Spring is almost upon us, as is the planting season. Instead of waiting until the last minute, take the fate of your garden into your own hands this year! Right now is the time to prepare your log cabin for the upcoming growing season. To help you out, here are the top 5 things to avoid when getting things ready around your log cabin garden.
# 1. Avoid Working the Soil too soon
Working the soil too early is one of the easiest mistakes to make when prepping your log cabin (more information here). If the dirt is still too wet, plants will find it difficult to grow because the soil is compacted. Luckily, the fix is extremely easy. Simply make sure the soil is dry enough! Grab a fist full of soil in your hand, around half a cup if counting. Now, pretend like the dirt is snow and squeeze it together to form a ball. Take your little piece of log cabin earth and drop it from your waist. If it breaks into loose soil, congratulations! If you don't want to mess up your sidewalk, take your fingers and press on the ball until it falls apart. Spheres that break into solid clumps mean the earth is still too wet to work.
# 2. Avoid Overworking the Soil
The key to working the soil is to avoid overworking the soil. If preparing a raised bed, all that is needed are a couple of turn of a pitchfork. You want to avoid rototilling or double digging in a log cabin garden such as this. Furthermore, the greater amount of organic material on the plot the less working the earth will need. If breaking up the soil too much is a concern, try adding compost. It raises the bed, creates healthier ecosystems, and adds essential nutrients. Not only that, but it decreases food and organic waste being tossed into our landfills.
# 3. Avoid Adding Nutrients to the Soil Without Testing First
It is important to test your log cabin's soil each year to ensure the healthiest veggies, fruits, and flowers. This is the most accurate way of determining which nutrients your soil needs. Without testing, adding fertilizers becomes a guessing game. This is not good for your plants or the earth. Changing the soil pH willy nilly can also mess up the composition for years to come. However, if you never test your log cabin garden dirt you will never know!
#4. Avoid Synthetic Fertilizers
Although readily available, synthetic fertilizers should be avoided. Even if you don't consider yourself an environmentally conscious person, the use of chemicals in your garden can be unhealthy for you as well. Not to mention organic fertilizers are extremely easy and cheap to make and buy. In fact, there are 3 incredibly awesome natural ways to add nutrients back to the earth beneath your log cabin. First, throw away any pre-formed opinions about compost. It does not have to be smelly or gross, and it is extremely nutrient dense. Second, use grass clippings from lawns without herbicides. You can either mix these straight into the soil or place them on top like mulch. Grass clippings also work to help the dirt store water and slow the growth of weeds. Composted leaves from the fall do the same. The final organic compound for use in your log cabin garden is mulch. Mulch is the most widely available of the three for purchase, so there is little work required.
# 5. Avoid Spring Cleaning Procrastination
As mentioned earlier, now is the time to begin preparing your log cabin for the planting season. A large and largely overlooked part of this process is spring-cleaning. Wash and organize all of the garden tools that have been waiting all winter to see you! Make note of everything needing to be replaced, and purchase it as soon as possible. In terms of the log cabin garden itself, go ahead and remove any dead plant material on top of the area.
Prepare Your Log Cabin Garden and Enjoy!
These 5 things to avoid will save time, money, and heartache. Although it can seem like a daunting task, getting your log cabin garden ready for growing season will save you the stress of playing catch-up. Once it is time to enjoy the fruits of your labor, you will be glad you did!