Step One: Remove all vegetation.
Step Two: This one is actually super important. You must add ORGANIC matter back in to your soil. It IS possible to OVER fertilize your soil, but you can NEVER over organic-ize (see how I made up that word there?) Organic matter would include grass clippings or dead leaves. Don’t have any trees? No problem, mention to a friend that you would love THEIR leaves and I’m sure they’ll give you bags full. Heck, I'll even give you some of mine! I find it helpful to use my lawn mower to pick them up so that they are being “mulched” allowing decomposition to move quicker.
Step Three: Add a little fertilizer over the top of the leaves. Even a simple 10-10-10 will work. The reason behind this is that Nitrogen (the first number of the three numbers) is important in speeding along the decomposition of all of those leaves!
Step Four: (This is just for people with hard soil) Add some gypsum on top as well. I also put this on my lawn and flower beds as gypsum helps with soil drainage.
Step Five: Now turn your soil over. Tillers are easiest but shovels and my husband’s strong back work just as well! Some years I only make it through step four and the snow comes, but it’s okay, step five CAN be done in the spring, it just isn’t as beneficial for that year’s crops. And if you get this all done in the Fall, you’ll get a jump on things when it comes to early planting of things in the Spring such as peas, carrots and onions.
You’ll be amazed at how these simple steps will help your garden!
Here is my bonus tip: (Thanks to my brother Ken) Halloween—think vampires, what do they hate: Garlic. Halloween is the PERFECT time to plant your garlic bulbs to have fresh garlic next year!
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