The forecast of late is showing those marked signs of spring. Chilly mornings; days full of rain showers; occasional bursts of warm temperatures to tease us. This mix of weather surely means it’s time to start amending your garden soil so it’s ready for spring.
Right Now Is Perfect to Amend Your Soil
Adding compost to your soil is one of the best things you can do for your plants this season, and late winter or early spring is the easiest time to amend your soil.
Your cool season veggies have long been harvested; seedlings aren’t quite ready to plant outside; and there’s a clean slate to work with once you’ve removed last season’s annuals from your garden.
Early spring also makes perfect shoveling weather - not too hot and maybe even a little chilly. Though, I’m betting the jacket will come off once you really start digging in! However, you’ll be happy to know it’s always easier to clear those old plants while they’re dormant.
While you’re outside, you’ll catch a glimpse of tree leaves starting to show for the season. The perennials will be beginning to bloom, and you’ll come alive along with them as your stiff winter body gets back into the swing of garden work. Change is in the air, and it’s the perfect opportunity to change your garden soil for the better.
Ways to Amend Your Soil
Several opportunities for a fresh layer of soil are at your fingertips, and you can take advantage them all! We’ve listed some of our favorite ways to add nutrients to your landscape so that you’re ready to grow when spring is here to stay.
1) Start a Fresh Bed
That colorful flower and shrub border you’ve been dreaming of is within reach, and you know just the spot! Amend the area where you’re planting a new bed with Soil3 to ensure your plants’ success with the help of fewer weeds and more nutrients. We recommend using 1 cubic yard of compost per 500 square feet in a new bed.
If you need help determining just how much soil your bed needs, use our handy Soil³ Compost Calculator tool.
When establishing a new flower bed or shrub border, spread the compost over the entire bed and then till it into your native soil. This will provide better results for growing seasons to come.
2) Topdress Existing Plantings
Early spring is the ideal time to topdress established plants that thrive in rich soil.
Amending rose beds by topdressing with Soil³ at a North Carolina lake home.
Most plants that grow in the Southeast benefit from topdressing and now is the easiest time to topdress all perennial beds with compost.
Shrubs also love a layer of compost. The nutrients trickle down from above and slowly improve the soil at the same time. The following woodies especially love a rich soil, thus a yearly topdressing with compost:
- Anise trees (Illicium spp.)
3) Create New Raised Beds Filled with Compost
Few feelings compare with that of preparedness. Think of your future self and how you’ll benefit by being ready when spring in all its glory finally arrives in your growing zone.
Be prepared by constructing new raised beds. Then, start stretching those gardening muscles by filling them with fresh bulk compost, ready to help your plant starts thrive once you finally get them outside.
Raised Bed Bonus: Finally, when you’re really itching to get a new plant in the ground (or bed), consider planting another round of cool season plants if your growing zone allows for it.
Waking Up Your Raised Beds with Joe L’ampl
From Alaska to Florida and all the growing zones in between, Joe L’ampl visits gardeners across the U.S. to tell stories of both innovation and inspiration. Joe documents these impressive growers as part of his publicly broadcast television show Growing a Greener World TV. However, he always comes back home to his own piece of land at the GardenFarm in the outskirts of Atlanta.
Joe knows that waking up your soil is a key aspect of any healthy vegetable garden and uses Soil3 to amend his raised beds for the spring. He asked us to come out and be part of an episode on “Waking Up the GardenFarm” to explain the benefits of amending your soil before you begin spring planting.
You’ll see the entire Soil3 delivery process and how Joe uses compost to wake up his raised beds from 13:39 to 14:18 in this episode.
Thanks, Joe, for explaining the benefits of adding quality, bulk organic compost to your raised vegetable garden – whether raised or in the ground – this spring.