Ten Steps Every Gardener Needs to Take Ahead of Spring
1. Test the soil pH: Get a soil test kit and determine the soil's pH level to determine if the soil is too acidic or alkaline for your desired crops.
2. Till the soil: Use a cultivator or tiller to loosen the soil and remove any grass, weeds, or debris
3. Rotate crops: Avoid planting the same crops in the same spot year after year to reduce the build-up of disease and pests.
4. Add mulch: Spread a layer of mulch around your plants to suppress weeds, retain moisture, and regulate soil temperature.
5. Use cover crops: Plant cover crops like clover, rye, or alfalfa in the fall to improve soil health over the winter.
6. Fertilize: Use a balanced fertilizer to replenish soil nutrients.
7. Irrigate properly: Water your plants regularly, but not too much, to avoid waterlogging and soil compaction.
8. Plant companion crops: Plant companion crops that support each other, like beans and corn or carrots and onions.
9. Weed regularly: Keep the soil weed-free to reduce competition for water and nutrients, and to prevent the spread of disease.
10. Add organic matter: Add compost, rotted manure, or other organic matter to improve soil structure and fertility.