants in the ground is what makes me feel good and productive. However, I know that soil preparation is absolutely key.
And that is where this expression comes in to play. You can go to the nursery and buy the most amazing, beautiful plants (or put in high quality seeds), but if your soil is of poor quality, you might not even bother. An absolute must for any gardener is to take the time to prepare the soil before planting. So that is what we were up to in my household this weekend during all this great weather. The kids were thrilled because it meant time to dig around in the compost pile! We dug from the bottom up, where all the leaves from last fall, grass clippings from the summer and goodies from our kitchen compost bin (eggshells and any raw produce) had decomposed into a nice dark and nitrogen-rich compost. Worms were everywhere, which entertained the kids! My husband got out the wheelbarrow, and we mixed this compost in to all the garden beds both flower and vegetable. (And yes, I got some seeds in the ground while I was at it—early season crops like greens, carrots, radishes and peas). So my garden may not look great yet, but we had a lot of fun and I know that we’ve laid the groundwork (literally!) for a great gardening season!