Well, here we are, in April, and the day of the big party is just about here. What is the big day? Gardening planting day. That first day is always exciting. Up until now, we have been trying to educate about some new ideas and also prepare for next year. To prepare for next year, we start a whole year in advance.
Right now you will be buying your garden seed. Making the selection can be a challenge sometimes. But let's go outside for now, in the garden area. Perhaps an idea for you to consider is your weed issue. So to solve this, buy some plastic, clear works better in my opinion at least. If plastic doesn't work for you, then select something that will. You won't need the expensive UV protected plastic, just plain old construction plastic will work. Unroll the plastic and if need be, cut to size. Then lay out the plastic over the garden area. Then secure it down so the wind won't blow it away. You can let it sit there for several days, even up to a week. What it will do is heat the soil up to a temperature that will kill the weed seeds. The worms and other critters will make their way down to a lower level and be comfortable and safe. The bad critters tend to not get the message and you will sort of put them out of commission in the process. Oh, did you forget to have your garden pretty much ready for planting? If you did then great, but if you didn't, it's ok. Remove the plastic, tell and prepare the soil for planting, then put the plastic back in place. All is not lost here, because you whacked out the weeds and bad critters and drove the good critters down to a safe level. So as you come back along and prepare your soil, you will likely turn up more soil and more weed seeds and more bad critters. This way you were able to save the day or shall we say, many days during the summer as you have done a more thorough job of getting rid of the bad and making room for the good.
For those growing in raised beds, containers, and even in a greenhouse can apply these ideas. It will help in each of those situations. Some of the bits of help that it offers are that it will jump-start the warming of the soil and essentially wake yo the soil and the whole growing process. It does make a huge difference in the overall growth cycle of the plants. Also, if done correctly, you can plant the seeds and then by having the plastic above the soil, even by a few inches will or can at least, create a greenhouse effect for your plants. You have to be watchful when doing this, as you know, some days can start off on one end of the scale, and go to the other end of the scale within hours, even several times per day. Usually, at least for me, when doing this, I like to open up and end or at times even pull back the plastic in the early part of the day and then make sure I replace the cover at the end of the day. But for most of us, any frost damage will be over within a few weeks or so, so it would only be a short term task. As a side note, many professional gardening people claim that by increasing the growing time by 2 to 3 weeks on the front end, ie; spring, it will be like giving you a 6 to 8-week extension in the back end of the season. IE; crops develop sooner, and have a better growing experience. Even if 2 weeks in the spring would give you an effect of 4 weeks at the end of the season, that is a huge plus.
Save your plastic and/or other covering, roll it up and store it out of sunlight. Once your season is over with, you will leave your garden as is, place the plastic over the area again. This will kill any weed seeds on top and kill any fungus or other funky stuff that might be brewing. Then after a week or so, remove the plastic, store as before for use next spring. From this time on you will prepare your garden for next year as much as possible. Never throw away your garden trash. Compost it, and then return it back to the very same area next spring or though out the next season. If you have any left by the fall season, then apply it to the soil, work it in as part of your fall preparation. From that point on you can sit back, read seed catalogs, get all motivated and rested for the following year's garden process. If you follow this pattern, your life will be much more enjoyable in the garden process. Also, you will find that your garden will be much more productive and the quality of the products will be of much high quality than you are accustomed to.
So there you have the April Gardening Tip. Since you are busy out in the garden area, you don't have time for much more reading than this. So we will catch you next month. Good luck and I hope all goes well in this noble pursuit.
End of Discussion.