Once we determined how much space we would need for the garden our next task is to find the most cost effective way to prep the garden. This is very important since this will not only determine how good our vegetables are this year but also in the future. We realize healthy soil is essential for a successful garden regardless of the price of the plants or seeds. In order to determine how healthy the soil is we first must have the soil PH level measured. This is done at the University of Georgia (UGA) Extension Office which are located in the counties as well as at the University. Once the PH level is determined we will have a good idea which plants we can grow. This test is based off the amount of acid and alkaline in the soil. The soil PH level range is from 0 to 14. Levels greater than 7 are alkaline and below 7 are acid which makes 7 neutral. Most plants are between 5.5 to 7.
Check Soil PH/ Clear stones, small branches & leaves / Till the ground
Maintain Healthy Soil
Compost /Access to water / Adequate sun light
Deter animals / fencing / Non toxic repellants
In the past I’ve usually used fish emulsion, mushroom compost, chicken or cow manure to restore the soil. Although I must admit the area we are considering for gardening has been very green with wild onions growing the majority of the winter. We also have a rain barrel which will not only help with watering the garden but also with the water bill. Our backyard is pretty much open so hopefully sunlight will not be a major issue.
Of course we do have a wooden area next to the back yard and have lots of squirrels and other little critters running around all day. Hopefully chicken wire will be helpful and possibly adding a couple of berry bushes away from the garden will deter the animals. Although the critters are fun to watch we know keeping them out of the garden will be an ongoing challenge. Any suggestion will definitely be welcomed. We are not new to gardening but I must admit maintaining a garden of this size is very exciting and a little intimidating … your ideas and opinions are always welcomed.
Thanks for stopping by.
Beverly & Denise