We are all ready to go buy those flowers and veggies and plop them into the yard and containers. More often than not we get ahead of ourselves when a warm spell makes us want to go out and fully embrace spring. There is some preparation that needs to take place to make our new plants happy and we of course do want them to thrive, even if sometimes that prep work isn’t as fun as picking that big juicy tomato. Yup, adulting is even necessary with gardens. So, what do we need to do to make sure all those veggies and flowers thrive?
First of all take a look at the ground that you are ready to plop those adorable plants in. Is it all clean, pristine and is that soil all loose and airy? If it’s not, and we would be surprised if after a nice Ohio winter it was, pull on those gardening gloves and start pulling those pesky weeds and clearing out all the old fallen leaves and twigs.
Once you get all that cleared out, take a long drink of water and possibly a little Advil because it’s time to loosen up that hard soil and add some good nutrients to make those zucchini award winners (even if it’s an award given by yourself, we are sure that with all this prep work you are doing that zucchini you grow will deserve a blue ribbon!) Loose soil will allow airflow which will help those young roots to grow big and strong. There are a few ways to get some good toe room for those sweet baby roots. Adding some perlite and compost to the soil is a great way to get that hard dirt loose and full of nutrients for your new veggie starts. If you have a rototiller that is an excellent way to get the compost worked into the ground. A shovel will do the trick as well, dig in, chop it up and repeat!
What about food? Yup, your garden needs food as much as we do. Depending on what you plant will determine what fertilizers you will need to add. Tomatoes enjoy a little calcium. Your blossoming beauties such as Wave Petunias and those sweet little pansies will want some phosphorous to get the best flowers in the neighborhood. There are some great slow-release granular fertilizers like Ozmocote which is great for all around nutrients and are a good source of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. To add more calcium to your soil you can apply lime between fall and early spring. Many people also will plant egg shells along with their tomato seedlings to add calcium to soil. Adding calcium will help prevent blossom end rot.
So now that we have all that awesome adulting done let’s go buy some new plants and enjoy the literal fruits of our labor!