So it’s Springtime and we’re all back in the garden anxious to get those jumbo packs of summer seedlings bedded down, tucked in and kissed goodnight. But first , it’s time to do some amendment. It’s not just our hair that needs to be revived and rejuvenated, the soil needs some pampering in between seasons, too. Winter crops will have used up a lot of the ambient nutrients and even those gardens lying fallow in Winter will also need a nutritional pick-me-up.
As I’ve said before, there is no better amendment than your own home compost. It is hands down the best and cheapest fertilizer you can get. So if you have it, spread a six inch layer over the surface of your vegetable beds. It will infuse an abundance of nitrogen, minerals and microorganisms into your soil. If you don’t already compost, I highly recommend it. There’s a detailed section in my free Beginners Growing guide.
For anyone feeling anxious that they don’t have, or can’t beg, borrow or steal some good home-made compost, fear not. I have invited Celeste Wheeler from EB Stone Organics to share her DYNAMITE DRESSING mix for preparing your vegetable garden for Spring planting.
Here’s her recipe for a 4′x4′ area :
Celeste’s Dynamite Dressing Mix
Two 1.5 cubic foot bags EB Stone Organic Flower and Vegetable planting mix.
One 1.5 cubic foot bag EB Stone Organics Worm Castings
One 4lb box EB Stone Organics Sure Start
Method: With a shovel, blend the Planting Mix and Worm Castings evenly (Hold the Sure Start. It comes later) then spread a 6″ layer of the mix over the surface of your beds. You don’t have to mix it in deeply. Just work it in four or five inches deep. The soil food web underneath works better undisturbed. Water well and wait a day before planting. When you transplant your seedlings, loosen the roots and dust the entire root-ball with the Sure Start fertilizer. Then sprinkle a little more of it into the planting hole before bedding down the seedling.
Like me, you are probably wondering why she chooses this particular combination. I’ve seen her garden and believe me whatever she does definitely works. Here’s what she says about the mix.
‘EB Stone Flower and Vegetable planting mix is excellent for vegetables as it contains 15% chicken manure (natures own fertilizer) it supercharges veggies and gets the up and growing quickly. It’s great for raised beds or to amend existing soil. It’s organic and does NOT contain any green waste (forest humus) or sewage sludge.’ (Editors note: It is a well known fact that most Big-Box store brands contain these kinds of nasties.)
‘Worm Castings are terrific because they make insects go away. Yep my garden has very few insects. I use worm castings on all plants (not just veggies) prone to insect damage. I found if I use a 1/4 of 1 cu ft per rose or hibiscus in early spring I have little to no insects all year long. It really works, and saves money on having to spray insecticides.’ (Editors note: It’s true. Really.)
EB Stone Organics Sure Start is an excellent organic starter fertilizer. Use at planting time on veggies, fruits, trees, annuals, perennials, and even lawns. It contains mycorrhizae fungi which increases the nutrient uptake of the plant root systems. Sure Start feeds the plant for 8 weeks and reduces transplant shock. If you don’t have a green thumb give sure start a try and you will see a big difference.’ (Editors note: See! A green thumb is only a little knowledge applied to nature).
Thanks to Celeste for sharing this great recipe. You can find out more about EB Stone Organics at www.ebstone.org, and for all you tomato growers out there, check out Celeste’s video on planting tomatoes.