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Learn about preparing the soil in this free gardening video about growing your perfect garden. Installing a backyard fish pond is an aesthetic addition to your landscaping and offers a bit of tranquility as well.
I could almost cry this question sounds so silly, but I really don't know what to do: I will be tilling up my flower bed by hand in a few days with a hoe and a shovel.
Spring is usually the time to start the gardening, and today we are going to discuss the soil tips for gardening in spring. Spring is considered the most perfect time to start the gardening process, however before starting this process you need to determine several things. One of the ways to test the soil is to use a special thermometer; however a cheap kitchen thermometer will also do its job. Subscribe to our free newsletter to keep up to date with the latest fashion trends, photo shoots, and more.
The rising growth of organic food combined with a struggling economy and a “back to basics” mind set has led to a rapid increase in the number of vegetable gardens planted in urban areas. Many older neighborhoods have century old homes that layered in lead-based paint, which leached into the surrounding soil. Look into historical land use through Sanborn Maps, which includes building information as far back as 1867 for over 12,000 towns and cities. You may also want to contact the EPA, the local historical society or even the library for information on your site.
Once you get the results back, consult screening levels set by the United States Environmental Agency. Even if you do not know what is in your soil, there are some precautionary steps you can take to minimize contact with any contaminants that may be present.
If you live near a road or railway, situate your plot away from them and build a hedge or fence to minimize windblown contamination. Cover your existing soil with mulch to reduce dust and soil splash, reduce weeds, improve soil structure and retain soil temp and moisture.
Use raised beds made from concrete blocks, bricks or rot resistant woods such as cedar and redwood.



One of the major things to take into consideration before starting to plant is to find out your climate zone. To test the soil you need to insert the probe into the soil and let it be there for five minutes – so the temperature would be accurate. It needn’t stop you from having a thriving garden, says Alan [GETTY]Gardens on sandy or stony soil quickly run into problems in warmer weather – unless it rains regularly, many plants start to suffer. Whether it’s the neighborhood pea patch, a renter’s deck, or your own backyard, gardening has plenty of benefits. Urban gardens are often located in areas that were formerly industrial or heavily trafficked roads.
Older timber plot dividers that seemed like a good idea might be pressure treated with chemicals. Managing contaminated soil in city gardens means investigating the site history and testing the soil. This is a simple procedure whereby you gather soil samples and mail them back to the test provider for analysis. Keep in mind that soil testing labs usually only test for urban soil characteristics such as lead and other common contaminants. Be sure to use topsoil or clean fill from certified soil sources recommended by the local extension office or nursery. Raised beds are by far the safest option if you have contaminated soil; however, they aren’t fool proof. This is essential because generally the spring starts on March 21, however the planting can be started when the soil temperature is 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. There may have been a gas station, factory or past chemical spill in your little Eden – with any number of chemicals left lingering in your garden plot. These are just two examples of urban soil characteristics that may be lingering in your backyard.
You should collect soil samples from various places on the lot since contaminant levels can vary from area to area. The surrounding contaminated soil can be kicked up by people or wind and inhaled or even ingested accidentally, especially if you have children.


So, as you see now, Spring starts when the soil is ready, and that can also depend on the climate zone.
To check if the soil is wet first pick it up with your hands and squeeze it, if the water comes out – the soil is too wet. However, if there are lady bugs don’t touch them, as they are beneficial for the garden. Unlike other soil types, it’s best to use only partly decomposed garden compost or strawy manure on light, sandy soils, as this lasts longer than the crumbly, fruitcake-like consistency normally recommended. A lack of knowledge about how the property was used in the past makes the potential for a contaminated garden more of a reality.
Depending on the depth of the raised bed, roots may extend into the contaminated soil below, so use a water permeable fabric or geotextile on the bottom of the bed before filling it with clean, uncontaminated soil. If a little is mixed with water in a jam jar, the particles settle within minutes, leaving only slightly dirty water above a layer of solid particles. Used in spring, organic matter helps to hold moisture and nutrients needed by plants during the growing season.
This article discusses urban gardening in bad soil and managing contaminated soil in city gardens. It is better to attack the weeds first, before they start to steal the sun and nutrients off your plants.
The lawn looks pale and lacklustre, shrubs and perennials are slightly stunted and very shallow rooted, plus new plants fail to establish.Picking your plantsAvoid bedding plants, vegetables and salads unless you make special beds containing huge amounts of compost or grow them in containers.
Alternatively, attach to an outdoor tap via a water meter so you can set timings to avoid waste.
For best results on dry soil, water in the middle of the night when little evaporation occurs.



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